Split Appears Among Ukrainian Parties Over Coalition Deal

KIEV, Ukraine -- Cracks have emerged in Ukraine's three-bloc union on Friday -- just one day after the parties clinched a preliminary deal to form a governing coalition.

Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (C), Socialist Party leader Oleksander Moroz (R) and Roman Bezsmertny, campaign chief of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party

The split centers on one of the trio's refusal to fully endorse the deal.

Members of President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine bloc voted to support all but one of the provisions of the agreement signed by party leaders on Thursday.

The rejected provision relates to the proceeding concerning the nomination of prime minister, which Our Ukraine said would make it easy for ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko to be restored to the post.

Tymoshenko, after whom her political bloc has been named, was fired from the job last year.

Tymoshenko blasted the move as the "torpedoing of this agreement" and called on Yushchenko to intervene as the leader of Our Ukraine bloc.

"We think ... that Our Ukraine should get together once more and approve the complete protocol," she said.

Our Ukraine bloc's move was also criticized by the third party in the coalition, the Socialists, who said it deprived the coalition of a working mechanism.

Ukraine held parliamentary elections on March 26. Five parties won seats in the 450-member parliament, but none of them held an outright majority, making a coalition government inevitable.

The Yulia Tymoshenko bloc, Our Ukraine, and the Socialist Party, which belong to the same so-called "Orange" coalition, struck the preliminary deal to form a governing coalition on Thursday and would control altogether 243 seats -- a majority in the 450-member parliament.

Source: Xinhua


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