Yushchenko Frustrated By Gov't Jockeying

KIEV, Ukraine -- President Viktor Yushchenko accused Ukraine's political leaders Saturday of being more interested in posts in the new government than the country's future.

One of Tymoshenko's slick campaign posters reads "Only Forward!"

No party won a majority in last Sunday's parliamentary election, leaving political factions jockeying for position in whatever coalition is formed to govern this former Soviet republic.

"I'm getting the impression ... that priority No. 1 remains the distribution of portfolios,'' Yushchenko said in his weekly radio address.

Yushchenko's party suffered a humiliating third-place finish in the vote, leaving him with two choices for partners: his former Orange Revolution ally Yulia Tymoshenko or one-time election opponent Viktor Yanukovych.

The president fired Tymoshenko as prime minister six months ago, while Yanukovych's fraud-marred attempt to win the 2004 presidency set off the mass protests of the Orange movement.

In the address, Yushchenko called for "a pact of stability'' to be signed by all the parties entering parliament, which will have the right to choose the next prime minister.

Tymoshenko and Yanukovych have said they want the job.

Yanukovych's pro-Russian party won the most votes in the election, taking 32 percent. Yushchenko's party received 14 percent, far behind his estranged ally, Tymoshenko's bloc that won 22 percent.

But the forces that supported the Orange Revolution together won more seats in parliament.

"The people's choice confirmed the most important thing - that the democratic changes are irreversible and support for Ukraine's European choice,'' Yushchenko said.

Source: AP