President In U-Turn On Tymoshenko

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko will propose Yulia Tymoshenko as new prime minister, his chief of staff said on Friday, the same job from which he fired her eight months ago.

Bloc leader Yulia Tymoshenko is seen in the parliament, a yellow rose in her hand, in Kiev, Ukraine, on Friday, June 23, 2006. Ukraine's new governing coalition nominated Tymoshenko to become prime minister, recommending that the heroine of the Orange Revolution be returned to the job that President Viktor Yushchenko sacked her from last year.

"The president is to put forward the candidature of Yulia Tymoshenko as prime minister," Oleh Rybachuk told a news conference a day after three parties backing the 2004 "Orange Revolution" agreed to form a coalition.

Rybachuk said the president would present his proposal to parliament on Monday. He hoped a coalition government would take shape within 10 days.

Tymoshenko's nomination had never been in doubt once the three parties -- Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party, Tymoshenko's bloc and the smaller Socialists -- had agreed this week to form a coalition after three months of divisive negotiations.

Tymoshenko and leaders of the other two parties had earlier met the president in his office.

She had long insisted on being reinstated in the job on grounds that her bloc had won the most seats among liberals in a March parliamentary election. But Yushchenko resisted her comeback for weeks, accusing her of pursuing personal ambitions.

Under new constitutional rules, the president has ceded many of his powers to parliament, now responsible for choosing the prime minister and approving a cabinet line-up.

But Yushchenko, brought to power in the aftermath of the mass 2004 protests against election fraud, remains a key figure in policy and appointments.

Source: Reuters