Ukraine Nominates Tymoshenko For PM

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's new governing coalition nominated Yulia Tymoshenko to become prime minister, recommending the politician return to the job that President Viktor Yushchenko sacked her from last year, the parties said on Friday.

Yulia Tymoshenko (C) with Socialist party leader Oleksander Moroz (L) and Roman Bezsmertny (R) from the pro-presidential 'Our Ukraine' party.

"Yesterday, the three of us signed a proposal for the president regarding Tymoshenko for the prime minister's post," said Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz as he stood alongside Tymoshenko and Roman Bezsmertny, the top negotiator from Yushchenko's bloc.

The three parties that led the 2004 mass protests united into a 239-seat majority coalition on Thursday and said they would form a cabinet. Under their agreement, Tymoshenko's bloc gets to fill the premier's post since it won more votes than the other two coalition members in the March parliamentary election.

Tymoshenko's nomination goes to the president for consideration, but that is believed to be a formality. Yushchenko's chief-of-staff Oleh Rybachuk said Yushchenko would forward Tymoshenko's name to parliament on Monday. A vote is expected next week.

"Today the responsibility that we bear definitely requires unity, mutual understanding and absolutely co-ordinated work," Tymoshenko said on Friday during a meeting of lawmakers from the coalition parties.

Tymoshenko was one of the highest-profile figures in the 2004 political change that helped sweep Yushchenko to the presidency of Ukraine. She became prime minister but fell out with Yushchenko and was fired last September, only to bounce back in the March parliamentary elections.

Tymoshenko's demand that she be returned to the premier's job and Yushchenko's reluctance to see her back became one of the biggest stumbling blocks during the coalition talks.

Yushchenko met with Tymoshenko, Moroz and Bezsmertny on Friday and congratulated them on forming the coalition.

"Today as never before, Ukraine needs ... patriotic power," Yushchenko told reporters after the meeting.

He told the three parties' leaders that they should have learned a lesson from their previous work together, which ended in mutual allegations of corruption and incompetence. This time, Yushchenko said they must ensure co-operation among the different branches of power.

"Understanding between the three political forces can become the base for a responsible Ukrainian Government," he said.

Yushchenko's party gets to fill the parliamentary speaker's job. The leading candidate is believed to be Petro Poroshenko, who's had stormy relations with Tymoshenko.

Bezsmertny, however, said on Friday that "we have several propositions," adding that the bloc would make its choice on Monday.

The comeback marks another chapter in the remarkable biography of Ukraine's most colorful public personality that she herself describes as a soap opera.

Source: China Daily