Our Ukraine Bloc To Formally Move Into Opposition Tuesday

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's pro-presidential parliamentary bloc Our Ukraine will officially announce that it is switching to the opposition October 17, the parliamentary faction leader said Monday.

Our Ukraine "Yes" flags

Relations between the bloc and the Russian-leaning government of Viktor Yanukovych, which came to power in August, have worsened as the government has dragged its feet on the president's key pro-Western policy goals. The bloc vowed October 5 to form a radical opposition, and called on its ministers to quit the Cabinet.

"The decision by the party's political council and the Our Ukraine bloc has already been made," Roman Bezsmertniy said. "We now have to make a decision on the fate of five ministers who are in the Cabinet as part of Our Ukraine's quota."

He said a final decision concerning the ministers will be made by President Viktor Yushchenko.

He also said Our Ukraine is not conducting any negotiations with an anti-crisis coalition in parliament, comprising the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party and the Communist Party, or with the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc.

Our Ukraine said Thursday it intends to form a shadow government.

After two months of negotiations, President Viktor Yushchenko's bloc failed to reach an agreement with Yanukovych's party on forming a governing coalition, and the sides continue to disagree over the national unity agreement proposed by the president, particularly on Yushchenko's drive to join NATO.

The Our Ukraine bloc was part of the 'Orange' coalition, which emerged after the inconclusive March parliamentary elections, along with the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, which won 129 seats, and the Socialists.

The alliance collapsed when the Socialists defected to join the Party of Regions, led by President Viktor Yushchenko's former rival in the 2004 election and the current prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych, and the Communist Party, to form an 'anti-crisis' coalition.

But Ukraine's Prime Minister Yanukovych said Tuesday he has agreed with President Yushchenko to continue working on a broad parliamentary coalition.

President Yushchenko then urged political leaders "to return to a constructive dialogue" and resume talks on building a broad coalition.

Source: RIA Novosti