Ukraine Leader Says Knows Name Of Post

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- President Viktor Yushchenko said on Thursday he knew the identity of the prime minister to be appointed after parties form a viable post-election parliamentary coalition, but gave no details.

Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko inspects the guard of honor at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava, Slovakia, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007.

Groups linked to the "Orange Revolution" that swept the president to power in 2004 won a tiny majority in the poll, aimed at ending months of deadlock. But the party of his rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, is the largest single group.

Yushchenko backed an "orange" government in the campaign, to be led by ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, his newly reconciled ally. But he has since said she could become prime minister only if a political deal was reached with Yanukovich's Regions Party.

Speaking during a visit to Slovakia, the president said he hoped a coalition agreement could be signed sometime next week.

"I already know the name of the future prime minister," he told a news conference alongside Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic.

He said the combined tally of two "orange" groups -- Tymoshenko's bloc and the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party "is the winner of the election, it has a majority, and obviously it has the right to nominate its prime minister." But he repeated that creating a coalition required "a constructive dialogue" between its parties and the opposition."

Yushchenko on Monday summoned all parties that won seats in the Sept. 30 election and gave them until the end of the week to produce a blueprint for a working coalition.

Leaders have since made few statements.

Tymoshenko said she would be willing to offer some of the current prime minister's allies top government jobs. And Yanukovich said his party was prepared to go into opposition if, after the talks, he was not kept on as premier.

Yanukovich backs the creation of a "broad coalition" bringing together his Regions Party and Our Ukraine, touted by some analysts as a way of bridging the longstanding gap between Ukraine's Russian-speaking east and the nationalist west.

Yushchenko has never called for such a pairing, but says his rivals must get some top jobs to build trust. Tymoshenko says she will go into opposition if a "broad coalition" takes shape.

Yushchenko defeated Yanukovich in the re-run of a rigged election in the aftermath of weeks of "orange" rallies.

But Yanukovich made a comeback last year and became prime minister after "orange" groups proved unable to form a government. He has since chipped away at Yushchenko's powers.

Source: Javno