Tymoshenko Fails In Bid For Ukraine Premiership

KIEV, Ukraine -- Yulia Tymoshenko, leading force in Ukraine's 2004 "Orange Revolution", failed to win parliamentary backing to restore her as prime minister on Tuesday, adding to confusion after three years of political uncertainty.

Yulia Tymoshenko

Tymoshenko fell one short of a majority in the 450-seat assembly. Her allies immediately complained of technical problems and speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk proposed a motion to return to the motion. That however also failed to carry and parliament went into recess in some disarray.

Tymoshenko, with her trademark peasant braid and designer outfits, and President Viktor Yushchenko who had proposed her both appeared distraught by the unexpected outcome.

Tymoshenko rallied protests that catapulted Yushchenko to power in 2004 and was named premier within days. But the two fell out after Tymoshenko frightened investors with attempts to intervene in markets and review privatizations.

The personal and political dispute culminated within eight months in Tymoshenko's dismissal as prime minister.

Tymoshenko, 47, was formally put forward for the job on Tuesday by Yushchenko after two orange parties won enough seats in a September election to form a wafer-thin coalition majority.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko had been reconciled during the campaign, which pitted their pro-Western policies against those of Viktor Yanukovich, who steers a course closer to former imperial master Russia.


Tymoshenko had told parliament earlier on Tuesday she would fight corruption and unite a country, which is divided between a nationalist west and eastern territories closer to Russia.

"When the national team is playing we must all cheer in the same way," Tymoshenko, sporting a white dress and her trademark peasant braid, told the assembly.

"I want a national team to be born so that we are able to turn Ukraine into a strong European state...The main task of our team, our government, must be the introduction of clear, professional changes in every sphere of our lives."

That meant conducting an inventory of corrupt practices 16 years after independence from Soviet rule and measures to close the "dirty pits" behind them. It also meant urgent introduction of pension and tax reform.

If her government were approved, she said, the government would meet from Wednesday to adopt an approve the 2008 budget by the end of the year.

She had been more reserved in the weeks since the election, but has promised to uphold the liberal, pro-Western ideals of the 2004 revolution.

Source: Canada.com