Ukraine's Tymoshenko To Continue Fight For PM Post

KIEV, Ukraine -- Yulia Tymoshenko, a leader of Ukraine's "Orange Revolution," makes another attempt in parliament on Wednesday to get back the job of prime minister after failing to secure the position on Tuesday.

Yulia Tymoshenko was denied premiership on Tuesday, December 11.

Tymoshenko fell one vote short of returning to the job after two members of her "orange" coalition failed to vote, according to the electronic voting system. She and her allies accused rivals of tampering with the system.

Analysts and observers were divided on whether the setback amounted to a betrayal by some members of the coalition said to be wary of her return to power, or the result of a genuine technical problem.

Tymoshenko's bloc and the party of President Viktor Yushchenko, Our Ukraine, have 227 seats out of 450 in the chamber, just one more than needed to pass most legislation.

"I think it is most likely that Tymoshenko will be elected tomorrow," analyst Olexiy Haran at the Kiev Mohyla University told Radio Era late on Tuesday.

"As deputies did not publicly withdraw their support for Tymoshenko, this amounts to proof that she has the 227 votes," he said. Two coalition members, one from Tymoshenko's own bloc, said their votes for her had not been registered.

Other analysts said the events bore out skeptics' predictions that members of Our Ukraine considered Tymoshenko an unpredictable populist and wanted to form a "grand coalition" with outgoing Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich's Regions Party.

Parliamentary speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a coalition member whose election to the post last week indicated unity was tight, closed the session saying Yushchenko would soon again submit his nominee. That would mean another parliamentary vote.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko have had an uneasy relationship since they stood side by side during weeks of 2004 when orange-clad protestors swept him to power.

He sacked her as his first prime minister after just eight months during which they constantly sniped. She spooked investors by calling for a major review of privatizations and worried them she was trying to influence markets.

That allowed Yanukovich, Yushchenko's rival in the "Orange Revolution," to form a government after a 2006 parliamentary election, but their fight for power as parliament reduced the president's authority led to over a year of political deadlock.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko reconciled this year for a September parliamentary election which produced the slender orange majority. That vote had been intended to end three years of political crises which forced vital economic reform down the agenda.

Source: Washington Post