Ukraine President's Party Wants To Leave Coalition

KIEV, Ukraine -- The party of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko called on its deputies to quit the pro-Western government coalition of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the Interfax news agency reported.

The party of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, pictured, called on its deputies to quit the pro-Western government coalition of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Relations have been strained between the two leaders, who will likely face one another in the presidential election set for January, and some lawmakers estimated the move could lead to the total collapse of the ruling coalition.

"We are ordering deputies to remove their signature from the declaration on the creation of the coalition," read a resolution adopted at a congress of Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party. The measure, however, is non-binding.

"We are not in agreement with the populist policies and non-professionalism of the prime minister."

Our Ukraine lawmaker Ksenia Liapina predicted the coalition with Tymoshenko's party would collapse in the coming week, but another Our Ukraine lawmaker, Sergui Mishchenko said the party's deputies in parliament may not go along with the call by the party congress.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko were allies in the 2004 Orange Revolution, when street demonstrations forced the authorities to hold a fair election that swept Yushchenko in to the presidency, but the two have since become bitter rivals and their internecine squabbling has hobbled pro-Western forces.

Source: AFP

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