Ukraine Opposition To Form Coalition

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's opposition party said Friday it intends to form a majority coalition in parliament next week and oust losing presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko from the prime minister's job.

Hanna Herman

Hanna Herman, a deputy leader of Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions, said she expected parliament to vote as early as Tuesday, following the Central Election Commission anticipated weekend certification of victory for Mr. Yanukovych in Sunday's election.

Ms. Tymoshenko has refused to concede defeat in the election, which preliminary official returns show she lost by a margin of 3.5 percentage points. She has resisted Mr. Yanukovych's calls for her to resign and on Thursday presided over a cabinet meeting.

Her party is preparing to challenge the results in court, despite positive assessments of the elections by international monitors and recognition of Mr. Yanukovych's victory by foreign heads of state, including U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Party of Regions has been attempting to lure two blocs to defect from Ms. Tymoshenko's coalition and join a new government.

A compliant parliament would help the new president enact measures aimed at unfreezing the International Monetary Fund's $16.4 billion lending program. Mr. Yanukovych has said he will cooperate with the IMF, and some analysts expect him to abandon pre-election promises, including a vow to push through large social spending rises that the IMF opposes.

Source: The Wall Street Journal