Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ukraine: Orange Government Coalition

Unity has been reached on an orange coalition government in Ukraine between president Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine, the Timoshenko Bloc, and the Socialist Party, a spokesman of Our Ukraine stated to Reuters on Thursday.

As of now, the composition of the government is not ready, but it is likely to assume that Yulia Timoshenko and Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz will occupy leading posts in the new government.

Thereby, the winner of the parliamentary elections, Party of Regions' Viktor Yanukovich is sidestepped once more. Yanukovich, whose party received some 32% of votes making it the biggest in parliament, was ousted as president after widespread election fraud in 2004. Since then, his popularity has, however, grown due to recurrent failures of the various governments evolving from the orange revolution.

The formation of an orange government coalition will mean a continued European orientation for Ukraine, although such a solution also presents some problems for Ukrainian politics. (See my previous post for analysis in depth). Talks will now be held between the three parties to agree on an action plan for coalition government, BBC reports.

It remains to be seen whether Yulia Timoshenko's chief demand, to become prime minister of the new cabinet, will be met. Last September, Timoshenko was sacked as prime minister by president Yushchenko due to a mutual fallout. Therefore, a return as head of government would be both a political and a personal triumph for Timoshenko. It might also further undermine Yushchenko's position, in addition to his party's setback in the recent parliamentary elections.

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