'Gas princess' finally becomes Ukraine's PM
'The impossible is possible' – this was the slogan used by Yulia Tymoshenko as she campaigned for the post.
But the throne to which she's ascended is a shaky one after the vote in parliament was split.
Parties loyal to the outgoing Prime Minister Yanukovich were only a couple of votes short of barring Timoshenko from taking the position and they believe she will slip soon.
“With her in power, I think we'll have an economic crisis caused by re-privatisation and price setting by the administration. Foreign investors are already scared of her. Her bright promises remind me of those financial pyramid schemes which sooner or later collapse,” said Yaroslav Sukhoi of the Party of Regions.
Lady Yu, Joan of Arc, the Gas Princess – Timoshenko's political career rode the wave of the orange revolution. However she couldn’t keep up the momentum. The opposition points at thorny relations inside the Orange coalition. Seen as Viktor Yushchenko’s first ally, she’s now his first rival for power in Ukraine.
So the Orange coalition made up of the President’s and now the Prime Minister's teams may disintegrate from the top down. However, most of its deputies promise a smooth ride for the next five years.
“When it’s raining and the house is leaking, some parties promise to change the floors to make people happy. It's wrong because the problem is with the water. We’ll stop the rain, the inflation, the chaos left by the previous government,” promised Andrey Shkil from the Yulia Timoshenko Bloc.
Charismatic and uncompromising, Tymoshenko favours western integration over closer economic and cultural ties with Russia.
Her standing varies in different parts of the country. In western Ukraine she has almost icon status as people place her photos next to holy images, whereas in the east of the country many dub her a 'devil in a skirt'.
When Yulia Timoshenko was Prime Minister back in 2005, counterfeiters forged a banknote with her image on it. So far only one woman has managed to appear on real Ukrainian money. Lesya Ukrainka is one of the country's best-known female poets and is believed to be the inspiration behind the hairstyle of the fiery Timoshenko, who also one day hopes to be as recognised as her idol for her revolutionary work.