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5 Oct, 2007 00:24

Jigsaw puzzle of power follows Ukrainian elections

Less than 1% of votes remain to be counted in Ukraine's parliamentary election. The Party of Regions, headed by PM Victor Yanukovich, is leading. Coming 2nd is the Yulia Timoshenko Bloc, followed by the pro-presidential Our Ukraine – People's S

President Yushchenko seems to have made a u-turn: before the election, he favored the Orange Coalition but when the results came out, he blessed none of the parties for leadership. Slightly confused, all five factions that gained seats entered the running for power. The Party of Regions took first place in this election but without the votes of other competitors, their hands are tied.

“We’d like to see a grand coalition including all four major forces, but the Ukrainian reality shows that even the process of dialogue between all sides will be difficult,” Raisa Bogatyreva, Party of Regions representative, explained.

The president’s Our Ukraine party is hoping for a combined effort with Yuliya Timoshenko.

Together, they may have a slight majority over the Prime Minister’s team.

The Orange Coalition, however, has its power base in Western Ukraine. People in the East traditionally support the Party of Regions.
“The broad coalition is not natural for Ukraine. It will only continue the dirty games of the last election race. but i am sure we can establish a peaceful relationship with the Party of Region that are likely to be in the opposion,” Yury Lustsenko from Our Ukraine Self Defence Block said.
The Communist Party has made it to the parliament too. They are ready to talk business with the Party of Regions to form a united anti-orange camp. Their leader, however, says it won’t solve all the problems.

“The President doesn’t want a stable parliament. He wants to carry through a constitutional reform in order to ruin the parliamentary order in the country and establish the direct rule,” Pyotr Simonenko, Comunist Party leader, commented.
And the biggest surprise of this election is the head of the Labor Party, Vladimir Litvin, who staged an impressive comeback after almost four years out of power. But it's not clear yet where his loyalties are.

If the Orange Coalition is formed, it will have a narrow parliamentary majority of just two or three votes. So it is vital for them to woo dark horse candidate, Vladimir Litvin. Analysts say that his 20 seats may square the circle of this election.