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New Orange coalition shaping up in Ukraine

After striking a deal, the Orange parties are set to form the next government of Ukraine. The parties of Timoshenko and President Yushchenko together hold a slim majority over the Party of Regions, the Communists and Vladimir Litvin’s bloc.

The pro-Russia Party of Regions, led by the current Prime Minister Yanukovich, gained the most votes in last month’s election but failed to find enough allies.
Yulia Timoshenko is widely tipped to become the next Prime Minister.  She agreed with three conditions which President Yushchenko announced a couple of days ago – among them, the constitutional reform to be conducted in 2008. According to this, people may be asked if they’d like to see Ukraine as a Presidential Republic or a Parliamentary State, and scrapping the law according to which the President’s powers were significantly diminished. Finally, Mr Yushchenko has asked for control over the military and defence block in Ukraine.
“Let me just say clearly that the election has led to a change in parliament. Power has changed hands in Ukraine and we have achieved the result we had hoped for. The parliament is new, those in power are new and the democratic team has every reason to reform all sectors of life, so that people feel tangible changes in the country,” stated Yulia Timoshenko.

The coalition agreement already signed on paper, however, has no official force until the deputies are sworn in. By Ukrainian law, parliament has a whole month to do it. Before then the Party of Regions is not in a rush to allow itself to become the opposition.
“It’s too early to talk about coalitions or opposition now. We’ve seen the so-called Orange parties in action before. Less than a year ago they split apart,” said Vladislav Zabarsky from the Party of Regions.

Although all parties involved in the election process have five days to dispute the results in court, both the Party of Regions and Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc have already refused to do so. 

It seems that the rivals have switched sides once again. But for both of them it’s not the end of the power struggle. This election has triggered an informal start to the presidential campaign in two years’ time.