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24 Sep, 2008 02:21

Ukraine crisis to provoke rivals’ alliance?

Talks of a surprising new alliance have appeared in the turbulent world of Ukrainian politics. The once fierce political rivals, the Yulia Timoshenko bloc and the Party of Regions, are now considering an alliance.

Despite cautious scepticism, the Yanukovich-Timoshenko collaboration seems as the most likely outcome for experts in Ukraine.

For President Yushchenko it could be threatening, as should these two parties team up, they can gain a constitutional majority and turn Ukraine into a parliamentary state with no president.

This crisis is the third in less than four years – following the collapse of the governing coalition.

Former allies, President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Timoshenko, have become fierce rivals ahead of the next planned presidential election in 2010.

At a closed meeting of the Our Ukraine party last Sunday, the President once again lashed out at his former ally.

“What the Prime Minister has done can only be described as treachery. In this case national interest stands lower than personal ambitions, and Timoshenko won't stop until she turns Ukraine upside down and destabilises it,” said Viktor Yushchenko.

Timoshenko replied in nonetheless harsh manner by calling these accusations inadequate and even crazy.

“The real reason behind the accusations Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko has made against me and my team, the motif is the race for the upcoming presidential election in 2010,” says PM Timoshenko.

The conflict between the President and the Prime Minister had been going on for some time, starting from domestic issues and ending with conflicting stances on international affairs.

The last straw for Yushchenko was what some described as Timoshenko’s change of attitude towards Russia – the ‘Joan of Arc of the Orange Revolution’ was previously known as a strong critic of Ukraine’s big neighbour.

Starting from September 16, parties within the Ukrainian Parliament – the Rada – have only 30 days to form a new majority coalition.

Otherwise the Ukrainian President will have the right to dissolve the Rada and call a snap parliamentary election.