Da The Moscow Times del 07/04/2006
Originale su http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2006/04/07/003.html

Yushchenko's Party Seeks Orange Reunion

di Natasha Lisova

KIEV — Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's party called Thursday for reuniting the Orange Revolution team in a coalition with estranged ally Yulia Tymoshenko and the Socialists.

But the main stumbling block — its reluctance to return Tymoshenko to the post of prime minister — remained.

The Our Ukraine party's call won no support among Tymoshenko or the Socialists, who both accused Yushchenko's party of trying to drag out talks.

Tymoshenko and Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz teamed up Thursday to publicly sign an open letter to Yushchenko demanding the speedy creation of an Orange team coalition on the principle that the Orange party — which won the most votes in the March 26 election — has the right to propose the prime minister.

The move puts significant pressure on Yushchenko, who has been reluctant to reunite with Tymoshenko, whom he sacked from the prime minister's post last year during a bitter falling-out.

Now Yushchenko risks looking like the odd man out — the one member of the former Orange team who is holding back from reuniting the pro-Western forces that led the 2004 mass protests.

"Viktor Andriyovych [Yushchenko], in this historical moment, a lot depends on your position," said Moroz, whose party swung its support behind Yushchenko in the bitter 2004 presidential election and has members in his Cabinet.

No party won a majority in the vote, forcing the top three into negotiations over a coalition. Under new constitutional changes, power to appoint the prime minister and most of the Cabinet members passed from the president to the parliamentary majority.

Yushchenko, whose presidency was not at stake, must decide whether he wants to team up with the woman he sacked seven months ago or Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian politician accused of widespread ballot-stuffing to win the presidency — the vote that sparked the Orange Revolution in 2004.

Earlier, Yushchenko party campaign leader Roman Bezsmertniy announced that a council of senior party members had given its backing to a coalition made up of Orange Revolution forces, but said it was premature to start dividing up government positions. Tymoshenko has made it clear that she will not consider any coalition that does not give her the prime minister's job.

"We are convinced that work toward forming a coalition is not the process of giving a job to this or that politician," Bezsmertniy said.

Yushchenko has appeared reluctant to set aside his deep personal animosity toward his former ally, despite the mounting pressure.

"It's the beginning of talks and it's not a big secret that we are aiming to create an Orange coalition," Yushchenko told reporters Thursday. "But on the other hand, we must honestly acknowledge that eight months ago we had such a coalition. It fell apart and we learned our lesson."

He added that it was important to keep in mind that "one third of Ukrainians voted for another force," referring to Yanukovych's Party of the Regions.

When Yushchenko sacked Tymoshenko from the premiership, he accused her of trying to undermine him and his team. Many analysts have suggested that Yushchenko appeared more interested in working with Yanukovych, who carried Ukraine's Russian-speaking east and south — an area where Yushchenko enjoys almost no support.

Meanwhile, Yanukovych called again for the creation of a grand coalition that would include his party.

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