Monday, March 27, 2006

Coalition Talks Under Way

Talks on forming a coalition government are under way in Kyiv after the March 26 parliamentary elections.

A Socialist Party leader, Yosip Vinskiy, has blamed President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party for delaying a formal coalition agreement.

Presidential aide Ivan Vasyunyk earlier said Yushchenko believed it would be improper to announce a deal before the Central Election Commission (TsVK) releases the final election results.

"It is logical to begin talks [on forming a coalition government] only after the official announcement of the election results and to sign any coalition agreement only the official announcement of the election results," Vasyunyk said. "This is the president's position."

The TsVK says it has counted nearly one-third of the votes.

An updated tally on its website says the pro-Russia party of former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych is leading with 26.7 percent. Yanukovych's Party of Regions is followed by the bloc led by another former prime minister, Yuliya Tymoshenko (23.6 percent); then Our Ukraine (16.4 percent); and the Socialist Party (7.2 percent).

Tymoshenko said on March 26 that a coalition agreement between her bloc, the Socialists, and Yushchenko's party is all but certain.

("Ukraynska pravda,",
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