Thursday, August 03, 2006

Yushchenko Backs Yanukovych for PM

From RFE/RL:
Yushchenko Backs Rival For Prime Minister

August 3, 2006 -- President Viktor Yushchenko has decided to nominate his pro-Russian rival, Viktor Yanukovych, to become Ukraine's new prime minister.

Yushchenko, in a televised address early today, said he made the decision after Yanukovych, a former prime minister, agreed to back a national-unity declaration that safeguards the president's moves toward closer Ukrainian integration with Western Europe and free-market reforms.

"Following from what I have said, I have made the decision to put forward Viktor Yanukovych for the post of Ukraine's prime minister,” Yushchenko said. “By this I want to once again stress that I understand the whole complexity in the east and the west of Ukraine, regarding this nomination for the post of prime minister. I call on the country to understand that today we have a unique chance to realize all that we talked about, and to bring the country together for a political understanding."

In making his decision to nominate Yanukovych, Yushchenko rejected his other option of dissolving parliament and calling new elections.

Yanukovych is now expected to lead a coalition government backed by a parliament majority of his Party of Regions, the Socialists, and the Communists.

Yushchenko's decision is aimed at ending four months of political uncertainty following elections in which no party won a majority of parliament seats.

(compiled from agency reports)
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