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Yuliya Timoshenko (right) and Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz at a news conference in Kyiv on 6 April (epa)
April 6, 2006 -- Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko has accused President Viktor Yushchenko's political bloc of dragging out talks on forming a parliamentary coalition.
Yushchenko's Our Ukraine said on April 6 that it backed a coalition with Tymoshenko's bloc and the Socialist party, its former Orange Revolution allies.
But Tymoshenko dismissed the announcement. "I think those guys [from Our Ukraine] would rather 'eat their own hand' today than sign a memorandum which gives our political force the right to form a government," she said.
Tymoshenko and Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz on April 6 signed an open letter to Yushchenko, demanding the speedy formation of a coalition.
Yushchenko today said coalition talks were just beginning.
Following her party's strong showing in parliamentary elections on March 26, Tymoshenko says she should be prime minister, a post from which Yushchenko sacked her last September.
(compiled from agency reports)
Former Prime Minister YULIYA TYMOSHENKO
has long been a controversial figure in Ukrainian politics. A former economist and head of Unified Energy Systems (EES) of Ukraine from Dnipropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine, Tymoshenko served as deputy prime minister for energy in the cabinet of Viktor Yushchenko, when he was prime minister under former President Leonid Kuchma. She has faced legal troubles linked to corruption allegations both in Ukraine and in Russia, although all cases against her have now been dropped. Tymoshenko was a firebrand of the opposition movement during the 2004 Orange Revolution, leading demonstrators to surround the presidential administration and issuing ultimatums to the Kuchma government.
In March 2005, President Viktor Yushchenko named her prime minister, a post that she held until September of that year. In August, on the occasion of the six-month anniversary of her appointment, Tymoshenko spoke with RFE/RL at length, discussing, among other things, the then-looming gas conflict with Russia and the likelihood of a "difficult and dirty" battle in the upcoming parliamentary elections....(more)
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