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Ukrainian PM Offers Job To Rival Candidate For President

Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's prime minister and a candidate in the country's February 7 runoff vote, told reporters in Kyiv today that she has offered a rival candidate the position of prime minister.

"I proposed to Serhiy Tihipko not only that we unite our programs and our visions of Ukraine's development, not only to be his reliable partner in the difficult but rewarding work, but I also offered him the position of prime minister," Tymoshenko said.

Tihipko, a former National Bank chairman, came in third in the initial January 17 presidential vote.

Pro-Moscow candidate Viktor Yanukovych came in first with more than 31 percent of the vote. Tymoshenko followed with more than 27 percent.

For his part, Tihipko said that he doesn't know whom to vote for in the runoff.

"So far all we hear are promises. I want to see what they plan to do, then I'll make up my mind," Tihipko told RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service.

He said that he had answered a preliminary no to Tymoshenko's offer, and said that Yanukovych had also made him an offer, but did not elaborate.

Tihipko also said that he would not ask his supporters to vote for any one of the candidates. "People who voted for me are intelligent people; they'll make up their own minds," he said.

RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, with agency reports