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Ukraine Leader Says Privatization Fight Forced Cabinet Firings

President Yushchenko (file photo) 12 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has blamed ministers abusing their positions to rig privatizations and jostling for power ahead of next years' legislative polls for his decision to sack the government of Yuliya Tymoshenko.

Yushchenko told reporters a dispute over Ukraine's Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant was the "last straw" that prompted him to dismiss the entire cabinet. He accused Tymoshenko of acting in favor of certain business groups.

"Yuliya Vladimirovna Tymoshenko had prerogatives that were broader than that of ten governments," Yushchenko said. "These prerogatives were meant to do things, not to indulge in provocations at plants by implementing directives that were incompatible -- I want to stress, incompatible -- with the interests of the state."

Yushchenko fired the government on 10 September amid allegations of corruption. The man he appointed acting prime minister, Yuriy Yekhanurov, has pledged to form a cabinet based on professionalism, not on party politics.

Yushchenko today assured that he will keep up the pace of his democracy and market reforms. He called on Yekhanurov to agree on a stability pact to end political turmoil before key parliamentary elections next March.

(Interfax/AP/AFP/Reuters/Imedi TV)

See also:

"A Conflict Over Gas And Power"

"President Sacks Government, Offering More Questions Than Answers"

"Has Yushchenko's Political Honeymoon Come To An End?"

"Yushchenko Walks Political Tightrope On Privatization Reviews"

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