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Ukrainian Presidential Rivals Allegedly Close To Agreement

President Viktor Yushchenko (left) with Viktor Yanukovych, leader of the Party of Regions on March 28 (file photo) (epa) April 18, 2006 -- Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko today said the parties of President Viktor Yushchenko and his former pro-Russian presidential rival Viktor Yanukovych are close to an agreement on forming a governing coalition.

Tymoshenko claimed that "the same people" behind "a discredit talks among democratic forces" are laying the ground "for the announcement of a so-called broad coalition between the Party of Regions and Our Ukraine," Yushchenko's party.

Tymoshenko, whose party came second in the March 26 legislative polls, said she would support a possible reelection bid by Yushchenko in 2009 only if he agrees to a coalition with his former Orange Revolution partners. Otherwise, she said, she would join the opposition.

Our Ukraine, the Yuliya Tymoshenko bloc, and the Socialist Party have engaged in difficult coalition talks since March 26. They have stumbled on Yushchenko's insistence that the government implements his own political and economic program.

The deputy head of Our Ukraine's ruling body, Ihor Zhdanov, said on April 18 that plans to form what he called "an Orange coalition" are still on the table.

("Ukrayinska pravda," Unian,

The Key Players

The Key Players

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