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Ukraine's New Parliament Starts First Session

Yulia Tymoshenko (bottom left) and members of her bloc applaud the opening of the new parliament (epa) May 25, 2006 -- Ukraine's new parliament has opened its first session, two months after parliamentary elections.

The country's outgoing cabinet resigned today at the opening of the session, with pro-Western and pro-Russian parties still deadlocked over the formation of a new, coalition government.

Addressing the 450-member chamber, President Viktor Yushchenko called for a government "made up of those who, as a single team, will ensure Ukraine's development on the basis of European values, who are capable of consolidating the nation, stimulating economic reforms, and respecting the rights and freedoms of the people."

Parties behind the Orange Revolution of 2004 have been unable to agree on who should be the new prime minister, with Yushchenko's Our Ukraine bloc reluctant to back former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko, whose bloc finished second in the elections.

The pro-Russia Party of the Regions of defeated presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych received the most votes in the elections, but too few to form a government on its own.


RFE/RL's Election Coverage

RFE/RL's Election Coverage

Click on the image for background and archived articles about Ukraine's March 26 elections.

Click on the image to see RFE/RL's coverage of the Ukrainian elections in Ukrainian.

Click on the image to view a photo gallery of some of the key players in the Ukrainian elections.