The pro-Russia coalition, which would control a majority in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada, is expected to nominate losing presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych to be prime minister. Yanukovych heads the Party of Regions.
The coalition was formed after the Socialists last week withdrew from a coalition of parties supportive of the Orange Revolution, which brought President Viktor Yushchenko to power.
Yushchenko supporters attend a rally in Kyiv on December 26-27, 2005
RETHINKING THE ORANGE: The March 26 elections are the first major national referendum on President Viktor Yushchenko and the ideals of the Orange Revolution that brought him to power in early 2005. Opinion polls in Ukraine indicate widespread dissatisfaction with developments in the country since Yushchenko took power. The results of the elections are expected to clarify whether Yushchenko will be able to step up the implementation of his reformist policies declared during the 2004 Orange Revolution or whether he will get mired even deeper in political wrangling with his opponents...(more)
Click on the image to view a photo gallery of some of the key players in the Ukrainian elections.