A supporter of the Party of Regions at a July 21 rally in support of a government led by Viktor Yanukovych (ITAR-TASS)
July 25, 2006 -- The political crisis in Ukraine entered a critical stage today after legislators missed a deadline to form a new government.
Under the constitution, the parliamentary majority had until midnight on July 24 to form a new government. If it failed to do so, the president could dissolve the legislature and call new elections.
But the new, pro-Russian coalition, which has nominated Viktor Yanukovych for prime minister, cannot form a government until the president has formally approved the nomination.
President Viktor Yushchenko says he has until August 2 to consider Yanukovych's nomination.
Yanukovych's fraud-tainted win in the 2004 presidential election sparked the Orange Revolution, the mass street protests that eventually brought Yushchenko into office.
Yushchenko's former Orange Revolution allies have urged him to dissolve parliament and to call new elections to prevent Yanukovych from becoming prime minister.