A constitutional deadline for the new parliamentary majority to form a government expired at midnight on July 24 and Yushchenko now has the right to dissolve the legislature and call new elections.
The coalition has nominated Viktor Yanukovych, the leader of the pro-Russian Party of Regions, to be the next prime minister. Today, he reiterated that the coalition is ready to unite with Yushchenko's Our Ukraine bloc.
"We are ready to work with any politician who really aspires to defend the interests of the people," Yanukovych said. "We confirm our readiness to expand the 'anti-crisis coalition' by uniting it with Our Ukraine."
Parliament speaker Oleksandr Moroz, Yushchenko's former Orange Revolution ally whose Socialist Party is now part of the pro-Russian coalition, said parliament would disobey, even if the president decided to dissolve it.
Yushchenko (center) with Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin (left), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (rear), and Russian President Vladimir Putin (AFP file photo)
IN WHOSE ORBIT? Just over a year ago, tens of thousands of Ukrainians led an extended public uprising that toppled the country's entrenched, pro-Russia regime. But the country remains deeply divided between the east, where ethnic Russians look toward Moscow, and the west, which yearns for deeper integration with Europe. Can Ukraine elect a legislature that represents this torn country? (more)