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Ukrainian President's Party In Opposition

Will Yushchenko (left) and Yanukovych (right) be able to coexist? (ITAR-TASS) October 5, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Lawmakers from President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party have backed a decision to pull the party's ministers out of the government and move into the opposition, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported.

Our Ukraine announced on October 4 it will pull out of the pro-Russian government of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych because of disagreements over Ukraine's future development.

Yanukovych leads an "anti-crisis" coalition of his own Party of Regions, the Socialist Party, and the Communists. Several months of talks to expands the coalition to include Our Ukraine failed to produce results.

Speaking to RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Hennadiy Udovenko from the People's Rukh of Ukraine, a faction of the Our Ukraine bloc, welcomed the decision.

"Rukh cannot enter a coalition with the Communist Party," Udovenko said. "We have fought, and are still fighting, against the Communist ideology, which brought great harm to the Ukrainian people. I am glad that [Our Ukraine parliamentary faction leader] Roman Bezsmertnyy made this announcement, because it means that [Our Ukraine] is united around the Ukrainian national idea."

Yanukovych played down Our Ukraine's announcement saying today he still hoped, working together with Yushchenko, to form a broad coalition.

"I'm sure that we have not yet completed this process and that Ukrainian President Yushchenko, with whom we reached agreements, remains and will continue to be Our Ukraine's leader, and that the de facto representatives of Our Ukraine in the government are working in accordance with our agreements," Yanukovych said.

Socialist Party leader Oleksander Moroz, who is also speaker of parliament, said Our Ukraine's move will not lead to a government crisis.

(with material from, UNIAN, Interfax-Ukraine)

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