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Ouster sets stage for new Ukraine coalition

Associated Press / March 4, 2010

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KIEV - Parliament ousted Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in a no-confidence motion yesterday that could end a political deadlock that has forced Ukraine to cope with an economic crisis without a budget.

Parliament now has 30 days to form a new governing coalition and it is expected to coalesce around newly elected President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. It would then be able to put forward a new prime minister.

In her last minutes as premier, Tymoshenko, who lost last month’s presidential election, vowed to lead the opposition to Russia-friendly Yanukovych and continue the pro-Western stance she knows well from helping lead the Orange Revolution protests that had brought her to power.

But Yanukovych appears to have sufficient support in parliament to end the political gridlock and that has plagued Ukraine’s 47 million people for years.

After the no-confidence resolution passed with 243 votes in the 450-seat chamber, Yanukovych met with the heads of Ukraine’s parliamentary factions. “I would like to quickly agree on the creation of a majority coalition,’’ he told them.

Since 2005, Tymoshenko’s feuds with former President Viktor Yushchenko and Yanukonyvch have stalled decision-making as the global financial crisis struck Ukraine harder than other European nations.

If no new coalition is formed, Yanukovych will be able to disband parliament and call early elections. But Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn’s party signaled that Yanukovych’s party has enough support to avoid snap elections.