KIEV, July 15 â€“ Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of Parliamentâ€™s largest pro-Western group, said she would create a 50-50 government with President Viktor Yushchenkoâ€™s party if they jointly defeat the pro-Russian Regions Party at an early election.
Tymoshenkoâ€™s party is almost twice as much as popular as Yushchenkoâ€™s Our Ukraine and the suggestion to form the 50-50 government shows that Tymoshenko seeks to encourage Yushchenko to dismiss Parliament.
Yushchenko may dismiss Parliament and call the early election if the Regions Party, jointly with Socialist and the Communist parties, fail to meet the July 25 deadline to form the government.
â€śI suggested to Our Ukraine that we sign a coalition agreement even before the election,â€ť Tymoshenko told Dzerkalo Tyzhnia weekly. â€śMoreover, I suggested to form [the government] fifty-fifty no matter what result is scored by Our Ukraine and by my bloc.â€ť
Senior members of Our Ukraine have been suggesting last week the party should try to form an alliance with Tymoshenkoâ€™s group to run as a single bloc at the election in order to defeat the Regions Party.
Tymoshenkoâ€™s comments suggest she has been rather considering the option for the parties to run separately, while later creating the government in which each group would nominate the same number of ministers.
The Regions Party, led by former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, collected 32.1% of the vote at the March 26 election, followed by Tymoshenkoâ€™s 22.3% and Our Ukraineâ€™s 13.9%.
A recent opinion poll, conducted by the Razumkov Center through phone interviews on July 12 and July 13, suggested that Yanukovych now enjoys support from 31.3% of respondents, Tymoshenko â€“ 19.6% and Yushchenko â€“ 8.4%.
Meanwhile, Our Ukraine has been also holding talks with the Regions Party to try to form the so-called grand coalition that would exclude the Communist Party and nominate Yuriy Yekhanurov, Yushchenkoâ€™s long-time ally, as the prime minister.
But the talks collapsed last week after Yanukovych had flatly refused to expel the Communist Party, a vehemently pro-Russian group, from the coalition. Yanukovych also refused to surrender the post of the prime minister.
Yushchenko, in a radio address to the nation on Saturday, called on political parties to speed up the talks and to form the government before the July 25 deadline, or face the dismissal.
â€śThe presidentâ€™s right to dismiss Parliament, this is his last argument that will be used if political party leaders do not realize their responsibility before Ukraine,â€ť Yushchenko said.
â€śBut as the head of state that realizes the price of this move, I hope the leaders have enough wisdom to find a compromise before July 25.â€ť (tl/ez)