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Yushchenko, Yanukovych fail to reach deal
Journal Staff Report

KIEV, Aug. 1 – President Viktor Yushchenko and Regions Party leader Viktor Yanukovych, after 9 hours of talks on Tuesday, failed to reach an agreement over the government’s future policy, making Parliament’s dismissal increasingly likely.

Yushchenko apparently refused to guarantee that he would support Yanukovych for the post of the prime minister, while the Regions Party had refused to accept pro-Western policy, such as rapid accession to NATO.

The development suggests that Yushchenko would probably reject Yanukovych’s nomination on Wednesday when his 15-day consideration period expires.

The move may be immediately followed by a decree dismissing Parliament and calling new election, according to Mykola Poludionniy, Yushchenko’s top legal advisor.

“Obviously, if there is no political agreement on strategic issues, it would be logical… to recognize that this Parliament is not able to form the government that would support policy for which the president is responsible,” Poludionniy said in an interview with Ukrayinska Pravda late Tuesday.

“If this is so, it would be logical to reject the Yanukovych nomination and to approve decision to dismiss Parliament,” Poludionniy said. “A draft decree [on the dismissal] has been already prepared.”

The developments come after a long, 9-hour one-on-one meeting between Yushchenko and Yanukovych as the two have been trying to overcome foreign and domestic policy differences.

Yushchenko, a pro-Western leader, was challenged three weeks ago when the pro-Russian coalition had been created in Parliament after a small leftist group had unexpectedly defected to the pro-Russian camp.

Over the past week Yushchenko has been trying to change the situation in his favor by insisting that major political parties, such as the Regions Party, a moderate pro-Russian group, agree to support quick accession to NATO.

But Yushchenko was apparently also lukewarm to nominating Yanukovych, a man whose camp had been found guilty by the Supreme Court of massive fraud to falsify presidential election in November 2004. Yushchenko defeated Yanukovych in the court-ordered re-run of the vote in December 2004.

Meanwhile, the Yushchenko-Yanukovych meeting on Tuesday was followed by talks between top negotiators from the Regions Party and Our Ukraine, Yushchenko’s party, to try to agree on the most sensitive issues, such as accession to NATO and the status of the Russian language in Ukraine.

But the talks also failed to produce any significant progress, a source familiar with talks said. (tl/ez)




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