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Can Tymoshenko return to head government?
Journal Staff Report

KIEV, Aug. 22 Overall public support for Ukraines two main pro-Western parties has strengthened over the past three weeks, improving chances for both to join in coalition to form the next government after the Sept. 30 election, poll data suggest.

The group led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko gained the most over the period and is now ahead of Our Ukraine-Peoples Self-defense, President Viktor Yushchenkos group, the poll shows.

A group that scores most between the two would be able to nominate the prime minister in the next government, with chances now increasing for Tymoshenko to return to power.

The support for the Tymoshenko group among respondents increased to 18.3%, up from 14.1% three weeks ago, while Our Ukraine-Peoples Self-Defenses rating dropped to 14% from 15.1%, according to the poll, released by FOM-Ukraine.

The two pro-Western groups would now score 32.3% support among the respondents, slightly more than two pro-Russian parties--Regions Party and the Communist Party--which may jointly score 32.1%, according to the data.

Public support for the Regions Party, led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, eroded to 29.5%, down from 30.2% three weeks ago, while the Communist Partys rating dropped to 3.6% from 5%.

Albeit by the slimmest of argins, the poll marks the first time over the past 12 months that pro-Western parties have scored a greater overall rating compared with the parties representing the pro-Russian coalition government led by Yanukovych.

Among those groups that still have a chance of entering Parliament after the election, analysts mention the group led by former Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn. The centrist group had 2.1% support, according to the poll, which is less than 3% threshold required for entering the legislature.

The Socialist Party, led by Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Moroz, had 1.6% support, followed by the ultra-leftist Progressive Socialist Partys 0.9%, the Verka Serduichka Bloc, led by entertainer Andriy Danylko, had the rating at 0.6%, the centrist Liudmyla Suprun Blocs 0.4% and ultra-right Svobodas 0.3%.

Some 5.3% of respondents refused to back any party, while some 7% said they would probably not go to polling stations on Sept. 30. Some 16.7% of respondents were still not sure which party to support, according to FOM-Ukraine.

The agency interviewed respondents throughout Ukraine between Aug. 9 and Aug. 19 with margin of error at 2.2%. (tl/ez)




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