KIEV, Sept. 25 – President Viktor Yushchenko said Tuesday he will not hesitate to nominate Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister, as the new prime minister if pro-Western parties jointly win the Sept. 30 snap election.
Yushchenko is known to be opposed to some of Tymoshenko’s economic initiatives, such as revision of privatization, and some analysts speculated he may actually try to avoid her nomination.
Economic policy clash and other issues forced Yushchenko to dismiss Tymoshenko from the post of prime minister in September 2005, leading to a period of mutual confrontation.
But the latest assurance indicates the president wants more than anything to promote his strong pro-Western foreign policy, which has been stalled since the pro-Russian government of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych was formed in August 2006.
“Speaking of this [Tymoshenko nomination] probability, there is nothing fatal in this,” Yushchenko said through a televised link with audiences in central Ukraine. “We can get back to this, it has some great chance. We’re talking about coming back with lessons learned.”
Tymoshenko’s group and Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense are running for the Sept. 30 election as allies that promote pro-Western foreign policy. Recent opinion polls suggested the two may jointly defeat Yanukovych’s Regions Party.
An agreement between Tymoshenko and Our Ukraine stipulates that the best-scoring group between the two will nominate the prime minister, while the rest of the government will be split 50-50.
Although Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense has briefly last month had a better rating compared with the Tymoshenko group, the latest opinion polls show the Tymoshenko group is likely to score far ahead.
The constitution lets the president to nominate the prime minister, while the nomination must be approved by at least 226 lawmakers in the 450-seat Parliament.
Yushchenko again called for a quick formation of the government and reminded that 3 months spent by the Tymoshenko, Our Ukraine and others while forming the government had led to collapse.
“My only request from a regular voter, but also from the president, is that since democracy has a chance, I would like us not to lose this chance as we did 1.5 years ago,” Yushchenko said. (jp/ez)