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President urges compromise with Regions
Journal Staff Report

KIEV, Oct. 6 President Viktor Yushchenko, stressing on the importance of avoiding confrontation in the new Parliament, on Saturday again urged two pro-Western parties to reach a compromise agreement with the rival Regions Party.

Yushchenko said he will nominate Yulia Tymoshenko, his pro-Western ally, as the prime minister, but said the pro-Western groups must first reach the compromise with the Regions Party.

She may become the prime minister, Yushchenko said in Paris in an interview with France 24 television on Saturday. I want to stress that this may happen only after the agreement is reached between the democratic coalition and the opposition.

This is the second time over the past four days that Yushchenko has called for the agreement between the pro-Western parties and the Regions Party following the Sept. 30 election.

The calls come amid concerns that the Regions Party may effectively block the work of the new Parliament by failing to register its lawmakers. This would most likely lead to another wave of the crisis and may trigger a new general election later this year, analysts said.

The Tymoshenko group and Yushchenkos Our Ukraine-Peoples Self-defense will control 228 seats, a slim majority in the 450-seat Parliament, according to the Central Election Commission. The CEC announced results Friday after counting 100% of ballots cast at the Sept. 30 early election.

The Regions Party will control 175 seats and will be the biggest single group in Parliament. Surrendering at least 150 seats would automatically make Parliament incapable.

Yushchenkos insistence at reaching the compromise with the Regions Party shows that the president seeks to mend relations between western and eastern regions of Ukraine. The regions have been split on language and historical issues.

On Wednesday, Yushchenko said that the Regions Party, which is likely to be in opposition after the Sept. 30 election, must be given top posts parliamentary committees. He said that an option must be discussed for giving the party a portfolio in the government to ensure controls and proper checks-and-balances.

On Saturday, Yushchenko also strongly denied speculations that he has been seeking to force the grand coalition government that would involve the Regions Party.

I am not talking about the grand coalition, Yushchenko told reporters in Paris. But a dialog is needed between the three [major] political groups. (jp/ez)




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