KIEV, Dec. 19 – The group led by former Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn on Wednesday backed the motion from the pro-Western coalition to postpone Parliamentary sessions until new lawmakers are registered to replace those appointed to the government.
The motion is important as the coalition would not have the majority in Parliament until 14 new lawmakers are officially registered, and the process may take more than a week.
The coalition, which controls 227 seats in the 450-seat Parliament, on Tuesday appointed Yulia Tymoshenko as the new prime minister. It also appointed 13 other lawmakers to take seats in the government.
The support from the Lytvyn Bloc, a centrist group, to the coalition was crucial as two other opposition groups, the Regions Party and the Communist Party, had at the last minute refused to back the motion, which both groups earlier promised to support. Their unexpected refusal produced major pressure on the coalition.
“We just have become the witnesses of political sharp practice by the two groups of the minority,” Viacheslav Kyrylenko, the coalition majority leader in Parliament, said.
The coalition controls a slim majority in Parliament, but coalition leaders and President Viktor Yushchenko have been courting Lytvyn for joining the coalition in order to increase the legislative support for the government.
Lytvyn has so far refused to support the coalition, apparently after its refusal to appoint him as the speaker of Parliament. But analysts are still watching the group for signs of accepting the invitation later that would eventually make the government more stable.
This comes as the Regions Party, which controls 175 seats, has been resorting to a tough pressure on the coalition to try to disrupt it.
Olena Lukash, a member of the Regions Party, said that after the government appointment Tuesday the coalition controls 213 seats in Parliament, which falls short of 226 that are required for the majority. She urged Arseniy Yatseniuk, the speaker of Parliament, to immediately announce that the coalition had ceased to exist.
“You have to make the announcement and print it in [official] Holos Ukrayiny newspaper,” Lukash said. “Bye-bye the coalition, see you later.”
But Yatseniuk responded criticizing both, the Regions Party and the Communist Party, for refusing to stick to their promises of backing the motion.
“What agreements can we talk about if we have made the promises to each other, but then came to the session hall and had cheated each other,” Yatseniuk said. He praised Lytvyn for backing the motion.
“We have major challenges ahead of us, beginning from [high] natural gas prices and ending with boosting wages and pensions. That’s why we have to start normal work.” (tl/ez)