Yushchenko seeks 'orange' coalition

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The Independent Online

The Ukrainian President, Viktor Yushchenko, appears to have swallowed his pride and decided to form an "orange" coalition government with Julia Tymoshenko, the woman he sacked as premier eight months ago.

It raises the prospect that the orange revolution of 2004 could have a new lease of life after a period of disenchantment that led to Mr Yushchenko being thrashed at the ballot box recently.

Senior members of his Our Ukraine party have approved an orange coalition and yesterday he confirmed it was his first choice. "It's the beginning of talks and it's not a big secret that we are aiming to create an orange coalition," he said.

Mr Yushchenko's party came third in parliamentary elections behind Ms Tymoshenko's, which came second. Getting back together with her is the only way to keep out the Party of the Regions, a party sympathetic to Russia that won the elections easily.

Mr Yushchenko has serious disagreements with his former ally, who has made no secret that she wants to be prime minister.

Yesterday she put pressure on Mr Yushchenko to speed up forming a government with her as premier. But Mr Yushchenko seems to be leaving open the possibility of forming a coalition with the pro-Russian party.