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Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said he no longer considers early
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said he no longer considers early parliamentary elections to be a priority, national media reported on Friday.

The president declared the election in October in the absence of a majority coalition in the Supreme Rada, but later postponed them due to the country's economic problems amid the global credit crisis.

"The situation has changed since three months ago, and early elections as a means of resolving the problem would be inappropriate at the moment," Yushchenko said in an interview published by three dailies on Friday.

"They are not a priority any longer, and the government and Supreme Rada [parliament] have nothing to fear. We should all instead... join forces to address international and domestic challenges," Yushchenko told the papers.

Three Ukrainian political groups formally reestablished their pro-Western "orange" coalition earlier this week, but failed to secure a majority in parliament due to a split in the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc.

The previous coalition collapsed in September after months of political wrangling between Our Ukraine and the bloc led by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, resulting in the legislature being dissolved.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, allies in the 2004 "orange" revolution that swept them to power, have drifted apart over a host of issues.

Asked whether he would run for president again, Yushchenko said it was too early to make a decision. "I am thinking about it. It is not the right time for serious people to make such statements."

Yushchenko earlier said he would run in presidential elections, due in late 2009 or early 2010, with the date to be fixed by the parliament.

According to nationwide surveys, the president has far lower popularity ratings than Tymoshenko and ex-premier Viktor Yanukovych.


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