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Yulia Tymoshenko Thursday slammed the idea of a coalition between opposition and pro-presidential parties
Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko Thursday slammed the idea of a coalition between opposition and pro-presidential parties, and said she would join the country's new government only as prime minister. "The political process is going on in smoke-filled rooms now, and the threat of a coalition between [pro-presidential bloc] Our Ukraine and the [main opposition] Party of Regions is particularly tangible," said Tymoshenko, whose bloc is currently in second place as the vote-count from Sunday's parliamentary elections continues. Tymoshenko said most politicians backed the creation of a democratic coalition, while the remained favored a "grand coalition" of parties loyal to President Viktor Yushchenko and those backing his main rival, Viktor Yanukovych, who heads the Party of Regions currently leading the poll. "But [these people] include the most influential people advising the president, and they have strong positions now," Tymoshenko said. She also denounced what she said was a campaign to discredit her by painting her tenure as PM in negative terms, and hinted she would only return to government in that position. "I will only agree to responsibility for the future of the country if I hold tools to affect the domestic and foreign policy," she explained. Despite suggestions by Party of Regions member Rinat Akhmetov of a "marriage of convenience" with Our Ukraine for the good of the country's economy, Tymoshenko said: "all marriages of convenience broke up after the [2004] presidential elections, and only unions on an ideological basis are possible now." With counting nearly complete in the elections to Ukraine's 450-seat parliament, the Party of Regions is still in the lead, with 32.07% of the vote. Yanukovych's party is followed by Tymoshenko's bloc (22.27%), Our Ukraine (13.99%), the Socialist Party (5.69%) and the Communist Party (3.66%).
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