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Ukraine's pro-presidential parliamentary bloc Our Ukraine said Thursday it intends to form a shadow government
Ukraine's pro-presidential parliamentary bloc Our Ukraine said Thursday it intends to form a shadow government. Relations between the bloc and the Russian-leaning government of Viktor Yanukovych, which came to power in August, have worsened as the government has dragged its feet on the president's key pro-Western policy goals. The bloc vowed on October 5 to form a radical opposition, and called on its ministers to quit the Cabinet. "Since Our Ukraine has moved into opposition, we are preparing a corresponding plan of action for the party, the bloc and the [parliamentary] faction," said Igor Zhdanov, first deputy head of Our Ukraine's executive committee. "One of its items is creation of a shadow government." He said the bloc had sufficient numbers and authority to achieve this. Members of "the party council presidium will probably be nominated to a future shadow cabinet. Our next step will to be to adopt a program of action," he said. After two months of negotiations, President Viktor Yushchenko's bloc has failed to reach an agreement with Yanukovych's party on forming a governing coalition, and the sides continue to disagree over the national unity agreement proposed by the president, particularly on Yushchenko's drive to join NATO. The negotiations ended in a statement by Roman Bezsmertniy, head of Our Ukraine's parliamentary faction, on plans to join the opposition. The Our Ukraine bloc was part of the 'orange' coalition, which emerged after the inconclusive March parliamentary elections, along with the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, which won 129 seats, and the Socialists. The alliance collapsed when the Socialists defected to join the Party of Regions, led by President Viktor Yushchenko's former rival in the 2004 election and current prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych, and the Communist Party, to form an 'anti-crisis' coalition. But Ukraine's Prime Minister Yanukovych said Tuesday he had agreed with President Yushchenko to continue working on a broad parliamentary coalition. President Yushchenko then urged the political leaders "to return to a constructive dialogue" and resume talks on building a broad coalition.
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