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Yanukovych expects Ukraine parliamentary coalition within week

RIA Novosti


KIEV, February 21 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's president-elect Viktor Yanukovych said Sunday on the Ukraina TV channel that he expects a new parliamentary coalition will be formed by the end of next week.

"After a week of talks, we will be able to say something [specific]. We will get the result by the end of the week," he said.

Ukraine's Central Election Commission on February 14 officially declared opposition leader Yanukovych the winner of the presidential election. He won the February 7 runoff in the ex-Soviet state by 3.48% against his rival Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and is to be sworn in February 25.

Without a parliamentary coalition backing him, Yanukovych would be unable to have the Tymoshenko government resign, a move he has sought since he was elected. Now, the 244-strong coalition that includes the 153-member Tymoshenko bloc dominates Ukraine's 450-MP Supreme Rada. But in reality, it has no majority in parliament as some of other factions' members vote contrary to proposed decisions.

Yanukovych told the 1+1 TV channel that talks on a new coalition are underway with all parliamentary factions.

He also said he hopes Tymoshenko will resign voluntarily. "In my view, Tymoshenko has understood that she has no prospects at all now to work as prime minister. It seems to me she will make this step on her own," the president-elect said.

Earlier Sunday, Yanukovych said he is considering the candidacies of ex-National banker Sergei Tigipko, ex-parliament speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Mykola Azarov, a leader of Yanukovych's Party of Regions, for the prime ministerial post.

Tigipko was in third place in the January 17 election's first round dominated by Yanukovych and Tymoshenko who later clashed in the runoff.

The final obstacle to Yanukovych's inauguration was removed on Saturday when Tymoshenko, his rival in the runoff refusing to concede her defeat, unexpectedly withdrew a legal appeal contesting the runoff results.

Tymoshenko appealed the election results in Ukraine's Supreme Administrative Court on Tuesday. The court then suspended the Central Election Commission's official announcement of Yanukovych's runoff victory.