Ukrain’s PM calls for creation a new government

Other News Materials 20 October 2008 01:41 (UTC +04:00)
Ukrain’s PM calls for creation a new government

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko urged political parties Sunday to form a new government, draft a plan to shield Ukraine from the world financial crisis and abandon an election called by the country's president, Reuters reported.

But rival politicians were almost certain to ignore her appeal.

President Viktor Yushchenko stood alongside the prime minister in the 2004 "Orange Revolution" that brought a pro-Western team of politicians to power, but the two are now bitter rivals. The president dissolved parliament last month and called the December 7 election after accusing her of destroying the governing team.

Tymoshenko says the election is "reckless" amid the crisis. Its effects on Ukraine have been limited, but analysts point to a weakened currency and banking instability and an International Monetary Fund team is in Kiev discussing possible credits worth billions of dollars.

In a sombre television address, Tymoshenko called on all parties to meet in parliament Monday to form a coalition "of defence against the world financial crisis."

"On the basis of such a coalition, I propose an urgent reshuffle of the government to protect Ukraine from the world financial crisis and give it the authority to react quickly to international and domestic challenges," she said.

"Such a coalition should act until such time as the threat of financial and economic collapse is removed from our country and the world at large. After that, we can have whatever elections one might want."

She said her government had "softened the blow" of the crisis by overseeing growth, bringing down inflation and producing a deficit-free budget.

"Let no one get the impression that Ukraine is at the epicentre of the crisis. This is not so. We can still cope with it. It is knocking at our door, but we need not let it in."

The president has twice named Tymoshenko prime minister. The latest "orange" coalition collapsed last month when the president's Our Ukraine party quit its alliance with Tymoshenko's bloc.

Opinion surveys show a new poll is likely to change little in the legislature. Tymoshenko's bloc and the Regions Party of ex-prime minister Viktor Yanukovich, the main rival of the 2004 protests, lead surveys, with Our Ukraine far behind.

Yanukovich has made clear he is ready to fight the election, the third to the assembly in as many years.

Election officials said Friday legal challenges to the poll by the prime minister's allies and complications over financing have put in doubt the proposed timetable.

Tymoshenko has urged the president to allow the coalition to be restored and says she is ready to meet "any conditions" to persuade him to rescind the decree dissolving the chamber. The president has vowed to proceed with the election.