Ukraine President calls on PM to launch coalition talks

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Ukraine's president called on the country's prime minister to start talks on creating a parliamentary coalition, a presidential spokesman said Monday.

KIEV, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's president called on the country's prime minister to start talks on creating a parliamentary coalition, a presidential spokesman said Monday.

"The president met with [Yuriy] Yekhanurov and ordered him to start consultations on a parliamentary coalition," Ivan Vasyunyk said.

Viktor Yushchenko had said Sunday, when Ukrainians went to the polls to elect a new parliament, that he would launch coalition talks the day after the election, although official results are expected Tuesday.

Yulia Tymoshenko, the president's flamboyant ally in the late 2004 "orange revolution" and an ex-prime minister, said she intended to sign a memorandum establishing an "orange coalition" including her bloc, the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc, and the Socialist Party. But the signing, slated for 11 a.m. local time (9 a.m. GMT) Monday was delayed as the Our Ukraine political board was in a meeting, Tymoshenko's bloc said.

Preliminary indications put the opposition Party of the Regions out in front.

With 19.12% of Sunday's vote counted, Ukraine's Central Election Committee said the Party of Regions led by Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian politician and Yushchenko's main rival in the disputed presidential elections in 2004, was leading with 25.6% of the vote, followed by the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (23.6%) and Our Ukraine Bloc with 17.22%. The Socialist Party has garnered 7.71% and the Communist Party, 3.41%.

Images (Ukraine's parliamentary elections).

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