Ukraine's Pro-Russia Party of Regions proposes grand coalition

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Ukraine's pro-Russia Party of Regions said Wednesday it was ready to be part of a grand parliamentary coalition.

KIEV, June 14 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's pro-Russia Party of Regions said Wednesday it was ready to be part of a grand parliamentary coalition.

Ukraine has been in parliamentary limbo since the March 26 elections failed to produce a clear leader. A group of Western-leaning parties seemed to be near a coalition deal but negotiations now appear to have broken down.

As parliament resumed work Wednesday, the Party of Regions tried to seize the initiative.

"The Party of Regions proposes creating a grand parliamentary coalition," said Raisa Bohatyreva, the leader of the party's parliamentary faction.

Negotiations on forming an "orange" coalition were complicated over disagreements on who should be appointed prime minister and parliamentary speaker, and over former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's refusal to deal with Party of Regions.

Bohatyreva said the party was in talks with all political forces represented in parliament - the Supreme Rada - and added that she was confident about a future coalition deal.

The Party of Regions, which claimed the largest single share of the vote in the March 26 elections to the Rada, had been frozen out of the three-way talks on coalition formation.

Under the Ukrainian Constitution, parliament is to forge a coalition within 30 days after parliament's first session, which took place on May 25. If parliamentarians fail to reach an agreement, President Viktor Yushchenko is entitled to disband the legislature and call new elections.

Official results from the March ballot saw the Party of Regions take first place with 186 seats in the 450-seat Rada. Yanukovych's party was followed by the Tymoshenko bloc with 129 seats, Our Ukraine with 81 seats, the Socialist Party with 33 seats and the Communist Party with 21 seats.

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