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Opposition declares ultimatum to parliament majority in Ukraine

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The Party of Regions, led by former prime minister Viktor Yanukovych, said in a statement: "We are again going through hard times, when the powers that be are trying to steal our victory in parliamentary elections, when unprecedented attempts are being made to usurp power and to cut half of Ukraine from the process of administering the state."

KIEV, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's main opposition party issued an ultimatum to the coalition majority Thursday.

The Party of Regions, led by former prime minister Viktor Yanukovych, said in a statement: "We are again going through hard times, when the powers that be are trying to steal our victory in parliamentary elections, when unprecedented attempts are being made to usurp power and to cut half of Ukraine from the process of administering the state."

The Party of Regions has been blocking Ukraine's parliament since Wednesday to protest a plan by the three parties forming a coalition government to approve nominees for prime minister and parliament speaker in a single vote. It is also demanding top positions in some of the assembly's committees.

The Yulia Tymoshenko bloc, the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party, and the Socialists, which were major players in Ukraine's 2004 "orange revolution," reached a coalition agreement last week after months of negotiations following an election in March. The Party of Regions finished first in the polls with 186 seats, but the "orange" parties' coalition deal has given them a majority, with 242 seats.

"We will be blocking parliament's work until the 'orange' [parties] agree to live and act in compliance with the law and the constitution," the Party of Regions said in its statement.

The party aims to force the dissolution of parliament, in which case fresh elections will have to be called.

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