New parliament speaker in Ukraine says "orange" coalition intact

KIEV, July 7 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's "orange" parliamentary coalition has not formally collapsed and no new coalition has been formed, the country's new speaker said Friday.

Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz was voted in as parliamentary speaker Thursday night with a majority of 238 votes from his party and two opposition parties in the 450-seat legislature despite an earlier coalition agreement with two other "orange" Western-leaning parties on a different candidate.

"No formal statements, as required by parliamentary regulations, have been made to end the coalition or form a new one," he said.

The coalition was formed June 22 by three parties that propelled Viktor Yushchenko to the presidency in the 2004 "orange revolution" - Yulia Tymoshenko's eponymous bloc, pro-presidential Our Ukraine grouping and the Socialist Party. In effect, it collapsed when Moroz was elected Supreme Rada speaker.

Moroz, who occupied the post in 1994-1998, said no new format of a parliamentary coalition was possible at the moment.

Tymoshenko said earlier Friday that the "orange" coalition majority in parliament had ceased to exist after Moroz's election and declared the Supreme Rada illegitimate.

Roman Zvarych of Our Ukraine said the Friday morning vote meant collapse of the coalition, and added that Our Ukraine bloc would never again join any association with the Socialists.

The Party of Regions, which won the largest share of the March 26 parliamentary vote, said Moroz's election as parliamentary speaker had drastically changed the balance of political forces in the Rada.

The party also talked about a possibility of a new left-to-center coalition majority to include, apart from the Party of Regions (186 deputies), the Communist Party (21 deputies) and the Socialist Party (33 deputies), although the Socialists have rejected this possibility so far.

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