Ukraine rivals form vote coalition

Party leaders join forces against the pro-Russian prime minister's party.

    The poster from Tymoshenko's campaign reads 'Justice, it is worth fighting for' [AFP]

    she said ahead of a rally of about 10,000 supporters in her western-Ukrainian stronghold of Lviv on Wednesday: "We should not lose time and immediately form a democratic coalition,"
     
    Her Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc is one of three main parties contesting Sunday's poll.

    Her party, Yushchenko's Our Ukraine and People's Self-Defence party, and Yanukovych's Regions party, are expected to capture most of Sunday's vote.

    Power struggle

    But none of the three parties is likely to win a clear majority in the Rada, or parliament, meaning coalition talks are inevitable.

    If the Western-leaning Tymoshenko and Yushchenko do join up, expectations are that Tymoshenko would seek to become prime minister, forcing pro-Moscow Yanukovych out of government and into opposition.

    Yanukovych has also wooed Yushchenko, saying that they could form a "broad coalition" in which he would retain the premiership.

    Sunday's election was called after a power struggle between Yanukovych and Yushchenko, who wants Ukraine to join Nato and the European Union.

    Tymoshenko used to serve as prime minister but was sacked after falling out with Yushchenko, her former ally in the "Orange Revolution".

    Police said about 10,000 people attended Tymoshenko's demonstration, where her supporters waved the party's red love-heart flag and placards inscribed: "Yulia for prime minister".

    SOURCE: Agencies


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