"The system was not working," Oleg Bilorus, a deputy from the Tymoshenko Bloc, told parliament television.

Volodymyr Silenko, another member of her party, said: "It's not the lawmakers that malfunctioned, it's the machine. It was programmed for 225 votes."

Another vote is expected but no time was given for it to be held.

Orange alliance

The coalition between the two "Orange Revolution" allies was reformed after parliamentary elections in September, but some of the animosity which grew between the two groups after they formed an alliance in 2004 appears to remain.

Tymoshenko became Ukraine's prime minister after Yushchenko won a re-run of a disputed presidential election, but the two quickly fell out and their partneship collapsed. 

"Shame and mockery will be brought upon them every day if they fail to understand that we need a broad coalition in parliament"

Anna Herman, senior member of the Regions Party
The Regions Party of Viktor Yanukovich, who lost to Yushchenko in the re-run and was prime minister until September's election, said Tuesday's vote showed that the "orange" coalition was unstable.

It renewed calls for a "broad coalition" in which its members would join forces with the president's allies.
   
"A coalition built on an advantage of two votes is no coalition," Anna Herman, a senior member of the Regions Party, said.
   
"Shame and mockery will be brought upon them every day if they fail to understand that we need a broad coalition in parliament."

Tymoshenko told parliament before the vote that she would unite a country divided between a nationalist west and Russian-speaking eastern regions that identify more closely with Russia.
   
"When the national team is playing we must all cheer in the same way," she told the assembly.
   
"I want a national team to be born so that we are able to turn Ukraine into a strong European state ... The main task of our team, our government, must be the introduction of clear, professional changes in every sphere of our lives."