Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's ruling coalition has collapsed and supporters of newly elected President Victor Yanukovych have begun the long process of forming a new government.
The following explains the complex procedure, lasting weeks if not months, that will either produce a new government or lead to a snap parliamentary election should factions in parliament fail to form a new coalition.Until such time, the current government remains in place.
Although the coalition is no longer functioning Tymoshenko remains prime minister and the government in place.
VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE
Parliament is scheduled to hold a vote of no confidence inTymoshenko's government on Wednesday. If passed, Tymoshenko and her cabinet remain in place asacting prime minister and acting ministers until a new government takes their place.
COALITION LEADS TO NEW GOVERNMENT
Both a formal announcement of the collapse of the coalition and a motion of no confidence in the government have to occur to allow Yanukovych's supporters to begin the long process of creating a new government.
Just a vote of no confidence would have given the right toTymoshenko's coalition to create a new government. Likewise, a declaration that the coalition collapsed does not lead automatically to the dismissal of the government. The two together, however, give any party in parliament the opportunity of trying to create a new coalition. As of Tuesday, factions have 30 days to create this new coalition, which then has to be approved by the assembly.
Next, the coalition has 60 days to create a new government, which also has to be approved by parliament.
PARTIES IN PARLIAMENT
Tymoshenko's coalition was formed from her own bloc, the OurUkraine-Self Defence faction of former President Victor Yushchenko and the bloc of Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn.
Yanukovych's Regions Party 171
Tymoshenko's bloc 151
Our Ukraine-Self Defence 71
Lytvyn's bloc 20
Independent members 7
Number needed for a majority 226
With such a division of seats in parliament, Yanukovych'sRegions Party needs to attract the support of the Communists, Lytvyn's bloc and almost a dozen of the Our Ukraine faction.
Political observers have said that horse trading will centre around winning the support of the Our Ukraine bloc which has been a bitter rival to the Regions Party.
Finding an acceptable candidate for the post of prime minister is key for parties to agree to join the coalition.
Three likely figures have been discussed -- businessman and former central bank chairman Serhiy Tigipko, former foreign minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Russian-born former finance minister Mykola Azarov, a close ally of Yanukovych.
Should factions in parliament fail to form a coalition, or anew coalition fail to form a government in the time allotted, Yanukovych as president has the right to call for a snap parliamentary election.
The election has to take place with 60 days of being called.
Once new parliamentarians are elected, the procedure of forming a new coalition and then a new government starts again.This scenario is dreaded by investors because it wouldprolong uncertainty in the crisis-hit country and further delaythe return of the International Monetary Fund, whose suspended bailout had been vital in propping up state finances.
WATCH OUT FOR.....
Tymoshenko's supporters and the prime minister herself have indicated should the vote of no confidence pass she would nolonger fulfil her duties and nor would her first deputy.Formally she cannot resign. But, as has happened before, adifferent acting prime minister may be appointed.
This would be one of two deputy prime ministers -- Hryhory Nemyrya, an English-speaker who deals with foreign issues or,more likely, Ivan Vasyunyk, in charge of preparations for the Euro 2012 soccer championship.
While this will have little impact on Yanukovych's effortsto consolidate his power, having a different, and little known figure as the head of government may become significant shouldthe process drag out for months and especially if it results in a new parliamentary election.
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