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Update: Ukraine's Yanukovych to be sworn in on Feb. 25

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Feb. 16, 2010, 5:09 p.m. | Politics — by Reuters

Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday fixed Feb. 25 for the inauguration of Victor Yanukovych as president.
© AP

Reuters

Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday, Feb. 16, fixed Feb. 25 for the inauguration of Victor Yanukovych as president. Parliament seethed with intrigue as the two camps sought to outmanoeuvre each other -- she seeking to hold on to her power base as prime minister while his party tried to forge a new alliance to get her out.

With Tymoshenko maintaining Yanukovych is not legitimately elected and refusing to quit as prime minister, tension ran high and prospects for a quick return to stability appeared dim.

Uncertainty after a bitter campaign which resulted in a narrow win for Yanukovych on Feb. 7 is threatening any early economic recovery in the former Soviet state of 46 million.

Preliminary official figures on Tuesday showed the economy shrank 15 percent in 2009 -- the worst contraction in 15 years -- after growing 2.1 percent the previous year.

The stand-off, which outgoing President Victor Yushchenko scornfully called "a fight of two elephants", is delaying passage of the 2010 budget. It also threatens resumption of IMF lending under a $16.4 billion bail-out programme which was suspended last year.


LEGAL CHALLENGE

Supporters of Tymoshenko were due to lodge their challenge to the election result in a Kyiv high court on Tuesday. She says that electoral fraud by the Yanukovych camp -- which is denied by him -- robbed her of victory.

Major powers including the United States, Russia and the European Union have congratulated Yanukovych, a 59-year-old ex-mechanic from the Donbass mining region, on his victory.

Western governments have privately urged the charismatic 49-year-old Tymoshenko to accept defeat in the best interests of Ukraine. But though commentators say Tymoshenko is unlikely to succeed in her legal challenge, she did not appear on Tuesday to be ready to back down.

She met members of factions allied with her BYuT bloc, urging them to hold together to ensure a balanced power structure which was not "monopolised" by Yanukovych's Regions Party backers.

Parliamentary sources said Yanukovych's team were also active in horse-trading as they tried to forge a coalition that could produce an acceptable successor to Tymoshenko.

If the Yanukovych team succeeds, a vote of no confidence in Tymoshenko's government is likely to follow.

Most analysts believe Tymoshenko will end up as opposition leader but say it is hard to predict how long the conflict might last.


DANGERS FOR YULIA?

One analyst saw risks for Tymoshenko if she continued her defiance. "The clear danger in such a strategy is that she is tarnished as not being willing to accept the democratic choice of the people of Ukraine," Tim Ash of Royal Bank of Scotland wrote in a research note.

"She will have to weigh the pro and cons ... carefully, as the Tymoshenko brand, which is iconic, could be terminally damaged in the process," wrote Ash.

Yanukovych is expected to tilt Ukraine back towards Russia, its former imperial master, after five years of estrangement under the pro-Western Yushchenko.

Yanukovych, in an interview on Russian television at the weekend, said Kyiv may allow Moscow to station its Black Sea Fleet in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol beyond a scheduled withdrawal in 2017.

He also said he would revive the idea of a gas consortium that would allow Moscow to co-manage Ukrainian pipelines.

At a parting news conference, Yushchenko said appointing Tymoshenko -- his ally in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought him to power -- as prime minister in 2007 had been his "greatest mistake".
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Feb. 16, 2010, 2:28 p.m.    

Yulia Tymoshenko - literally one of the world's biggest thieves - accusing somebody else of cheating.

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Anonymous Feb. 16, 2010, 2:31 p.m.    

and a political prostitute also.

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Anonymous Feb. 17, 2010, 7:54 a.m.    

Dont forget Yanukovych the convicted criminal and fraudster who tried to rig the last presidential elections.

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Anonymous Feb. 16, 2010, 6:35 p.m.    

Yanukovich won't be able to form a new coalition - this Parliament is history.

My prediction for the makeup of the new VR after the snap election:

Regions: 140

BYT: 100 (yes BYT is going to get spanked)

Tigipko: 80

Yatseniuk: 40

Kirilenko: 30 (or Kirilenko &amp; Yush together 60)

Yuschenko: 30

Communists:30

The good news is that a new Parliament will be more economically progressive than the current bunch of apes up on Hrushevskiy Street.

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Anonymous Feb. 16, 2010, 6:38 p.m.    

In the next government will be Regions and Tigipko, and they can then choose either Yatseniuk or one of the nat-dem blocs as the 3rd partner...

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Anonymous Feb. 16, 2010, 7:31 p.m.    

A recent article has interesting arguments about Yshchenko's alleged poisoning.

1, It suggest the current Yuschenko is not the real Yuschenko, but a body double. Like Hitler, churchil Bush, and any other state leader used body doubles (people who resemble/ exactly look like them) to avoid assassination attempts. So this guh had some plastic surgery to make him look like the real Yushcenko.

2.Only the Akericans benefited from this alleged poisening, and they had used the allefged piosoning incident to cancel the democratically elected Yanukovich, and have a re run of the election which the Americans fixed. If Yushcenko had not been piosined by the americans, the Americans could not have possibly get such public reaction, that allowed them to force their agenda through.

3. If any opponent of Yushenko wanted to put him away, they would had shot him dead, why bother with poisions that are not always fatal.

4. If any one person benefited from this alleged poisoning incident, that was Tymuchenko..

Under no circumstances did the Russians nor the Ukrainian oppisition had anything to do with this. It was an American inside job, like Sept 11, like the US 's own attack on Pearl Harbour, and so on.

Thus the article concludes, the people that allegedly poisoned Yushenko, did not really want him dead, just to create public outcry/diversion, but at the end, both Yushenko ad Timusenko had poisoned each others life big time.

What went on between them behind close doors, try to kill each other, came to lite and manifested in the last 5 years,, the hatred, jelousy, resentment between them.

Strangely, they are still laying flowers together at memorial services, and blame others for their own misfortunes...

Both are unfaithful jelous lovers, and both are deadly and unreliable, in hatred and in love....the article concluded.

This makes sence,,, it could be the truth, but then again, who wants to hear a plain truth when we have western media where truth is undemocratic and unheard of........&quot;&quot;&quot;&quot;&quot;&quot;&quot;&quot; !!!!!

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Anonymous Feb. 17, 2010, 1:21 a.m.    

Long live president Yanukovych

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Anonymous Feb. 17, 2010, 1:23 a.m.    

yusk never got poisoned it was American labs that make fake results. But to tell you the truth a think the orgage revolution was good because it showed Ukraine what the west really is evil. Yusk is like Yeltsin which made Russia anti west.

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Anonymous Feb. 17, 2010, 7:56 a.m.    

Hold the inauguration on the 29th of February.

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Anonymous Feb. 17, 2010, 7:57 a.m.    

.

Better still 1st of April. The day of fools!

.

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