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Ukraine president rejects new coalition government, PM nominee as illegal

[JURIST] A legal advisor to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website; JURIST news archive] said Friday that the plan of Yushchenko's political rival and former Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yanukovych [BBC profile], to directly nominate a candidate to serve as prime minister could constitute an illegal seizure of power. Ukraine is in the midst of a political crisis as no government has been formed since parliamentary elections were held in March. Yanukovych's Party of the Regions [party website] formed a coalition last week with the Socialist and Communist parties, giving them a majority of seats in parliament, but Yushchenko has said that the coalition was illegally formed [press release], insisting that MPs from the Socialist parties did not comply [UNIAN report] with Article 83 of the Ukrainian Constitution [text] and parliamentary procedure rules when withdrawing from the former coalition and joining Yanukovych. Yushchenko has accordingly refused to appoint Yanukovych [BBC report], who narrowly lost the presidential election to Yushchenko in 2004, as prime minister. Members of Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada [official website], on Friday urged Yushchenko to either dissolve parliament and call new elections or find a way to work with the new coalition [AP report].

Yushchenko was sworn in as Ukraine's president [JURIST report] in January 2005 on the wings of the populist "Orange Revolution" [BBC timeline]. Yushchenko won a re-vote against Yanukovych after the results of an initial presidential poll favoring Yanukovych were thrown out by the country's Supreme Court following fraud allegations. In the current political upheaval, the parliament voted to dissolve the government [JURIST report] in January, prompting Yushchenko to criticize constitutional changes that have limited his authority and expanded parliamentary powers and to call for a new constitution [JURIST reports]. RIA Novosti has more.

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