The Ukrainian President has had a fresh blow dealt to his hopes of restoring order to his beleaguered administration.
Ukraine’s Parliament has rejected Viktor Yushchenko’s candidate to replace his former Orange Revolution ally, Yulia Tymoshenko, as prime minister.
Yuri Yekhanurov, who is widely seen as a pre-election stopgap, had promised deputies that he would ensure stability after a spate of poor economic results.
He also said he would remove at least two thirds of outgoing ministers saying there would be no room for those deeply involved in business.
But his arguments fail to convince the chamber. Yekhanurov won the backing of 223 lawmakers – just three shy of the required majority after four groups abstained in the vote.
It is unclear what step Yushchenko will now take. He could propose Yekhanurov a second time and hope to win more support through negotiation, or he could choose to opt for a new candidate.