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Ukraine's firebrand ex-PM pressures president

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Ukraine's firebrand ex-PM pressures president

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Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is pushing for her job back. She has made that her condition for joining an alliance to keep Moscow-backed parties out of office. Her party, the Tymoshenko Bloc, is placed second with just over 23 per cent of the vote according to preliminary results.

If it joins forces with the third- and fourth-placed parties, they could restore an “Orange” coalition. Signs have quickly emerged though of the rivalry between Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko, who sacked her last September. Yushchenko, head of the Our Ukraine party which trailed a poor third in Sunday’s vote with around 16 per cent, is seeking more time. He says serious coalition talks can only get underway when the count is over. The two leaders will meet today. In a remarkable comeback, Viktor Yanukovich’s Regions Party is top overall with just under 28 per cent of the vote. Yanukovich is also urging parties to team up with him, though he too says formal negotiations should await the final vote count. So far, a little over half the ballots have been counted. Full results are expected over the next two or three days.