Yulia Tymochenko has said she is preparing to become the next prime minister of Ukraine after exit polls gave her more than 30 per cent of the vote in the country’s legislative elections.
One of the leading figures of the Orange revolution, she said her priorities were restoring good relations with Russia, preserving gas supplies, dialogue with European Union, constitutional reform and negotiations with the World Trade Organisation.
Although only second, Tymochenko is the best placed of the three major candidates to create a ruling coalition and claimed she had the right to form the next government because her party and the supporters of President Viktor Yushenko were two pillars of the same movement and their combined forces had won.
Ukraine television puts outgoing prime minister Vikto Yanukovych’s Regions group on 35.2 per cent, Timoshenko’s block on 31.5 per cent and president Yushenko’s Our Ukraine group on just 13.4 per cent.
Two smaller parties are believed to have crossed the three percent threshold needed to win a place in the 450 seat parliament. The communists with 5.1 per cent and the Lytvn bloc of former parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn with 3.7 percent.