Ukraine is once again teetering on the brink of a political crisis after reports that the governing coalition has collapsed.
Speaking in a televised interview, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko accused pro-Western President Viktor Yuschenko of sabotaging the government for his own gain.
“The real reason why the president has declared himself against me and the coalition is his desire to win the next presidential election in 2010.”
Yushchenko had earlier threatened to call an election after accusing Tymoshenko of trying to wreck the ruling coalition by joining forces with rivals.
“There has been a constitutional coup, the democratic coalition is broken. Tymoshenko’s party united with the pro-Russian Party of Regions and a new coalition was born,” said Yushchenko.
Under the constitution, the government has 10 days to work out its differences. After that, if parliament does not create a new coalition within 30 days, an election can be called.
If the parliament is dissolved, Ukraine could be facing its third general election since the 2004 Orange Revolution that swept Yushchenko to power.
This latest twist comes ahead of a planned visit to Ukraine today by US Vice-President Dick Cheney, aimed at showing support for Kiev’s pro-Western stance.