Business as usual for defiant Tymoshenko

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Business as usual for defiant Tymoshenko

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Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko today chaired a cabinet meeting, her first public appearance after losing a presidential run-off.

But she made no comment about two recent calls by her rival Viktor Yanukovich to resign.

Instead she further criticised the man she helped to oust in the 2004 Orange Revolution, accusing him of not being committed to campaign promises on social spending.

Tymoshenko’s deputy later told reporters the government does not plan to resign voluntarily.

Tymoshenko has launched legal action to contest the election results, which gave Yanukovich a slim majority.

The pro-Russian candidate has all but ruled out keeping Tymoshenko in her post, and his aides say she will be dismissed if she does not resign.

The political confrontation could be long and drawn out, however.

As well as having to deal with the legal challenge, Yanukovich would have to call early parliamentary elections if he or his choice of prime minister fails to put in place a coalition government.