Ukraine’s former prime minister’s pro-Russia party appears to have won the largest share of the vote in a general election but may still be left out in the cold. As pro-Western liberals prepare for coalition talks, Viktor Yanukovich is also looking for partners.
“We are prepared to work with any political party that is elected into parliament for the good of the country,” he said. “There is no compromise that we would not make for the sake of calm, stability and the resurrection of Ukraine’s economic strength.” Sacked as prime minister last year by President Viktor Yushchenko, Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc is in a comfortable second place, according to early results. Talks between her camp and Yushchenko’s on a possible coalition have been delayed. Last night, she told a news conference that the three liberal parties had won enough votes to form a majority government. The poll outcome was a double humiliation for Yushchenko, who beat Yanukovich in a re-run of the presidential election but then fell out with Tymoshenko. His popularity has plunged over the past year after months of in-fighting and sluggish economic growth. It is likely Tymoshenko will want to return to the post of prime minister.