Ukraine appears to be heading towards new elections as the political deadlock shows no signs of being broken. Scuffles in parliament this week again graphically underscored the divisions that came to the fore in the “Orange Revolution” of 2004. Members from so-called orange groups clashed with deputies who had just formed an alliance dubbed the blue coalition.
That grouping has a working majority in parliament, but here’s the rub – their proposed prime minister, Viktor Yanukovich, is the arch-rival of president Viktor Yushchenko.
He has refused to appoint his opponent, saying that the blue coalition was not formed constitutionally and that he wants a prime minister capable of uniting the country.
He stated: “If this crisis cannot be resolved by other means I will not hesitate to exercise my right to dissolve parliament and call elections.”
But it is hard to see which figure could unite Ukraine. The turmoil seems only to have reinforced the split between the Russian-speaking industrial regions in the east which back Yanukovich, and the more nationalist western areas that support Yushchenko and tilt closer to NATO and the European Union.