The faultlines running through Ukraine’s pro-western parties have taken their toll on the government once again. The country is facing the prospect of new elections after President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko failed to patch up their differences and hold their their coalition together.
The horse trading now begins in parliament. The parties have 30 days to conjure up a new coalition from within their ranks. But analysts are not optimistic. The president and prime minister’s groups are divided of several issues. Things came to a head when Tymoshenko backed an opposition move to reduce presidential powers.
The leader of the main pro-Russian opposition party has appealed for a broad coalition, but this too seems unlikely. Weary Ukrainians have been here before. “This will end with the situation. The same fight for money, the same fight for power,” said one woman in a Kiev street. “It’s another crisis generated by the current political system. It’s a system that will provoke crises time and time again,” said a man voicing the exasperation of many.
The political paralysis that regularly brings Ukraine to a halt is preventing the country from advancing ties with the West and repairing relations with Russia.