Wednesday 17 January 2018

Yulia Tymoshenko withdraws backing from Ukraine parliament coalition

Yulia Tymoshenko has withdrawn her faction's backing for the Ukraine parliament's ruling coalition (AP)
Yulia Tymoshenko has withdrawn her faction's backing for the Ukraine parliament's ruling coalition (AP)

Ukraine experienced more political turmoil on Wednesday after former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko announced her faction was withdrawing from the governing coalition.

Ms Tymoshenko's move comes a day after prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk's cabinet survived a no-confidence vote in parliament even though a majority of lawmakers declared its work unsatisfactory.

The vote reflected lawmakers' fears it could lead to the collapse of the governing coalition and an early election.

Ms Tymoshenko, who leads the smallest of the four factions in the governing coalition, accused its participants of collusion in a bid to protect their seats.

"We consider it inadmissible to be part of that pack, which has no chance because it doesn't want to conduct reforms, protect Ukraine and renew our life," she said.

President Petro Poroshenko and Mr Yatsenyuk lead the largest factions in the coalition, with 217 of parliament's 450 seats between them.

They retain a majority in parliament despite the exit of Ms Tymoshenko's 19 seats.

Fierce spats involving members of Mr Yatsenyuk's and Mr Poroshenko's blocs amid Ukraine's economic woes have strained public patience and eroded the confidence of the west

Some well-respected reformers have resigned in the past week, citing their disenchantment with the government's cronyism and corruption.

Just before the no-confidence vote on Tuesday, Mr Poroshenko's spokesman urged Mr Yatsenyuk to resign, but many members of the president's faction then refrained from voting for the Cabinet's dismissal.

The fourth faction, Samopomich (Self Help), which has 26 seats, is now key to securing the governing coalition.

If it follows Ms Tymoshenko's example, the coalition will face a daunting task to find other partners to keep a majority and avoid a quick election.

Press Association

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