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EU welcomes Ukraine coalition
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10:23, October 17, 2007

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The European Union (EU) on Tuesday hailed the formation of a coalition in Ukraine, said a news release from the European Commission.

"I welcome the announcement of the formation of a coalition following September's early parliamentary elections in Ukraine," EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner was quoted as saying.

She said the future government "has important challenges ahead as Ukraine continues down the path of constitutional, political, and economic reform."

"The European Commission stands side-by-side with Ukraine as it continues along this path of reform," Ferrero-Waldner added.

Ukraine's two major political parties, Yulia Tymoshenko's bloc and Our Ukraine Party-People's Self-Defense, signed a draft deal on a coalition government Monday.

Under the deal, the Tymoshenko party will nominate the candidate for prime minister while Our Ukraine will nominate the candidate for speaker of parliament.

Tymoshenko expressed hope that parliament members of the Lytvin party, led by former parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvin, would also join the coalition.

In last month's legislative elections, Ukrainian Prime Minister Victor Yanukovych's Regions Party garnered 175 seats out of a total of 450, Tymoshenko's bloc won 156, Our Ukraine 72, the Communists 27 and the Lytvin party 20.

The total seats won by Tymoshenko's bloc and Our Ukraine surpassed the majority, enabling them to establish a coalition government.

Source: Xinhua

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