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OUR UKRAINE GOES INTO OPPOSITION. The pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc announced on July 18 that it accepts the legitimacy of the "anti-crisis" coalition, international media reported. "We welcome the announcement of an anti-crisis coalition [led by the Party of the Regions] today in strict accordance with the constitution and [parliamentary] regulations," Our Ukraine lawmaker Anatoliy Kinakh was quoted as saying on Ukrainian television. "Proceeding from this fact, as of today the faction of the Our Ukraine political bloc is officially in a minority; that is, in opposition." The news announcement came as Ukraine's parliament convened for the first time since July 11, when proceedings were disrupted after the anti-crisis coalition comprising the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party, and the Communist Party was announced. Verkhovna Rada speaker Oleksandr Moroz claimed on July 17 that Our Ukraine was holding talks with the anti-crisis coalition on ways of possibly joining it, Interfax and "Ukrayinska pravda" reported. Our Ukraine denied that it was holding any such talks. AM
YULIYA TYMOSHENKO CALLS ON OUR UKRAINE TO GIVE UP SEATS. Yuliya Tymoshenko, head of the eponymous parliamentary caucus, announced on July 18 from the parliamentary rostrum that her bloc is prepared to give up seats in order to dissolve the parliament, "Ukrayinska pravda" website reported. Tymoshenko called on Our Ukraine to do the same. "There are two options to change situation in the parliament: either the president dissolves the parliament or 150 lawmakers vacate their seats, thus making the parliament illegitimate," Tymoshenko said. However, Verkhovna Rada speaker Moroz countered that such a move would not result in the dissolution of the parliament because "another 150 lawmakers will arrive courtesy of a decision by the Central Election Committee" replacing the lawmakers with others on the party list. Supporters of Tymoshenko and of the youth organization Pora attempted on July 18 to block access to the parliament building, but the effort failed to disrupt the proceedings. AM
YANUKOVYCH EXPECTS TO BECOME UKRAINIAN PREMIER SOON. Viktor Yanukovych, the leader of the Party of Regions, has said he objects to the possible dissolution of parliament, and hopes that President Viktor Yushchenko will endorse his bid for the premiership within 15 days, Interfax reported on July 17. Yanukovych also said he fully trusts Moroz, whose Socialist Party was part of the Orange coalition before abruptly switching sides and joining the anti-crisis coalition after Moroz was elected Verkhovna Rada speaker. "We have no doubts about him. He shares our point of view that the coalition should be expanded," Yanukovych said. AM