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TYMOSHENKO BLOC BOYCOTTS UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT. Yuliya Tymoshenko, leader of the eponymous parliamentary caucus, announced on July 20 that her bloc will boycott parliament sessions until July 25, the day Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko gains the right to dissolve parliament, Ukrainian media reported. Tymoshenko also called on "patriots in Our Ukraine" to prevent the nomination of the Party of Regions head Viktor Yanukovych as prime minister. "We stopped using megaphones...only so society might hear the rustle of dollars in this hall," Tymoshenko said in reference to the bloc's disruption of parliamentary proceedings on July 11. She added that "dollars are still distributed among parliamentary seats in order to broaden the communist-oligarchic majority." Following Tymoshenko's speech, members of her bloc covered their seats in the Verkhovna Rada hall with a huge Ukrainian flag. AM
PARTY OF REGIONS HEAD CONVINCED OUR UKRAINE WILL JOIN ANTI-CRISIS COALITION. Party of Regions head Yanukovych has said he is convinced that the Our Ukraine bloc will join the "anti-crisis" coalition made up of his party, the Socialist Party, and the Communist Party, "Ukrayinska pravda" reported on July 20. Our Ukraine announced on July 18 that it has officially shifted to the opposition. However, Yanukovych continues to claim that talks between the coalition and Our Ukraine representatives are in progress and that "most probably Our Ukraine will become a member of the coalition." Yanukovych also said that posts in the future government will be distributed among members of the coalition. AM
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT PRAISES PARLIAMENT FOR RESUMING PROCEEDINGS. Ukrainian President Yushchenko on July 19 praised the Verkhovna Rada for resuming its work, Interfax reported the same day, citing presidential spokeswoman Iryna Herashchenko. "President Yushchenko welcomes the fact that lawmakers respect the Ukrainian Constitution and have announced the formation of a new coalition in accordance with the procedural rules," she said. Herashchenko confirmed that the presidential Secretariat on July 18 received the anti-crisis coalition's submission of the name of Party of Regions head Yanukovych as its candidate for prime minister, adding that the president will consider it within 15 days. AM
SPEAKER SAYS UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT WILL APPOINT GOVERNMENT WITHIN DAYS. Verkhovna Rada speaker Oleksandr Moroz announced on July 19 that the parliament might form a new government within two days, Interfax reported the same day. "The president should perform his constitutional function -- to submit the coalition-designated nomination of the premier to the parliament," Moroz said. Moroz believes that if President Yushchenko endorses Yanukovych's candidacy, "he will gain in support both in the Verkhovna Rada and in the government." Moroz also said he opposes the possibility of dissolving parliament, and declared he will "defend all the democratic achievements, including those for which Maydan [Independence Square in Kyiv, a symbol of Orange Revolution] was fighting." AM
PRO-MOSCOW CHECHEN LEADER ADVOCATES EXTENDING AMNESTY... Echoing comments by Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov, Alu Alkhanov advocated on July 19 extending until January 1, 2007, the amnesty proposed on July 15 by Federal Security Service Director Nikolai Patrushev for Chechen resistance fighters, Interfax reported. Patrushev called on members of "illegal armed formations" to lay down their arms by August 1; Kadyrov proposed extending that deadline to September 1 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," July 17, 2006). In an interview with a Ukrainian journal reposted on July 19 on chechenpress.org, Chechen Republic Ichkeria Foreign Minister Akhmed Zakayev said such amnesty offers help to strengthen the resistance in that many amnestied resistance fighters subsequently join the Chechen police force but continue supporting the resistance by supplying information and facilitating its movements. LF