5 Mar 2010

Ukraine PM forced out

12:53 pm on 5 March 2010

Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been voted out of office, marking the end of the Orange Revolution era. Parliament has passed a motion of no-confidence in her government.

The BBC reports she and her cabinet now have to resign, while President Viktor Yanukovych will try to assemble a new coalition in parliament.

If he fails, snap parliamentary elections will be held.

However, despite her defeat in recent presidential elections, Mrs Tymoshenko resisted pressure to quit, saying she would go into opposition only as a last resort.

But before a vote was taken on Wednesday she indicated her cabinet would not stay on as a caretaker government.

The motion was passed, with the backing of 243 out of the chamber's 450 MPs. Seven members of Mrs Tymoshenko's bloc reportedly voted against her.

Mr Yanukovych now has 30 days to form a new coalition, and 60 days to form a government. If he is unable to do so, he will have to call fresh parliamentary elections.

Deadlock over

The BBC reports a three-way rivalry between Mrs Tymoshenko, Mr Yanukovych and former President Viktor Yushchenko left Ukraine in political deadlock for several years, undermining its ability to deal with a severe economic crisis.

Analysts said the stalemate was likely to continue as long as Mrs Tymoshenko remained at the head of the government.