Ukraine's president nominates Yulia Tymoshenko for PM

Parliament expected to vote on the proposal later Thursday.

Yulia Tymoshenko 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Yulia Tymoshenko 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday nominated his Orange Revolution ally Yulia Tymoshenko to be Ukraine's prime minister, his office said. Acting on a proposal from the newly formed government coalition, Yushchenko asked the parliament to approve Tymoshenko, the presidential office said in a statement. A vote was expected later Thursday. The nomination follows a deal struck last week by Yushchenko's and Tymoshenko's parties to forge a fragile majority coalition, raising hopes for an end to months of political turmoil. Tymoshenko is one of the most polarizing figures in Ukraine, adored by her supporters, but regarded with suspicion even by other Western-oriented politicians and despised by backers of Viktor Yanukovych, the outgoing, Moscow-oriented prime minister. She was the most energetic and visible figure of the 2004 Orange Revolution protests that helped propel Yushchenko to the presidency in a tense battle with Yanukovych. Yushchenko named Tymoshenko prime minister in early 2005, but sacked her just seven months later amid a fracas in the Orange camp. Yanukovych became prime minister last year after his Party of Regions won the largest share of votes in a parliamentary election. Earlier this year, Yushchenko accused Yanukovych of attempting an illegal power grab and ordered new elections, which were held in September. Yanukovych's party again got the largest number of votes in September, but not enough to overcome the combined seats won by Yushchenko's and Tymoshenko's parties. Yushchenko has publicly thrown his support behind Tymoshenko as premier, but may be reluctant to see her gain too much power as she is a potential rival for the presidency in 2009.