Ukraine Faces Early Election as Coalition Falls

Feuding between pro-Western leaders leads to collapse
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2008 6:47 AM CDT
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko gestures speaking at a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008.   (AP Photo/Mykhailo Markiv, Ukrainian Presidential Press Service)
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(Newser) – The government of Ukraine collapsed today after a falling out between the country's two pro-Western leaders, Bloomberg reports. President Viktor Yushchenko pulled his party out of the government of PM Yulia Tymoshenko last week after she tried to strip him of some of his powers. While Tymoshenko could try to form a new government with pro-Russian parties, the most likely outcome is early elections.

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko teamed up in 2004 during the Orange Revolution, the bloodless protest movement that brought them to power. But the pair have become fierce rivals, with each accusing the other of corruption and incompetence. Many say the Russia-Georgia conflict was the last straw: he accused her of appeasing Russia, while she told him that he was dragging Ukraine into war.