As a counterpoint to my previous blog, which suggested a PoR/BYuT/BL parliamentary coalition could be soon formed, I've loosely translated portions of an article in the latest 'Segodnya' below:
Yushchenko will lead "Our Ukraine" to "Regiony"
NUNS held a closed congress last Saturday during which president Yushchenko replaced Vyacheslav Kyrylenko as chairman of the party. It increases the probability of creation of a coalition between NUNS, Lytvyn's Bloc [BL] and Party of Regions.
As head of the party, Yushchenko will be able to influence his parliamentary deputies more firmly. According to one expert, his appointment signifies that the president now intends to crush any resistance in his party - previously some NUNS deputies led by its previous head Vyacheslav Kyrylenko categorically refused to go on a coalition with Party of Regions. Now there was a possibility of such wide coalition, and it could mean postponement of any early election. But if a coalition does not materialize, the expert considers the most probable time for parliamentary elections to be the second half of February 2009. A decree naming the date could appear in the middle of December.
The next two weeks will be decisive for the political process - in parliament the question on appointing a new parliamentary speaker should be dealt with. Yushchenko has let it know that he sees Ivan Plyushch, who is a proponent of a broad coalition but against early elections, in that position.
However, events could develop under other scenario if 'Regional' Oleksandr Lavrynovych becomes the speaker, in which case, there is a probability that coalition a PoR-BYuT coalition could be created.
Nevertheless in 'Regiony' there is still no stable majority of deputies supporting union either with BYuT or with Our Ukraine. And position of Lytvyn, who could miss out on his fervent desire to become speaker, is not clear. Without Lytvyn and the pro-presidential part NUNS, the 226 deputy threshold required to form a parliamentary majority cannot be cleared.