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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH OPPOSITION LEADER. Before the parliamentary approval of Yuriy Yekhanurov as Ukraine's new prime minister on 22 September (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 September 2005), President Viktor Yushchenko signed a memorandum of understanding with Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych, his main rival in the 2004 presidential election, Ukrainian media reported. The memorandum stresses the need for a constructive dialogue between the opposition and the government and lists 10 key political tasks for the country. In particular, the signatories agree that it is necessary to implement political reform; stop political repressions against the opposition; urgently adopt laws on the opposition, the Cabinet of Ministers, and the president; form the cabinet on the principles of separation of the government from business; and conduct the parliamentary and local elections on 26 March 2006 without the government's interference and use of "administrative resources." The memorandum was also signed by Yekhanurov. All 50 deputies from the Party of Regions parliamentary caucus voted for Yekhanurov. JM
UKRAINE'S ORANGE REVOLUTION SAID TO HAVE CONCLUDED WITH 'POLITICAL ROTATION.' Mykola Tomenko, former deputy prime minister in the recently sacked cabinet of Yuliya Tymoshenko, told journalists in Kyiv on 22 September that the memorandum signed earlier the same day between President Yushchenko and former Prime Minister Yanukovych marks the beginning of a new stage in Ukraine that "will definitely not be linked to the Orange Revolution," the "Ukrayinska pravda" website (http://www.pravda.com.ua) reported. "A political rotation took place in Viktor Yushchenko's team, in consequence of which the place of Yuliya Tymoshenko was taken by [former President] Leonid Kuchma and [former Prime Minister] Viktor Yanukovych," Tomenko said. "The presidential team, because of moral and ethical considerations, should now eliminate references to the values of the revolutionary Maydan [Kyiv's Independence Square] from its public vocabulary, inasmuch as the key slogan on the Maydan was 'Down with Kuchma and Yanukovych!' not 'Yes for Kuchma and Yanukovych!'" Tomenko added. JM
NEW UKRAINIAN PREMIER PROMISES PRAGMATIC CABINET. At a news conference following his approval as prime minister in the Verkhovna Rada on 22 September, Yuriy Yekhanurov said he will announce the composition of a new cabinet from Dnipropetrovsk next week, Ukrainian media reported. "It will be a powerful signal for large, medium, and small businesses as well as for our partners abroad," Yekhanurov pledged. "At least one-third of the government will be made up of people who have nothing to do with politics. These people will be able to pragmatically resolve the problems that are facing Ukraine." According to Yekhanurov's income declaration that was made public in parliament on 21 September, he earned 154,500 hryvnyas ($30,600) in 2004. His predecessor, Yuliya Tymoshenko, declared an income of 60,700 hryvnyas in 2004. JM
CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES NEW PREMIER, TOO. The Crimean Supreme Council on 23 September voted by 90 to two, with seven abstentions, to appoint Anatoliy Burdyuhov as the new prime minister of the autonomous republic, Interfax-Ukraine reported. Burdyuhov heads the Crimean branch of the Ukrainian National Bank and the Our Ukraine People's Union group in the Crimean legislature. He will replace Anatoliy Matviyenko who resigned earlier this week (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 September 2005). JM
TRANSDNIESTER LAUNCHES PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION CAMPAIGN. The unrecognized Transdniestrian Moldovan Republic on 22 September inaugurated a campaign for the 11 December legislative elections, Moldovan news agencies reported. Transdniestrians are to elect deputies to the 43-seat Supreme Soviet in 43 single-mandate constituencies by casting votes at 278 polling stations. The Transdniestrian authorities allocated 1.2 million Transdniestrian rubles ($150,000) for the campaign. On 21 September, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and his Moldovan counterpart, Vladimir Voronin, appealed to the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to organize democratic elections in Transdniester as part of the so-called Yushchenko plan to settle the Transdniester conflict(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 September 2005). OSCE Mission in Moldova head William Hill commented on 22 September that the preparation of parliamentary elections in Transdniester by the OSCE would require eight months at a minimum. The OSCE will not monitor the 11 December ballot in Transdniester. JM