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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT SESSION ERUPTS INTO CHAOS. Members of the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc successfully disrupted the July 11 session of the Verkhovna Rada, using megaphones equipped with sirens to drown out speaker Oleksandr Moroz, international news agencies reported. Scuffles broke out when members of the Socialist Party attempted to seize the megaphones, and when members of the Party of Regions and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc jostled in their efforts to control the rostrum. The Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc was protesting the recent formation of an "anti-crisis" coalition, comprising the Socialist Party, the Party of Regions, and the Communist Party. During the session, Socialist Party leader Moroz officially announced the alliance. Two weeks earlier, the Socialist Party joined an "Orange" coalition with Our Ukraine and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (see "RFE/RL Newsline," June 22, 2006). Moroz reportedly sent the new coalition's nomination for prime minister -- Party of Regions head Viktor Yanukovych -- to President Viktor Yushchenko. Outside the parliament building, more than 1,000 supporters of the Party of Regions gathered to support the new coalition and Yanukovych's candidacy for the premiership. They held placards such as: "Broad Coalition -- Guarantor of State Stability," "Yuliya, Calm Down," "Viktors, Unite Ukraine." AM
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT QUESTIONS LEGITIMACY OF ANTI-CRISIS COALITION. President Yushchenko has questioned the legitimacy of the coalition created by the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party, and the Communist Party, Interfax reported on July 11, quoting presidential administration head Oleh Rybachuk. Rybachuk said that the formation of the new "anti-crisis" coalition violates the constitution and the parliament's regulations. Under the regulations, any participant that wants to leave a coalition is required to inform its partners about the move 10 days in advance. Rybachuk also noted that the president will on July 25 have the right to dissolve parliament if a government is not formed by that time. AM
YULIYA TYMOSHENKO BLOC EXPECTS NEW ELECTIONS IN UKRAINE. Yuliya Tymoshenko announced on July 11 that her bloc does not intend to participate in future parliament sessions and is preparing for new elections, Interfax reported. "If fresh elections take place, our party will definitely participate in them in a union with Our Ukraine," she said, adding that the Socialist Party and the Communist Party could find themselves left out of parliament following new elections. "I believe that if early elections are held, a transition to a two-party system will take place," Tymoshenko said. AM
PARTY OF REGIONS CALLS ON YUSHCHENKO TO END CONFRONTATION IN UKRAINE. Yevhen Kushnariov, the leader of the Party of Regions caucus in the Verkhovna Rada, has urged President Yushchenko to call on the Our Ukraine faction to abandon what he described as its policy of confrontation, Interfax reported on July 11. "The people of Ukraine are witnessing an aggressive and meaningless position assumed by two 'Orange' factions -- the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine. They are demonstrating their cynicism and their profound disrespect for the Ukrainian parliament and the Ukrainian people," Kushnariov said. He admitted that the Party of Regions has blocked the work of the Verkhovna Rada, but said it did so to protest attempts by the Orange coalition to violate the country's constitution and to usurp power. AM
TURKMEN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR NEW ENERGY POLICY. Saparmurat Niyazov told a cabinet meeting on July 10 that Turkmenistan needs a new energy policy, ITAR-TASS reported. Noting that energy disputes are a "big problem," Niyazov stated that, "There are some people who say that difficulties emerged because Turkmenistan raised somewhat the price for gas." He continued, "In order to remove this misunderstanding and empty talk, we should work out and debate a state policy in this sphere at the People's Council to be held in Ashgabat on October 25." Turkmenistan recently attempted to raise the price of gas it sells to Russia and Ukraine from $65 per 1,000 cubic meters to $100, but talks have failed to secure a new agreement with either country (see "RFE/RL Newsline," June 30 and July 3, 2006). DK