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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 16:39 GMT
Ukraine MPs block Tymoshenko bid
Yulia Tymoshenko with party colleagues in parliament
Yulia Tymoshenko is tipped to be a future presidential candidate
Ukraine's parliament has narrowly rejected the candidacy of Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko for the post of prime minister.

Ms Tymoshenko got 225 votes - one short of the absolute majority needed.

Pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko had nominated his Orange Revolution ally for the post. She served as prime minister in 2005.

Her bloc and the pro-Yushchenko Our Ukraine party have a majority of just two in the assembly.

One MP complained that his electronic voting card did not work, and the parliament speaker has called for a second vote after a short recess.

Ukraine has been plagued by months of political deadlock.

Mr Yushchenko and Ms Tymoshenko led the 2004 Orange Revolution, which ousted a Moscow-backed presidential candidate.

Ukraine parliament
The Orange allies have a slim majority in Ukraine's parliament

Mr Yushchenko became president after huge street protests, defeating his bitter rival, Viktor Yanukovych, whose election had been widely condemned as fraudulent.

Mr Yushchenko named Ms Tymoshenko prime minister in early 2005, but sacked her in September of that year amid divisions in the Orange camp.

Since then, the president has had fraught relations with Mr Yanukovych, who became prime minister after staging a dramatic political comeback in parliamentary elections last year.

His Party of the Regions came top again in early parliamentary elections in September, called to resolve the country's political crisis.

But the party did not win enough seats to form a government.

The rival pro-Western parties then agreed to form a coalition.

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