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Page last updated at 18:03 GMT, Sunday, 7 June 2009 19:03 UK

Ukraine PM to stand for president

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko
Yulia Tymoshenko wants to abolish direct presidential elections

Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko has announced that she will stand in presidential elections in 2010.

In a statement broadcast live on national TV, Ms Tymoshenko said she would win, adding that the government would be "strong and not venal".

The prime minister was one of the leaders of the 2004 Orange Revolution, but her alliance with current President Viktor Yushchenko has become a rivalry.

Scandals have left Ukraine without foreign, defence and finance ministers.

Defence Minister Yuri Yekhanurov, seen as an ally of Mr Yushchenko, was sacked by MPs on Friday in a motion put forward by Ms Tymoshenko's allies.

Mr Yushchenko has been critical of plans by Ms Tymoshenko and opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych in order to amend the constitution to abolish direct presidential elections.

The president has already said he will stand again in the January elections.

Correspondents say his rivalry with Ms Tymoshenko has paralysed the workings of government.



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