Page last updated at 11:36 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Tymoshenko's ruling coalition in Ukraine collapses

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko
Yulia Tymoshenko has still not accepted election defeat

The ruling coalition of Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has disintegrated, according to the speaker of parliament, Volodymyr Lytvyn.

Mr Lytvyn said the coalition had failed to produce signatures from enough MPs to prove it had a majority.

Mrs Tymoshenko's government faces a no-confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday.

Ukraine's new President, Viktor Yanukovych, has said he wants to form a new coalition or call snap elections.

Mr Yanukovych was declared the winner of February's presidential election - a result Mrs Tymoshenko has refused to accept.

She has vowed to continue as prime minister - though it appears that some of her parliamentary allies may be deserting her.

The coalition was made up of Mrs Tymoshenko's own bloc, another bloc linked to the former President Viktor Yushchenko, and a third led by Mr Lytvyn himself.

Mr Yanukovych's Party of the Regions has been in opposition, but he wants to bring it into government.

Ukraine has been in political deadlock for several years, undermining its ability to deal with a severe economic crisis.

Analysts say as long as Mrs Tymoshenko still heads the government, her rivalry with the president is likely to lead to continuing stalemate.

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