Tymoshenko seeks backing again as Ukrainian PM
KIEV (Reuters) - Fiery Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko seeks endorsement a second time from parliament on Tuesday to get her old job back as prime minister.
Tymoshenko, known for her stirring oratory in the 2004 pro-Western "Orange Revolution" and who was premier for seven months before being sacked by President Viktor Yushchenko, heads an "orange" coalition of her own bloc and his Our Ukraine party.
Together, the two hold 227 seats in parliament, one more than needed for approval.
Tymoshenko, now backed again by Yushchenko, fell short by a single vote last week, plunging the assembly into tumult. She blamed the outcome on tampering with the electronic voting system, though officials found no evidence.
This time, the vote will be conducted by a show of hands.
"Orange" backers say their unity will hold and Tymoshenko, distinctive in her peasant braid and designer suits, will take over as premier. Deputies will then vote on her cabinet.
"Tymoshenko has a very good chance of becoming premier. She has the votes and a tested system of mobilisation," said Volodymyr Fesenko, director of the Penta think tank.
"The only problem remains hidden opposition ... some deputies could find a pretext to be absent from the chamber."
Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, a senior leader of Our Ukraine, on Monday promised full support for Tymoshenko and her cabinet.
Tymoshenko roused crowds in 2004 alongside Yushchenko by denouncing a rigged election, overturned by a court ruling after Yanukovich was initially declared the winner.
Named premier within days of Yushchenko's inauguration, she spooked investors by proposing a major review of privatisations and was dismissed after her government split into rival camps. The two reconciled for the September election that produced the narrow "orange" majority.
After Tymoshenko's setback in parliament last week, the president submitted her name a second time.
The opposition, led by the Regions Party of outgoing Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, blocked proceedings for a time last week, but has said it will allow Tuesday's debate to proceed.
Yanukovich, the president's rival from 2004, says the "orange" majority is unstable and calls instead for a "broad coalition" grouping his party and allies of the president.
In a weekend interview, Yushchenko said Tymoshenko had learned from her experience of 2005: "She and I spoke a great deal. I heard what I believe to be sincere statements. I am convinced that lessons have been learned."
(Writing by Ron Popeski; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
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