Critics say the failure to form a coalition would delay reforms further and boost support for populist parties who oppose the IMF-backed austerity measures.

 

Ukraine’s prospects of forming a new coalition — vital to get International Monetary Fund loan talks back on track — were thrown into fresh doubt on Tuesday after former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko demanded changes as the price of taking her Fatherland Party into an alliance.

 

Her remarks dampened expectations of an imminent deal to end months of political infighting that have thwarted Western-backed reform efforts, delaying billions of dollars in foreign loans.

 

The demands included scrapping a tax on pension payments and rolling back energy price hikes. The latter is a key reform implemented under Ukraine’s bailout program from the IMF.

 

The statement suggested a coalition was far from agreed upon despite an announcement by Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk’s party on Monday of a new alliance with Fatherland and Ukraine’s biggest faction, belonging to President Petro Poroshenko.

 

Tymoshenko’s Fatherland is the smallest party in parliament, but support by its 19 lawmakers is enough to give the coalition a majority when added to the 216 MPs from Poroshenko’s and Yatseniuk’s factions.

 

Failure to form a coalition could trigger snap parliamentary elections, but there is no clear deadline as the responsibility for calling the vote lies with Poroshenko.

 

Telesur