Yushchenko Gives Coalition Time

KIEV -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko gave party leaders more time on Wednesday to find a way to restore or replace Ukraine's governing orange coalition and avert a new election.

Yushchenko made the offer at last-ditch talks to stem almost continuous political turmoil since he was swept to power by mass pro-Western "Orange Revolution" protests in 2004.

Long at odds with his estranged ally, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Yushchenko had earlier suggested that he would call a new election if no deal was reached at Wednesday's meeting.

"I will give you this time," Yushchenko told parliamentary leaders without specifying how long, according to his web site. "It is important after today's consultations to take initiative so that leaders in parliament can find a way out of the stalemate."

Yushchenko has paid scant heed to calls by Tymoshenko to patch up differences and reinstate their parties' coalition.

The constitution allows 30 days after a coalition collapses to find a new governing team, after which the president must consult party leaders before dissolving the chamber.