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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Parliament Deadlocked on Vote for Premier

KIEV -- Ukraine's parliament remained deadlocked Wednesday as President Viktor Yushchenko made a second attempt to restore Yulia Tymoshenko as prime minister.

Tymoshenko won 225 votes Tuesday -- one short of the required majority in the 450-seat assembly -- and accused her rivals of tampering with the electronic voting system.

The outcome exposed the fragile nature of a majority coalition of 227 members to emerge from a September election of two parties linked to the 2004 Orange Revolution -- Tymoshenko's bloc and the president's Our Ukraine party.

Yushchenko submitted her name to the chamber a second time. But Tymoshenko's rivals blocked a morning session, saying they first wanted to elect senior parliamentary officials.

Outgoing Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, the president's rival in the 2004 upheaval, said the vote showed an Orange coalition had no long-term future. He repeated his call for a broad coalition with some of the president's supporters.

"Voters must at last get an answer on whether the coalition of 227 can take responsibility for the country. Let's make it clear, yes or no," he said in a statement on his web site.

Tymoshenko said all 227 coalition members had backed her Tuesday but that tampering prevented two from registering their votes. The SBU security service, called to investigate, said checks revealed no interference in the system.

Oleksander Turchinov, one of Tymoshenko's most trusted lieutenants, told reporters that any new vote should be taken by a show of hands.

"The speaker would call on each member to raise his hand and say publicly whether he is for or against," Turchinov said.

Tymoshenko roused crowds in central Kiev in 2004 by denouncing a rigged election, eventually overturned by a court ruling after Yanukovych was initially declared the winner.

Named prime minister days after Yushchenko's inauguration, she spooked investors in office by calling for a major review of privatizations and by trying to influence markets. The two reconciled for the September election that had been intended to end three years of political turmoil.

Analysts and observers were divided on whether Tymoshenko's setback in the parliament on Tuesday amounted to a betrayal by some members of the coalition said to be wary of her return to power or the result of a genuine technical problem.

"As deputies did not publicly withdraw their support for Tymoshenko, this amounts to proof that she has the 227 votes," analyst Olexiy Haran at the Kiev Mohyla University told Radio Era late Tuesday.

Other analysts said the events bore out skeptics' predictions that members of Our Ukraine considered Tymoshenko an unpredictable populist and would opt for a broad coalition.

Parliamentary Speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk, an ally of the president, was elected to his post last week with 227 votes, an indication that Orange unity was tight.