Mykola Tomenko, a top ally of would-be prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, said participants had been unable to open the meeting because the leader of the pro-Russian opposition Party of Regions, Viktor Yanukovych, had not showed up. The discussion is "losing any sense," Tomenko said.
But Taras Chornovil, a top lawmaker from the Party of Regions, said that the round table was to have been between experts, with the leaders "appearing for the cameras after all the documents were coordinated."
The Party of Regions began blocking the parliamentary podium last week as the new coalition planned a vote on naming Tymoshenko prime minister. The party won the most votes in the March parliamentary election but has been shut out of power after the three parties that led the 2004 Orange Revolution formed a coalition.
The Party of Regions objects to a coalition proposal to hold the votes on the prime minister and the parliamentary speaker on a single ballot - in violation of parliamentary rules. Such a ballot would benefit the Orange allies because it increases the likelihood of Poroshenko, according to the AP.
The Party of Regions has also demanded the chairmanships of key parliamentary committees and the appointment of its members as governors in the eastern and southern regions it dominates, sparking Orange coalition accusations of blackmail. The coalition is considering giving the Party of Regions mostly deputy chairmanships.
Yushchenko last week called for the round table between all political forces to find a way out of the political crisis. The proposition was welcomed by the coalition and opposition.
After it turned out that Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov included the Fonbet betting company in the list of backbone enterprises that can count on state support, everyone started talking about these bookmakers.