Ukraine: Lawmakers call for new elections

The formation of a political coalition between the eastern Ukrainian industrialists of the Party of Regions, the Communists and the Socialists, first announced Friday, was a dramatic turnabout for this ex-Soviet republic less than two years after the mass street protests of the Orange Revolution.

A government led by the three parties would present a major obstacle to the president's efforts to steer the country toward reform and closer ties with Western Europe. Under such a government, Ukraine would also likely slip back under the influence of Moscow, the AP reports.

Ukraine's political life has been paralyzed since no party won a majority in the March 26 parliamentary election, and both sides of the political divide have struggled to assemble a governing coalition.

The new coalition was created after Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz abandoned his former Orange Revolution allies to be named parliament speaker and form the new union, which he said was the only way to unite the country. Moroz formally announced the coalition in the chaotic session hall Tuesday to applause from the coalition members - and shouts of "Judas" from his former allies, according to the AP.

The alliance, which would control 240 of parliament's 450 seats, is also likely to bring about the return to power of Viktor Yanukovych, whose fraud-marred presidential victory in 2004 sparked the massive street protests that became known as the Orange Revolution.