Viktor Yanukovych Prepares for Inauguration

President-elect Viktor Yanukovych will be inaugurated during a ceremony in the parliament on Thursday, February 25. Yanukovych will become the new president of Ukraine after swearing the oath of office at a ceremonial session of the parliament.

Yanukovych will place his hand on the Constitution of Ukraine and -- if he wishes -- the Peresopnytske Gospel and take the oath of office.

The chief justice of the Constitutional Court will administer the oath. In accordance with the Constitution, Yanukovych will swear to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine in all his actions.

He will also swear to ensure the wellbeing of the country and the prosperity of Ukrainians, abide by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, perform his duties in the interest of all his compatriots, and improve Ukraine's image in the world.

Yanukovych will later deliver an inauguration address to the nation, Ukrainian News Agency reports.

International officials attending the ceremony will include EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, US national security advisor James Jones and speaker of the Russian parliament Boris Gryzlov.

Yanukovych has called on Tymoshenko to resign gracefully after her narrow defeat by a margin of some 3.5 percent in February 7 presidential elections. But the charismatic prime minister has refused to budge.

Yanukovych will become Ukraine's fourth post-independence president after Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and the outgoing Yushchenko, who led the Orange Revolution of 2004 that raised hopes of reform but ultimately disappointed its supporters, Sydney Morning Herald informs.

"Tymoshenko is now doing her best to hamper Yanukovych’s attempts to set up a new majority," said Anastasia Golovach, an analyst at Renaissance Capital in Kiev. "It is difficult to predict when Yanukovych will be able to set up a new coalition. I think it will be next week. If by the end of next week he has reached a dead end, he will try to push early parliamentary elections," BusinessWeek informs.

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