Ukraine:prime minister informs his Cabinet prepared to resign on first day of new parliament session

Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov sent a letter to parliament asking them to accept the Cabinet's resignation during its first session on May 25, spokesman Valentyn Mandriyivsky said.

Previously, the president appointed the prime minister and the Cabinet, but those powers passed to parliament this year. It was likely that Yekhanurov and the rest of the Cabinet -  many members of which also won parliamentary seats -  would be asked to stay on until a new Cabinet was formed. Under Ukrainian law, no one is allowed to hold seats in two branches of power simultaneously, but Yekhanurov and the others could hold both under a temporary arrangement.

The lawmakers have two months from their first parliamentary session to put the new government into place.

Since no party won a majority in the March 26 elections, Ukraine's political leaders have been tasked with difficult political negotiations to put together a ruling coalition that would serve under President Viktor Yushchenko, the AP reports.

The estranged parties that led the 2004 Orange Revolution mass protests, which helped usher Yushchenko into power, have been struggling to reunite to keep Ukraine on its pro-Western path. But mutual suspicion remains high, particularly after the team's brutal disintegration last fall as they traded allegations of corruption and incompetence.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, whose bloc won more votes than Yushchenko's, has demanded that she be returned to the premier's post, and that the Socialists, who also participated in the 2004 mass rallies, take on the powerful parliamentary speaker's job. Tymoshenko suggested Monday that an agreement was close, but in a sign that all was still not decided, she repeated her demand that Yushchenko's party needs to learn to compromise.