Ukraine president summons parties for talks on govt

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KIEV, Oct 8 (Reuters) President Viktor Yushchenko summoned parties with seats in a new parliament to talks today on forming a government after telling his main ''orange'' ally that a broad, country-wide consensus was vital for Ukraine's future.

Parties linked to the ''Orange Revolution'' that swept Yushchenko to power in 2004 won a slender majority of 228 seats in last week's poll, two more than required for most votes.

A bloc led by the president's newly-reconciled ally, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, made big gains as the top ''orange'' party. But the Regions Party of the president's rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, remained in first place.

Yushchenko backed an ''orange'' government in the campaign, almost certainly to be led by Tymoshenko. But following the election, he said three major parties should take part in talks on a coalition to ensure stability.

Yushchenko summoned to the talks at 1730 hrs IST the Regions Party, Tymoshenko's bloc, the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party as well and the small centrist bloc of former parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn.

But the Communist Party, a junior member of the prime minister's outgoing coalition, received no invitation.

Tymoshenko was the president's first ''orange'' prime minister in 2005 after he took office following weeks of ''orange'' protests against fraud in a presidential election, but she was sacked within eight months, Yanukovich, defeated by Yushchenko in the presidential election, bounced back to become prime minister after a parliamentary election last year.

REUTERS PD BD1458

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