Friday, October 10, 2008

Viktor Yushchenko is shuffling cards

On 8 October 2008 president of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko made a big step on a way of weakening Ukrainian democracy and making impossible a fast realisation of essential reforms to fight the consequences of the world financial crisis. He dismissed current parliament (Verkhovna Rada) of 6th convocation and scheduled early election on 7 December 2008.

Now Ukraine is facing a new period of political instability and huge economic problems. The most sorrowful is the fact that after the election nothing is going to change in political spectrum of our country. The same deck of political playing cards will just be set out in a bit different position. The main malaise of Ukrainian domestic politics – artificially built party system and deep personal antagonism between the “first faces” of leading political powers – is not going to be eliminated.

Ukraine is in need of reforms of electoral law, Ukraine is in need of new faces and new ideas, but will face almost the same unstable parliament and a new problem with forming a ruling parliamentary coalition (taking to the account future presidential election in early 2010 and a fact that Viktor Yuschenko, prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the leader of the biggest (and very much supported) Party of Regions Viktor Yanukovich are planning to ballot for a presidential post).

While reading a book on history of Ottoman Empire yesterday, I liked one paragraph telling about the sultan Abdülhamit II, who is known as the last Ottoman sultan with absolute power. Enthroned in 1876, Abdülhamit II received a nickname “Bloody” for his rough style of country management. Trying to correspond to the time in late 1876 he gave to the Ottoman Empire a constitution and assembled a parliament, but only to dismiss it very fast (in 1878) and to re-establish an autocratic rule. Between 1878 and 1908 there were also 18 changes of government in Istanbul. But the dismissed grand viziers (prime ministers) were not leaving top-politics – they were kept in reserve and from time to time were put back on their positions.

In independent democratic Ukraine after the Orange revolution at the end of 2004, there were 4 governments – a new government was formed every year. First post-revolution prime minister was Yulia Timoshenko (as the closest Yushchenko’s ally). In September 2005 she was dismissed and Yuri Yehanurov took her place. Then in July 2006 (as a result of the victory of Party of Regions at parliamentary elections) Viktor Yanukovich became a prime minister. After the early election of September 2007, this post was gained again by Yulia Tymochenko. While dismissing parliament on 8 October 2008, president Yushchenko accused Yulia Tymoshenko in a failure of a ruling “Orange”coalition in early September.

It is really very sad that the political situation in Ukraine – after Orange Maydan and so huge democratic opportunities – with every day much more resembles the history of the empire, falling into pieces.

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