Thursday, November 13, 2008

Parliament of Ukraine: The Headless Horseman

Speaker of Ukrainian Parliament Arseniy Yatseniuk was dismissed on 12 November. New Head of the Parliament has not been elected yet. Ukrainian parliamentary democracy – and a country Ukraine as a whole – is now again on the political hook. Analysing current situation I’ve got at least 14 conclusions:

1. As for today in the Parliament of Ukraine does exist a kind of “technical coalition”, which actually dismissed Speaker Yatseniuk.

2. This “technical coalition” consists of the factions of the Party of Regions (175 Members of Parliament), the Communist Party (27 MPs), the Block of Volodymyr Lytvyn (20 MPs), and also of a part of pro-presidential faction “Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence” (OU-PS), loyal to Head of the Secretariat of President Viktor Baloha (10 MPs; total size of faction – 72 MPs), plus at least 1 MP from the Block of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYT, total size of faction – 156 MPs).
Total: 233 MPs.

3. Only 217 of MPs didn’t vote for the Speaker’s dismissal. It is not enough to build an “alternative” coalition.

4. Despite of all the controversial info on alleged quarrel between President Yushchenko and Head of his staff Viktor Baloha, Viktor Yushchenko was definitely involved in taking the decision on the future of Arseniy Yatseniuk.

5. At least, Viktor Yushchenko did know that the Speaker was to be dismissed. Otherwise Mr. Baloha would not be a Chief of President’s Secretariat anymore.

6. Viktor Baloha may lose his post after signing the coalition treaty with the mentioned group of factions leaded by the Party of Regions. But it will not mean that President is against this coalition.

7. The “technical coalition” may stay only “technical” or “situational”, and may never be legalised. As to my mind, a new coalition treaty will not be signed in the mentioned format, but all the “company” may vote synchronically on previously discussed and agreed questions.

8. The “technical coalition” will elect so-called “Technical Speaker” to make the results of their votes legitimate. (As only Head of the Parliament have a right to sign laws adopted by the Parliament).

9. The formation of technical or real coalition without BYT does not mean an inevitable dismissal of the Government and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. It’s easy to blame her in all the negative consequences of economy crisis and to harm her rating for future (current) presidential race.

10. Using a well known in Ukraine word combination “I’m leaving (this post. – T.V.) to be back”, previously used by Presidents Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko, ex-Speaker Arseniy Yatseniuk have declared his presidential ambitions. But they are unlikely to be realised in a nearest future.

11. Yulia Tymoshenko already blamed President for a “betrayal” and for a “final ruining of any hope on a democratic coalition revival”. There at least two ways for her now: to make a “technical arrangement” with a “technical coalition”, and to stay in power or to fight with the Party of Regions and their new friends publicly, which will lead to resignation of the Government.

12. Third way, profitable for Julia Tymoshenko – snap parliamentary election. Her recent rhetoric (as well as the statements of members of BYT) shows that she may choose this way, trying to look as an innocent victim of President’s game.

13. Early parliamentary elections are inevitable. But the poll will definitely not happen this year. All the politicians need time for more populism.

14. Ukraine is in urgent need of a new generation of politicians to overcome “dirty game” tendencies, deep-rooted in Ukrainian politics.

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