Monday, December 8, 2008

Chasing the shadow. What kind of Ukraine the President dreams of?

During these latter days I was thinking a lot, trying to find an answer to one question: what is the current political strategy of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko? It emerged that it’s not an easy thing to understand. Since the early autumn President is literally pushing Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to form a coalition with the Party of Regions (PR) of Viktor Yanukovych, one of the main “enemies” of Orange Revolution. But the same time Viktor Yushchenko doesn’t want this alliance to be formed.

In September 2008 Mr. Yushchenko accused Mrs. Tymoshenko in high treason (after the vote for cutting presidential powers, which she performed together with the PR on 2nd of September). Then members of President’s Our Ukraine party stepped out of so-called Democratic coalition with the Block of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYT), de facto blocking the work of Parliament. In October President issued a decree that dismissed Verkhovna Rada and scheduled early parliamentary election. In November Viktor Yushchenko decided to cast aside the idea of snap election, publicly encouraging parliamentary factions to unite for adoption of anti-crisis legislation in the name of state interests. The same time Our Ukraine party officially declared that it would not form a coalition with the BYT and/or the PR faction. No logic?

Mr. Yushchenko seems to be in favour of a kind of “technical coalition”, when parliamentary factions vote concordantly, but do not sign any coalition papers. Theoretically, it gives an opportunity for President to call early election any time he wants (it would be legitimate as the coalition doesn’t exist), and also to question the legitimacy of Government any day he’s in a mood for. Nevertheless, the BYT and the PR were close to accept the idea of "technical coalition", but… Viktor Yushchenko ruined it himself. He declared that only Our Ukraine faction should propose the candidacy for Speaker, which was unacceptable for the biggest parliamentary parties. As a result, the BYT and the PR announced their possible alliance, but President answered to that by calling the probable coalition “a danger for Ukrainian democracy”.

What is the President’s logic today, and what does he want to achieve in a long run? Igor Kril, member of the United Centre party founded by Head of the President’s Secretariat Viktor Baloha, gave a little hint on Friday, 5 December. Talking about a candidacy of Prime Minister, acceptable for his party, Mr. Kril said, the PM “should not run for President”. Which means that he/she will not be a competitor for Viktor Yushchenko in 2009. That gives us a tip, why President choose as his Speaker candidate Ivan Plushch, Soviet-times’ Communist Party activist, and now member of Our Ukraine – Mr. Plusch doesn’t have noticeable political ambitions.

The ideal system of top state authorities in Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko is dreaming of, should be built of modest “technical” people, and crowned by President. Any strong political player holding a key rating-forming position in Government or Parliament is a priory a threat for stability of the mentioned system. It is without doubt that Mr. Yushchenko will keep fighting these threats, using his favourite methods – false situational alliances, presidential veto, and a shadow of snap parliamentary poll. The endless circle may be broken only by presidential election (or Constitutional reform), which will mark a starting point for a new political game. Hopefully, it will be performed according to rules of democracy.

No comments: