Thursday, January 18, 2007

Speculation in the wake of recent events

Former Socialist big-shot and now vice-chairman of Yuliya T's 'Bat'kivshchyna' party, Yosyp Vinskyi, in an interview in 'Den' says he does not exclude the possibility of formation of a new coalition in the VR in the near future.

"I would not be surprised if 'Our Ukraine' returns to the position it maintained half a year ago. If they can come to an agreement with 'Regiony', then it is entirely possible that the existing [anti-crisis] coalition will break up, and a new majority will be created. I would not discount such a possibility. A significant portion of NU are gravitating away from being in opposition."

Vinskyi added that the president, "Would not want to hand over his powers, [but] would not want to be in a situation of permanent war [either, with PoR and the anti-crisis coalition]. A broad coalition with the participation of 'Our Ukraine' completely removes this problem. "

Such an arrangement, if it could be agreed, would make the president's life more comfortable. It would reduce the pressure on him resulting from PoR and BYuT's ganging up together in order to overcome the president's veto on the laws on the Ukrainian Cabinet, thus reducing further his power.

A presidential adviser Volodymyr Horbulin recently stated that Yushchenko and Tymoshenko are now 'finished for good' after last week's voting in the VR. BYuT are trying to force the president's hand into calling early VR elections. But as Vinskyi suggests, a PoR-NU deal could calm matters significantly - and keeps BYuT well away from the levers of governmental power.

A few suspicions are [almost inevitably] raised in an article in 'Internet Reporter' entitled 'For whom is the death of Kuchnaryov beneficial?'

Yevhen Kushnaryov who was shot and killed in a hunting accident a couple of days ago was probably the second most popular 'Regiony' figure after Yanukovych, so his passing, at first sight is a big loss to them. The author says that Kushnaryov headed the ideological wing of the party [as opposed to the more pragmatic business wing] and always maintained a firm anti-Yushchenko stance. He "was always firmly against any attempt to unite PoR with NU [in a grand coalition] - something oligarchs from both sides did not object to [and would have little problem with]."

Kushnaryov was a keen proponent of the federalisation of Ukraine and strongly supported the provision of second national language status for the Russian language. Whilst popular in the east and south of the country, these policies are regarded as being objectionable in other regions of the country. Now, after the death of Kusharyov, the more pragmatic blue and orange oligarchs will possibly find it easier to co-operate.

The author suggests there are unanswered questions about the shooting. What was Kushnaryov doing on a hunting trip in the midst of a political crisis between the VR and president, and at a time when the PM was out of the country in Turkey?

{LEvko thinks that in the Kharkiv oblast, where he was shot, Kushnaryov was almost 'god'. In any such a hunting party he would undoubtedly be 'top banana' - the centre of everyone's attention, and would probably have 'first shot' at any target. By most accounts he was an experienced hunter, as were members of the party. Pro-Russian extremist politician Nataliya Vitrenko suspects foul play too, so it probably was a tragic accident. Time will tell..}


Anonymous said...

Well, it sounds like a grand coalition between PoR and NSNU would squeeze out the Communists and maybe the Socialists and be preferable to the status quo.

Its tragic, but somehow I doubt being in a position of political power lets one keep one's hands clean and those that live by the gun will more likely die by the gun.


Anonymous said...

LEvko your wide range of sources esp. Internet sites for news are really amazing and impressive! Kudos to you for being in the loop - most people just know Mirror Weekly and UA Pravda.

No surprise re: conspiracy theories surrounding his death. I just hope that this leads to every single big shot donating funds and checking out the facilities at their local hospital with an end to upgrade and improve as they should not trust that there will be time or the possibility to air lift to Germany or Austria. (Know not for whom the bell tolls, etc.)

Anonymous said...

In ans. to the ques. What was he doing on a hunting trip, ...
I would say that he was out for R&R. As for PoR, it actually was not a political crisis. It has been an ongoing situation for weeks now and from the point of view of PoR they were holding the winning hand and just waiting for it to play out. K's death has changed the game quite considerably and would say that his death has initiated a crisis.

So far PoR like a juggernaut has been maintaining the upper hand even with Moroz doing side deals and glitches like Pres. veto. What most impresses me re: PoR is the ability to overcome obstacles. From being the opposition to being to being in govt. From not having 300 votes, now they do. In such a SHORT span of time. Theirs is a "learning" organizational culture which ensures that any stratagem tried against them, will be countered in future. (And it really terrifies me as they are so darn effective. Who exactly is the brains of the operation?)

LEvko said...

Thanks for the comments.

I thought it odd that after a long Christmas break which ended after the Orthodox Christmas day on 7th January, senior politicians would still be taking more R&R, particularly as PM Yanukovych was out of the country in Turkey on an important visit.

Yes PoR are disciplined. They are run according to one observer, 'by the rules of the zona - i.e. prison inmate rules'. They have a clear strategy which they are following remorsely, and have a strong financial base for making pay-offs. Their political foes are hopelessly split, and the president, is seems to me, is compromised. [See Taras Kuzio's latest blog on this ] Hence BYuT's desperate efforts to get early VR elections called.

There are slight fissures in PoR between the idealists of whom Kuchnaryov was one, and the pragmatic oligarchs and their mouthpieces eg Rayisa Bohatyrova.

Kushnaryov's death means that PoR will be even more a Donetsk-based party. He always worked hard to protect the interests of the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, so his loss will be felt by local businessmen who have now lost their most powerful patron at the highest levels of Ukrainian government.

Anonymous said...

So do you think the PoR discipline will prevent more heads rolling as a result of this very suspicious mess...

I wouldn't believe any of their fabricated story and so it seems hard to me for the PoR idealists/nondonestkyis to do so, as well...