Sunday, January 14, 2007

Yulka's gamble

On Friday, VR deputies overturned President Viktor Yushchenko's vetoing of a bill which increased the powers of the Cabinet of Ministers. BYuT sensationally voted with Yanukovych's PoR and so the 2/3rds of the total 450 deputies' votes required were comfortably exceeded.

In practice this means:

Appointment of a prime minister is not dependent on approval by the president;
the president losses control over the appointment of minister of foreign affairs, and minister of defence;
the president no longer has influence on the 'road map' because it will be the cabinet that submits a program for government activity for consideration to the VR;
and the president loses the levers to oust the cabinet or to influence the appointment of deputy ministers and lower order officials.

Tymoshenko explained that BYuT voted the way they did in order to 'bring order', and to prevent 'shame throughout the entire world caused by internal political scandals'. "We consider that people who personally ruined the first 'orange' team, who ruined everything they could ruin, who with their bare hands brought forward the candidature of prime minister Yanukovych, cannot reproach us for anything," she said, as a riposte to criticism from NU supporters.

Tymoshenko has in the past fought against any diminution of presidential powers, and even on Thursday BYuT submitted an appeal to the Constitutional Court to annul all political reforms, calling for early VR elections to take place. So what happened on Friday?

Since the orange revolution, Yushchenko has, in the eyes of many orange supporters, made so many [coerced?] political errors, that BYuT see him as a 'busted flush' [a poker term meaning someone or something that had great potential but ended up a useless failure] having no future prospects.

Clearly for Tymoshenko, always a high-stakes gambler, to gain power, she must defeat her biggest political enemies -Yanukovych and PoR. She is the only leader who could possibly benefit if early elections were to take place. 'Den' suggests maybe Friday's maneouver was an attempt to drive Yushchenko, from whom power is rapidly draining away, into a corner, and leave him no other card to play but to [somehow] force early VR elections.

Deputy head of the BYuT parliamentary fraction Mykola Tomenko, in an interview on Thursday regrets that early VR elections were not called immediately after the O.R. and thinks that there is a greater possibility of no early election than that of early elections taking place. But he does go on to say that he is convinced that the price of early VR elections would be early presidential elections. He does not think the Consitutional Court will make any radical decisions on the question of political reform, but will pass the buck back to the VR.

The 'new look' Tymoshenko - new hair-do - new boyfriend? New political tactical course?

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