Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hedging bets in the VR

Yesterday the Verkhovna Rada reconvened, despite three [or was it four?] presidential decrees to dissolve it.

The excellent Sonya Koshkina suggests possible motives for the gathering in her article: 'The emergency landing-strip under the [glass VR] cupola.' Here is the gist:

PoR are now less confident of victory in the September 30th elections because their ratings are falling.

The motives of the Socialists to attend the VR sitting is clear - they, more than likely, will be wiped out in the elections so are desperate to hang on as long as possible.

The Communists have limited access to Ukrainian media, so the VR provides them with a good platform for presenting their political program, and for free publicity.

With "Regiony" the situation is more interesting. In August VR speaker San Sanych [Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Moroz] attempted to call an extraordinary VR sitting, but was not supported by his PoR allies. They had made an agreement with the president not to do so, and at that time were confident of victory on 30th September. This has now changed.

Participation in the current VR sessions could provide 'insurance' in the event of an unfavorable result in the elections. As Oleksandr Moroz clearly explained in his opening address yesterday, if the sixth [i.e. the next] convocation is for any reason, not legitimate, then the current convocation will remain in place.

Viktor Yanukovych is attempting to shore up support for PoR by acting as the 'voice of authority'. He has travelling up and down the country, ostensibly as PM, but in reality has been campaigning as head of PoR. Wherever he has turned up with 'a working visit', a public meeting has taken place - contrary to the law. Whether his meetings have gained any support for PoR is debatable.

Koshkina considers that if their stay in power starts to appear questionable, 'Regiony' will undoubtedly do everything to 'scupper' the result of the election. An analogous scenario is being planned by BYuT with NU-NS in order not to remain in opposition. Three weeks remain before polling day - sufficent time to radically alter the course of respective campaigning.

The report of yesterday's VR proceedings posted on the official VR portal site states:
"In the event that the authority of the new parliament does not come about, then the parliament elected on 26th March 2006 will [continue] to act in full accordance to the Basic Laws [of Ukraine]. And the guarantee for this will be today's [4th September] sitting, as well as others, including pleniary forms of work."

'Gazeta po Kiyevki' asked its website visitors: 'Why is the VR gathering again?' The most popular reply [53.5%] was, 'To arrange free electioneering from the VR podium, and to irritate the president.'

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