On Tuesday 19th February, five orange VR deputies signed a statement quitting "Our Ukraine". Also leaving the party is creepy deputy head of the president's secretariat, and serial turncoat, Roman Bezsmertniy. All five VR deputies are Viktor Baloha stooges, some of whom did not sign the coalition agreement with BYuT; one is a godparent of one of Yush's children. As I mentioned in a previous blog, Baloha himself left party last Friday.
'Gazeta po Kiyevski' speculates on the significance of their decision.
In the opinion of one political scientist, PM YuliaTymoshenko has been given a warning from the pres's secretariat before her visit tomorrow to Moscow: "Don't mess with the terms agreed by Yushchenko and Putin on the gas deal". First-vice-premier Oleksandr Turchinov has stated earlier that she would be starting negotiations with Gazprom 'from scratch'.
There is to be no arbitrary removal of state property fund head Valentyna Semenyuk, no personnel changes unsanctioned by the president, and no voting in the VR with PoR [as happened last week] - otherwise Baloha's 'group of five' will not vote for laws sponsored by the prime minister e.g. the updated version of the budget.
The 'five' will remain unpunished - a precedent being set already by NUNS deputy Ivan Plyushch, who still holds his VR deputy mandate, despite not entering the new 'dem-koalitsiya'.
Baloha has been sounding out the possibility of forming a new pro-president party, and the resignation of the 'Baloha five' has most probably received the blessing of Yushchenko. More VR deputies and regional officials orientated to the President could begin to leave NSNU en masse soon - there are rumours of resignation letters lying on VR speaker Yatsenyuk's desk already. Who will join them from the other parties, LEvko wonders?
The 'democratic coalition' in the VR, and Tymoshenko's government are now looking highly vulnerable - making it particularly tough for Yulka T. in Moscow ..