Segodnya runs a punchy piece on the turmoil inside the parliamentary coalition, together with a telling photograph. I've done a rough translation:
BYuT Dismisses Baloha - Baloha dismisses ministers
The crisis in the coalition continues. Tymoshenko and "Regiony" take on the Constitution.
The ruling coalition teeters on the edge of collapse. BYuT and NUNS gathered on Monday in order to resolve their differences - but they failed.
The reason for the current crisis in relations between the orange parties was the intention of BYuT, together with "Regiony", to jointly create a Temporary Special Commission on the introduction of changes to the Constitution. NUNS interpreted this treachery - "Byutovtsi" were going behind the back of their partner in the coalition and negotiating with "Donetski", not about trivial matters, but about reducing the powers of the President in fundamental law. "Nasheukraintsy" even warned that the unity of coalition was hanging by a thread.
On Monday BYuT seemingly stepped back from the brink and declared that it would not vote on Tuesday for the Temporary Special Commission. But BYuT 'NarDep' Andriy Shkil' yesterday stated that in any event, the commission would be created, perhaps just a little later.
Curiously, also on Monday, deputies from BYuT, and part of NUNS fraction, in particular representatives from "People's Self-defence", proposed a motion that the President sack the head of his secretariat Viktor Baloha and his deputy Ihor Pukshin. But Andriy Shkil' revealed that NUNS categorically refused even to put the motion to a vote.
Yesterday Baloha himself spoke of dismissals too, but not of his own. The head of Presidential Secretariat demanded the resignation of representatives of the economic bloc of the KabMin (assigned on BYuT's quota) because it was they that were responsible for inflation reaching unprecedented heights.
On Tuesday both BYuT and NUNS claimed that they had found surprising unanimity on the question of conducting the Kyiv mayoral elections in two rounds (which would guarantee the defeat of the current mayor Chernovetsky). "When we voted at our coalition meeting on this question, there was no-one against this, and no-one abstained, so a decision was made that we would support this bill. "To prevent talk of some in NUNS not voting, I could say that the document would be supported by the Litvin bloc, so there would have been sufficient votes in any event," said mayoral candidate from NU, Mykola Katerynchuk.
At first 'Regionaly' collected around the VR platform in order to prevent the coalition voting for this law, but later reconsidered. "The President himself is against this law and against mayoral elections in stages. Even if they gather sufficient votes in order to pass the law, the President will not sign it off. Yushchenko still controls a large part of his fraction, and I think, the law will not be accepted," said PoR 'NarDep' Mikhail Chechetov.
Deputy PM Oleksandr Turchynov responded brusquely to Baloha's demands: "Again we do not accept the subsequent portion of dirt that pours from the walls of the President's Secretariat this week. We consider it beneath our dignity to give an assessment to this Bank Street intellect." [The pres's secretariat is located on Bank Street]
LEvko considers that changes to the Constitution would need to be supported by over 300 votes in the 450 seat parliament, or by a majority of citizens in any referendum, so an all-party commission on Constitutional reform doesn't seem to be too crazy an idea..