In an interview in the latest 'Russian Newsweek', PM Yulia Tymoshenko admits co-operating with Party of Regions on voting through a new Constitution in parliament [which would turn Ukraine into a parliamentary republic].
BYuT and PoR would have to vote together for this to be achieved. Currently PoR have 175 parliamentary deputies, BYuT 156, NUNS 72, Communists 27 and Lytvyn's block 27.
"Qu: But why are you still working on the new constitution [project] but are not introducing it in parliament?
Because we as yet are not sure of sufficient support of two thirds of parliament. But we are conducting constant consultations in regard to this.
Qu: Even with Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions?
Yes, and with them also.
Qu: Through mediators?
No, directly; as with all other fractions in parliament. And as soon as we feel we have 300 votes of support, we will immediately submit a new Constitution [in parliament]."
The 'Russian Newsweek' article claims that BYuT and PoR have secretly collaborated in writing a draft version of the Ukrainian Constitution, and a mutually agreed new version is all but ready.
Tymoshenko recently said, "I consider a parliamentary form of government will finally bring order and everything will be as in Germany. There will be a Chancellor and there will be order." On what will happen with the head of state, she remarks, "the president remains and countrywide elections for the presidency remain, but with reduced powers, as in Poland."
[The interview itself is posted on Tymoshenko's official website too.]
President Yushchenko, on the other hand, needs Party of Regions for his broad coalition project..which would drive Tymoshenko back into opposition. When Yushchenko was asked by journalists last Sunday for whom he was voting in Kyiv's mayoral elections, he replied: " My affections have changed somewhat, because I'm convinced the processes that have taken place in Kyiv lead us to change our assessment and our approaches to those political forces who even a few years ago where popular and synchronous with the feelings of people. So, its changed somewhat, but I voted with my conscience."
Not much of an endorsement for the orange candidates then..
p.s. The appointment of the former executive director of controversial gas-trading company RosUkrEnergo, and also Gazprom board member, Konstantin Chuychenko, as an aide to the Russian president and head of the audit directorate of the presidential secretariat indicatesthat RosUkrEnergo is "not just an appendage to theRussian authorities but is the authorities", according Vitaliy Portnikov writing in 'Kontrakty'. He warns that politicians who want to establish a "transparent scheme" for gas deliveriesto Ukraine should now recognize that they are fighting against the Kremlin, and it is not clear that this is a fight Ukraine can win. [Thanks Peter]