Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yushchenko's plan - Spring elections?

The proUA website carries an interesting piece claiming that last Sunday president Yushchenko and PM Tymoshenko met secretly at his dacha outside Kyiv and agreed to postpone the snap VR elections, currently pencilled in for December 14th, until Spring next year.

In order that the president does not lose face and is not seen to be caving in to Tymoshenko's demands, his excuse will be that the recently-agreed IMF credit of $16.5 billion for Ukraine is to be granted on the condition that political stability is returned, i.e. no early elections to take place.

After many weeks of claims from the president that the only one way out of the current crisis is early elections, deputy head of the president's secretariat Maryna Stavniychuk said, "[VR] Deputies should urgently determine a way out of the political impasse : either [agree to] extraordinary elections, or to the formation of a new parliamentary coalition."

A new BYuT/NUNS/Lytvyn bloc [BL] coalition had been proposed but NUNS did not see any point in giving Lytvyn the VR speaker's chair. Arseniy Yatsenyuk has pretended to have forgotten about his own resignation declaration.

Sources of proUA believe that delaying the elections until Spring suits both presidential and prime minster's teams. Despite major problems being faced by the KabMin, Tymoshenko nevertheless remains in charge of government.

The delay gives the presidential camp time to plan and prepare a new political strategy. If after the elections Yushchenko decides to enter into a coalition with Party of Regions this could be done indirectly via new political groupings led by Yatsenyuk, Chernovetsky, and possibly Baloha, or combinations of these, thus reducing the damage to his own political image before the presidental race begins.

There are already signs that the president and PM's agreement was very loose and not all details were 'nailed down'. Had everything been agreed, an anti-recessionary package should have been introduced in the parliament agenda signed by speaker Yatsenyuk or Yushchenko. After the collective voting of BYuT, NUNS and BL, a new coalition could have been created between them.

However Yatsenyuk proposed that the first point of the agenda would be NUNS deputy Ksenya Lyapina's bill ensuring funds for the early elections would be provided. BYuT deputy Roman Zabzalyuk admitted that he and fellow BYuT deputies blocked the parliamentary podium as the first words of the speaker had been uttered: "as a reflex reaction." There had been no instructions previously contrary to this from above.

After this a presidential anti-recessionary project appeared, which BYuT agreed to support in the evening, but it did not mention money for elections, so there is currently no threat of dispersal of parliament.

proUA suggests that the following Yushchenko-Akhmetov post election plan is gradually coming into focus:

Snap election in the Spring.

Viktor Yanukovich to be dumped by Party of Regions so that he does not get the PM's chair, and later the presidential chair, enhancing Yushchenko's chances of a second term.

Creation of a broad coalition of PoR and pro-presidential fractions possibly headed by Baloha, Yatsenyuk, Bohatyryova, Chernovetsky,and Lytvyn.

Formation of a Cabinet of Ministers led by a 'technical' prime minister, e.g. Raisa Bohatyroyova or Yuriy Yekhanurov. The president receives the 'humanitarian' ministries and the Ministry of Finance, so retaining control of taxation, customs, etc.

Andrey Klyuyev, who has been spotted in the last few days in the company of Rinat Ahmetov, to be first deputy-premier. Yuriy Boyko to head the 'fuel-energy complex'. Akhmetov man Volodymyr Kozak, who two years ago was chairman of the Ukrainian State Railroad, to head the ministry of transport and communications.

Such a scenario would be very attractive to Yushchenko and one for which he may well be striving.

p.s. There has already been speculation that a workable new parliamentary coalition could possibly be assembled by individual deputies, even though such coalitions are supposed to be formed by political fractions.

p.p.s. For those interested on what really happened in South Ossetia check out this BBC article with links to follow-on video and radio programme.

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