Wednesday, November 12, 2008

VR sacks speaker amidst shameful scenes

Today VR speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk 'had his chair pulled from under him', with the assistance of votes from pres. secretariat head Viktor Baloha's 'Yedynyi Tsentr' boys, even though Yatsenyuk was considered to be one of Yushchenko's 'blue-eyed' favourites.

The BBC have posted a video of today's scenes in the VR. They are reminiscent of an ice hockey brawl.

The president repudiates Yulia Tymoshenko's allegations that he was behind Yatsenyuk's "absolutely shameful" sacking. "I don't want to comment on this opinion - I have no respect for it because it is a cynical, lying, bribed position - its aim is to provide a smokescreen for the person undertaking these troublemaking schemes," said the president.

Some observers have noted that to date the president has neither condemned 'Yedynyi Tsentr' for voting with PoR, the Communists and Lytvyn's bloc, nor has sprung to the defence of Yatsenyuk in any meaningful manner. Others say that Yatsenyuk's proposal that parliament, government, and the president of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko, all sign an agreement on temporary collaboration, which look like a step in the direction of BYuT, [see previous post] infuriated the president's secretariat and precipitated his dismissal.

However, Rinat Akhmetov's 'Segodnya' speculates: "Some deputies seem to think that now Yatsenyuk will become an ally of Tymoshenko, but BYuTivtsi are sceptical:

"The reason we gave up the struggle at the last minute [see video link above] was because we understood that this is a game conducted by the president, with Yatsenyuk's connivance. The aim is to present 'Senya' [Yatsenyuk] as a victim of collusion between Baloha and Akhmetov-Yanukovych, and then set him up in the elections as the head of his own force, to take away votes from BYuT. Or, as a variant to make him head of the presidential administration instead of the odious Baloha".

Yatsenyuk himself has confirmed that he intends to stand for election but has not made clear whether this is for the parliamentary or the presidential elections: "Without changes we will get to one place only - oblivion. I am already engaged in formation of a political force for change in the country. They sacked me so that I will return. But not here," said the former speaker.

Whatever the calculations, it's clear that Yatsenyuk's sacking makes the fall of Tymoshenko's cabinet and VR elections in the New Year far more likely now.

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