Saturday, November 15, 2008

What happens after Yatsenyuk's dismissal

Following the recent dismissal of VR speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk by parliamentary deputies, many are predicting an early no-confidence vote and swift departure for the Tymoshenko government.

But, as ever, matters in Ukraine are never simple. PoR, the largest party in the VR, cannot, even with the assistance of the Communists and Lytvyn's bloc [BL], form a majority coalition.

I quite liked this article from Akhmetov-owned 'Segodnya' which discusses several different scenarios. I've loosely translated portions:

Possibility #1. A pro-Tymoshenko PoR source claims there are currently negotiations taking place between Bank Street [pres's secretariat] and the PoR leadership on the formation of a coalition comprising PoR, BL, and NUNS. "If they are successful, then Volodymyr Lytvyn becomes speaker, and Viktor Yanukovych prime minister. However an internal PoR fraction, that of Firtash-Lyovochkin-Boyko, has other plans. They see not Yanukovych as PM, but Yuriy Boyko (a former fuel and energy minister in Yanukovych's government). If the candidature of the latter is advanced, then there will not be enough votes to form the coalition. Many of PoR's pro-Tymoshenko wing will not support it."

Lyovochkin himself refuted the claim: "No coalition between PoR and NUNS will be created with the current composition of parliament.Yuriy Boyko is an effective minister, but in a Yanukovych government."

Possibility #2. NUNS deputies do not believe in the possibility of a coalition with 'Regionaly' either. "The fraction met on Thursday and the question of creation of a coalition with PoR was raised, but no-one of those present voted for it. Its true, that there were not many supporters for a coalition with BYuT and BL either. Only "Self-Defence" Rukh, and some other deputies supported this," reported a source in NUNS.
The source did not exclude, that BYuT will nevertheless attempt to pull over Lytvyn to their side by offering him the post of VR speaker together with loyal 'Nunsivtsi' and pro-Tymoshenko 'Regionaly' to form a situational majority, which would pass laws needed by Tymoshenko.

Elections. Everyone recognizes that none of the possible new coalitions or stable majorities are at all likely. This means, as before, Damocles' sword hangs above the Rada. Everything points towards early elections.On November 23rd a year will have passed from the day of adoption of the oath of office by the current parliament so all formal obstacles for conducting early elections disappear. (The constitution does permit early elections less than year after previous early elections).

NUNS in disarray. It is probable that the present the head of the NUNS fraction Vyacheslav Kyrylenko will soon depart, as demanded by the pro-Tymoshenko wing of NUNS. This matter was raised on Wednesday at the fraction's conference, but not resolved. According to a source: "Olexandr Tretyakov or Taras Stetskiv could replace him. Tretyakov is the man of influential oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskiy, who is co-owner of the 'Privat' group. The latter has been reconciled with Tymoshenko, (rumour has it that Yushchenko has balked from early elections because Kolomoyskiy has refused to finance the election campaign of his block, in contrast to last year). Stetskiv and Tretyakov have both denied they are being tipped for Kirilenko's position.

Tymoshenko's resignation. Tymoshenko's resignation from government has not been taken off the agenda. 'Regionaly' are demanding a goverment report in parliament on the communal housing situation - as a consequence a no-confidence vote against the government could be proposed.

However, even in PoR there is no united position on whether it would be better to force Tymoshenko into resignation directly now, or later. There is a view that it would be better to wait until the Spring. By that time the situation in the economy could well be critical, and her ratings could collapse. Her resignation, and either re-elections, or a new coalition headed by Yanukovych, could follow. At the moment Yulia T's ratings are still high and she still has the capability of returning to the power in the event of early elections according to source in PoR leadership.


Anonymous said...

(The constitution does permit early elections less than year after previous early elections).

I think you meant to say that the constitution does NOT permit really elections within 12 months from a previous early ballot. Article 90.

There is nothing unconstitutional in having a minority government as long as Yulia can maintain the confidence of the parliament. The imperative mandate provisions relate to the formation of a governing coalition. If Yulia can hold on to a majority of votes then there is only the will of the president standing in the way. Although he has the authority to dissolve the Parliament the President is not obliged to do so. Early Parliamentary elections, like the previous time in 2007, will not assist Yushchenko and or his party.

I think we will see early Parliamentary and Presidential elections being held in 2009. The Government will need to budget for Presidential election in preparation of a new poll which is due by January 2010 at the latest.

Come July 2009 the President loses the authority to dismiss the parliament (Article 90)

NUNS (If they agree) and PoP can form a governing coalition without Lytvyn. Together they represent an absolute majority of the parliament. But the problem is they need the support of the factions not just a majority of members of parliament to form a new governing coalition. Again the Imperative Mandate provision ONLY apply to the formation not the dissolution or votes on the floor of the Parliament.

The best option would be for the Polly's to find compromise and secure support to adopt changes to Ukraine's Constitution. Created a full Parliamentary system in line with other European States And remove the Office of the president from the equation. Ukraine's Presidential system has failed Ukraine. A Parliamentary system with local representation would provide a better more stable foundation to build a true democratic state.

If Ukraine wants to join the EU at some stage then it would be best that they look to Europe for guidance and adopt a European Parliamentary model of democracy and not the USA or former soviet Presidential systems.

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