Tuesday, April 07, 2009

PR[y]BYuT or early elections?

'Segodnya' has some interesting analysis on the current political situation. Below I've loosely translated some bits:

"Only a PoR/BYuT coalition can save the Rada

BYuT will be attempting to come to an agreement with Yanukovych next week. If they fail, the country will go to combined presidential and parliamentary elections.

BYuT's deputy VR vice-speaker, Mykola Tomenko, put his party in a dilemma by declaring: either everyone in the VR negotiates to work together, or everyone decides on how to conduct the simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections. According to Tomenko, these were the conclusions supported by respondents of an opinion poll carried out by BYuT. [The straw poll at the end of Shuster's programme mentioned in my previous blog were not that clear cut.]

The official BYuT position is that they are categorically against any early parliamentary elections, probably because their ratings are falling; they will not be able to form any coalition and will lose power. [A note of caution: BYuT's ratings have generally been underated in previous elections]

"For BYuT it is important to pass an anti-crisis programme in parliament, but the composition of present coalition makes this unrealistic. Unfortunately the Communists have completely refused to co-operate, according to a source in the PM's bloc, so it necessary to convince PoR to do this - there is no alternative. The problem though, is Yanukovych's stance. Serhiy Lyovochkin, a close adviser to the PoR leader who is also well connected with the co-owner of RosUkrEnergo, Dmitro Firtash, is convinced that Yanukovych could clean up everything - winning both the parliamentary, and presidential elections. If a PR/BYuT coalition has any chance of being assembled, it is necessary to convince Yanukovych to go along with it.

The current ruling coalition has shown itself to be ineffective, but a PR/BYuT coalition on the eve of presidential elections is a myth, according one additional influential BYuT deputy. He added that although Tomenko did not state the official position of his bloc, the chances to early joint presidential and parliamentary elections are very high.

PoR spokesmen have been cautious when talking of a possible agreement with BYuT. "I support Ukraine's swift emergence from the crisis," said one of the party's leaders, Boris Kolesnikov. "If, for this to happen we have to create a coalition with BYuT, then I'm for this coalition. I consider the probability of it being created as 50 to 50. If a PR/BYuT coalition is formed, this will make early parliamentary elections unnecessary. If not, it will be necessary to hold joint elections even earlier than October 25th".

Yesterday Rinat Akhmetov [Ukraine's wealthiest oligarch, PoR's major sponsor, owner of 'Segodnya', and a close associate of Kolesnikov] spoke about possible collaboration with the Tymoshenko KabMin."I do not want to fight with the present government - I want to fight with the crisis. If the the goverment can overcome the crisis - they will they will be heroes," said Akhmetov. Kolesnikov, commenting on this turn of phrase, added: "Thus far this government doesn't deserve an illuminated scroll, never mind title of hero".

p.s. One of the matters mentioned by Tymoshenko during Friday's TV debate was the resolution by the recent G20 summit conference in London on overcoming the current global economic crisis to close down offshore financial loop-holes. This resolution will have a large impact on Ukraine's big businessmen.

Any investigation into Ukraine's industrial enterprises quickly reveals a massive web of such offshore intermediary companies. Official figures reveal that in good times Ukraine is blessed with major overseas inward investments, particularly from major countries like, for example, Cyprus...

All of this would not have been possible without major involvement from Western commercial and banking institutions. Western law firms, brokerage firms, governments of offshore zones, and banks have been exploiting for their own benefit the steady outward flow of capital too.

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