Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tihipko, were he runner-up in round 1, would now be president

Serhiy Tihipko, who came from nowhere to third in the first round of this year's presidential elections, would have comfortably beaten both Yanukovych or Tymoshenko in the final round had he come second, according to an exit poll in which over 20 thousand voters were questioned - he would be the new president. [It could well be that president Yushchenko's appeal to his supporters to vote 'against all' and perhaps his granting of Hero of Ukraine status to Stepan Bandera may have cost Tymoshenko the top job.]

While Tihipko remains popular Party of Regions will definitely not want any early parliamentary elections for fear of losing seats to his political project- a situation that gives the NUNS bloc in the current VR huge leverage. NUNS themselves could be wiped out in any early elections also. Party of Regions cannot form a majority coalition and evict the current Tymoshenko-led cabinet with any other party's participation [except of course BYuT, but this is hardly likely]. The support of the remaining two parliamentary VR parties is insufficient.

Some observers consider that Tymoshenko, by challenging the results of Sunday's poll through the courts, is merely playing for time in order to come to an arrangement with Yanukovych whereby he obtains his favoured selections for head of the SBU and Prosecutor General [via parliament] while she remains head of government, perhaps even with some PoR members filling empty chairs in the cabinet, until after this summer's recesss. To throw in the towel right away would be perceived as weakness by her supporters and opponents alike and would reduce the possibility that she remains PM. But, as in 2004, everyone knows who the next president of Ukraine will be...

p.s. If Tihipko had endorsed Tymoshenko after the first round in exchange for her firm offer to appoint him PM in the event of her victory, more than likely they both would be sitting in the top two posts in the country. Tihipko may be regretting not taking up Tymoshenko's offer - he would have been in control of the country's government now... as it is: "He goes away with nothing.."

1 comment:

UkrToday said...

Preferential voting
Had Ukraine adopted a single round Preferential voting system there is a slight chance that Serhiy Tyhypko would have won the presidential election. He would have needed the support of Yushchenko and other minor candidates such as Yatseniuk and the Communist Party as second choice ahead of Tymoshenko.

New coalition government

A new coalition in the existing parliament can only be formed with the support of Factions (Not individuals - the so called Imperative Mandate provisions) representing a majority of the parliament.

Current breakup of the parliament is

Party of Regions 175
Bloc Tymoshenko 156
Our Ukraine - Peoples Self Defense 72
Communist Party 27
Bloc Lytvyn 20

Our Ukraine-People's Self Defence or Bloc Tymoshenko hold the balance of power in the decision to support the formation of a new coalition.

Individual members can of course vote against the current government. Is a vote of no confidence is past then the government falls and a trigger could exist for the holding of fresh parliamentary elections. But as you have pointed out this fresh elections would be detrimental to existing faction members and possible alliances. Lytvyn would most likely lose representation

Based on the first round presidential vote Tigipko would hold the balance of power in a new parliament.

Party Seats
Party of Regions 178
Bloc Tymoshenko 126
Tigipko 66
Yatseniuk's Y-Front 35
Our Ukraine 27
Communist Party 18

(There are possible minor variations of course 0- The communist party could form an alliance with SP and PSPU which would increase their support and reduce Tigipko's support marginally)

Lytvyn would lose out and Our Ukraine would be decimated if fresh Parliamentary elections are held. This is a major incentive for them to not hold fresh elections.

Constitutional Majority

The other issue is not just the formation of a governing coalition but also securing a two-thirds Constitutional majority. This can be done with the support of individuals but without the support of Bloc Tymoshenko any constitutional change would not be possible.

Without Yulia BYuT is non existent. Fresh parliamentary elections would not change much other then the government as long as Tymoshenko leads her Block.

Our Ukraine would lose influence to Tigipko. Lytvyn will lose representation and Yanukovych would still not have a constitutional majority.

Strategical timing

The strategy would be to try and out Tymoshenko from the prime ministership keeping in tact the existing Parliament. Buying time and then maybe holding fresh parliamentary elections in October.

The threat of earlier elections being a real incentive to both Lytvyn and Our Ukraine to play ball now.