Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Own goal after Euros
PoR bulldozed the second reading of their language bill through parliament on Tuesday, trampling over procedural rules to force through this most controversial of policies. A host of voting irregularities took place - speaker Lytvyn is set to resign.
PoR could have basked for a while in the afterglow of a reasonably successful Euro 2012 football competition. They have chosen not to do so and as a result have infuriated a large portion of the electorate.
The new policy will become law if and when it is signed off by the president.
What the authorities' language policy does is provide is a totem around which the opposition can unite - as can be seen in the today's protests outside the 'Ukrainskiy Dim' where the president was to deliver a grandiose press conference. This has now been cancelled - providing the opposition an easy victory. They can say despite the appearance of phalanxes of 'space cadets' he chickened out...
The arrogance of his party colleagues has forced Yanukovych to now face what could be the greatest crisis of his presidency so far.
The president faces an dilemma - but the damage has been done. Whether he and PoR back down or continue with this policy, this crisis could turn out to be the start of the turning of the political tide.