Monday, May 15, 2006

Democratic Coalition edging closer?

The possibility of a grand coalition that includes PR has decreased, according to one of their leading-lights, Vladimir Landik, deputy chairman of the Luhansk department of the Party of Regions He had been asked on a Luhansk TV channel to comment on the recent registration as VR deputies of acting PM Yuriy Yekhanurov, Secretary of Security and Defense Council Anatoliy Kinakh, and a string of other current cabinet ministers. Many of them had said previously they would not work in a Tymoshenko cabinet.

Oleksiy Ivechenko, former head of Naftohaz Ukrainy, and Valentyna Semeniuk, chair of the State Property Fund, responsible for privatizations, have also recently registered their seats in the VR.

"I think that now for sure there won't be the wide coalition. We know that Ivchenko has left, who said that he was not going to work with Yulia Tymoshenko , now Kinakh who said that he wouldn't work under Yulia Tymoshenko, and Yuri Yekhanurov might also be leaving to Verkhovna Rada. It means that everything is being done for Yulia Tymoshenko. And you are perfectly aware of our relations with her," added V. Landik.

PR polit-rada member Yevhen Kushnaryov echoed Landik's remarks, "You can always return into the government, into the Security and Defense Council, or any other executive position from the Verkhovna Rada, but to get back into VR you have to wait 5 years." He also added that PR has no wish to claim any leading positions in a democratic coalition.

The Ukrainian constitution does not allow MPs to hold executive posts, but a parliament seat provides immunity from prosecution. After the orange revolution, newly-appointed cabinet members had to give up seats in the VR, weakening the 'democratic' majority. After they had been sacked by President Yushchenko during the September 2005 crisis, there was no way back for them into parliament until the March 2006 VR elections.

The first session of the newly elected parliament will take place on 25 May. The decision was made today at a session of the working group for preparing the first session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the fifth convocation.

Yuliya Tymoshenko considers the agreement between BYuT, NU and the Socialists in choosing the chairman for this VR working group an indication that the democratic coalition has started to work together. And a BYuT-NU-Socialist 'democratic coalition' working group has completed and created [yet another] agreement document for formation of a coalition today.

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