Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bohatyryova interview

The current political crisis in Ukraine could be said to have started when National Security and Defence Council secretary, Raisa Bohatyryova was sacked from her PoR party following statements in Washington that were generally supportive of President Yushchenko's policy on last month's Russian-Georgian war. In previous VR convocations she had been leader of the PoR faction.

'Obozrevatel' has conducted a most interesting interview with her, entitled: "I will not return to Yanukovych, even if he drops to his knees," which I recommend everyone to read.

She speaks revealingly of serious rifts within PoR, but today I will translate some just these portions:

Qu: Those, who await your further steps and actions, see you as a potential leader, possibly an alternative to Yanukovych. Experts are sure that the creation of a new political project headed by Bohatyryova is just a matter of time. More so because Rinat Akhmetov, [Ukraine's richest oligarch] is ready you to support you.

(Significantly, after a pause..) I am considering my possible perspectives at the moment.

Qu: Party [perspectives]?

I'm examining all possible possibilities. I do not intend to leave active politics. I can't say what my next steps will be.

{Bohatyryova then does not deny that she may be involved in some kind of new political project together Arsene Yatsenyuk [the current VR speaker] and Anatoliy Hrytsenko [until recently, a minister of defence], and that Rinat Akhmetov could be bankrolling it all.}

Qu: Do you agree that early elections are now practically inevitable?
I do not see any other way to deal with the [current] crisis. In the opinion experts, it's further development could lead to an anti-state coup.

Qu: The democratic coalition will not be ressurrected then?
[No,] This is unrealistic. Tymoshenko does not want it...

Qu: Responsibility for the integrity of the union between Tymoshenko and Yushchenko is shared between them. However, the actions of the latter clearly did not further the strengthening of the coalition.
This is not so. As the President, Victor Andriyovych did everything in order not to permit the crisis [to grow and] develop.

Qu: And his Secretariat supported him in this?! Particularly Baloha and Kislinsky?
I am not the attorney of the Secretariat and moreover not its leader. Accordingly, I cannot comment on the activity of his colleagues.

Qu: You have known Yanukovych for many years. Tell us, is he actually capable of establishing a union with Tymoshenko, or is this bluff?
The prospects for the forming of coalition PoR and BYuT depend more greatly on Tymoshenko. If the smell of power is sweet for Yanukovych then I do not exclude it, an alliance with the pretext of the interest of each Ukrainian may be created. However, it won't last long - a divorce scandal is inevitable. And as a result PoR will finally be demoralized and will lose voters...

Certainly, if BYuT agrees to embody PoR policies, including those on language issues, citizenship, non aligned status, the realization of constitutional changes, then these two antipodes could combine and collaborate. But I do not believe this scenario. At the same time fear of Viktor Yushchenko could push Yulia Tymoshenko into a situational alliance with PoR. Such a political incest could happen...

..PoR and BYuT do not have the three hundred votes necessary for changing the Constitution. All statements about complete control of the deputies of the two fractions is bravado, just as in the previous years. One coalition has already bragged about the presence of the constitutional majority, which, after checking, turned out not to be the case...

LEvko thinks she may be correct in this final statement. Up to about 70 PoR deputies are from Rinat Akhmetov's 'personal quota'. He has allegedly been PoR's biggest financial backer so will have a big say on how the crisis now pans out.

p.s. On Friday the President, his daughter, Raisa Bohatyryova, Rinat Akhmetov, and other 'prominenti' attended an exhibition of sculptures from the Paris Louvre which are being displayed in Kyiv. Why do so many of them look like stone-faced aliens?


Anonymous said...

Another interesting article and information on the goings on in Ukrainian Politics. Thanks

Whilst I think Bahatyrova would make a better President then Yushchenko. (Virtually anybody with the exception of Natalia Vitrenko would make a better president then Yushchenko) Clearly judging by her pregnant pause she is seriously contemplating being a candidate in the up and coming Presidential election.

For the sake of Ukraine I hope that a political;alliance and agreement between Party of Regions and Yulia can be forged. If only to bring about constitutional change the formation of a truly democratic parliamentary democracy.

If a new coalition of convenience does come into existence then I fail to see any grounds for Yushchenko to stand in its way. Any attempt by him to dissolve the parliament would be a serious breach of confidence and democratic values. Any attempt by Yushchenko to subvert the will of the peoples democratically elected Parliament would be devastating to Ukraine's future stability. Surely not even Yushchenko could be so stupid as to seriously contemplate such action.

I read with interest you comments and suggestion that Akhmetov crew could rebel within the Party of Regions. I question the sanity and need for such action.Unless Akhmetov considered it essential that Ukraine continue to be governed by Presidential decree.

Article 83 of Ukraine's Constitution is worth reading and does have a clause that is subject to further interpretation...

According to election results and on the basis of a common ground achieved between various political positions, a coalition of parliamentary factions shall be formed in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to include a majority of People’s Deputies of Ukraine within the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

A coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be formed within a month from the date of the first meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to be held following regular or special elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, or within a month from the date when activities of a coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine terminated

The collapse of the existing governing coalition which will be declared I understand tomorrow Tuesday then then is up to30days for the formation of a new coalition before the president has the authority under Article 90. section 1 to call fresh elections which would have to be held within sixty days from the date of the presidential decree which can not be made until 16. October.

The best solution to Ukraine's ongoing political crisis would be for Yuchshenko to resign (Article108/9)and hand over to the next in line which is the speaker of the parliament (Article 112).


Party of Regions of course hold the trump card in all of this. If need be they can just sit back and wait until the last moment and force early elections (Presidential or Parliament) Either way they are in a better position to decide which direction to take then BYuT or OU-NU.

The question we are waiting for is will they act in the best interest of Ukraine and support constitutional reform or opportunisticly seek a quick return to power.

Either way Ukraine without a solid workable agreement with Party of Reguions Ukraine is looking at a very destabelised future asa resulkt of Yushchenko's ongiong "anti-democratic" power struggle.

Anonymous said...

Two succesive parliaments and Yushchenko is still at odds with the rest of Ukraine (You wouldtyhhink he would get the hint). His support is down to less then 5%. If anyone should face the people it is the President himself. He has failed to unite Ukraine and has only divided it further. Ukraine needs a new Head of State, someone that holds and respects true democratic values. Sadly Yatseniuk resigned from the post of Chairman of the Parliament today, so he can not assume the role of President should Yushchenko decide to act in the best interest of Ukraine and resign. Fresh Presidential elections is the only option to put an end to Yushenko's reign of terror.

Anonymous said...

What is it about Eastern European countries, including Ukraine, that leads people to believe that everyone ought to be "begging on their knees" for this or that person to do something?

Yanukovych is supposed to be Raisa on his knees for her to come back to the Party of Regions.

The EU is supposed to beg Ukraine on its knees to join the EU.

NATO is supposed to beg Ukraine on its knees to join NATO.

Tymoshenko is supposed to beg Yushchenko on her knees to come back into the Orange Coalition, which Yushenko and his NUNS busted up in the first place.

I think everyone would be better off just doing what they were elected or appointed to do.

Unknown said...

Raisa lost me when she claimed Yushenko did everything possible to keep the coalition intact, when the truth is that he and Baloha did everything possible to dismantle such coalition. As soon as Yulia was elected PM, the attacks by Baloha and Yush started. They felt threatened by Yulia and together with Renat decided to do whatever they could to bring down her popularity, when in fact, they only reduced their own popularity.