Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Predicting the future

There is some interesting speculation in today's 'Segodnya' on how events could develop in Ukrainian politics. Below is a very rough translation:

The political crisis in the Ukraine continues. In response to Yushchenko's ultimatum to adopt a resolution condemning "Russian aggression" against Georgia and demands to cancel recently approved anti-presidential laws, Yulia Tymoshenko advanced her conditions for reconciliation. She demanded the president apologizes for accusing her of state betrayal, but added she does not hold out much hope for this.

There are two realistic possibilities on how matters may develop. The first is the creation of a PoR and BYuT coalition. However the business-wing in 'Regiony', and many of the Western Ukrainian deputies and companions-in-arms of Viktor Pynzenyk in BYuT are not agreeable to this.

The second possibility is early elections, if the above-mentioned coalition fails to be constructed. Two other versions of the course of events cannot be discounted entirely, i.e. the restoration of the NUNS-BYuT coalition, or the creation of the broad NUNS-PoR coalition.

'Segodnya' gives the good and bad points of each possibility:

1. The revival of the BYuT-NUNS coalition could ensure an offer of MAP from NATO in December, but could also lead to a collapse in negotiations on the price of Russian gas, causing great pain to industrial and domestic consumers. Parliament, where the coalition does not an absolute majority, would be further paralyzed at least until the presidential elections to be held at the end of 2009.

2. The creation of a BYuT-PoR coalition would be a 'first' for Ukraine so predicting how such an arrangement would 'pan out' is difficult. However, the government would, maybe, at long last, be able to pass in the VR, at least the most basic necessary laws (e.g. changes in the budget). Furthermore, the alliance of these two largest parties which, combined, total over 300 votes, could, in half a year, change the constitution and affirm a normal system of authority, clarifying who is 'top dog' in the country - the President or premier.

To the pluses of this coalition could be added the normalization of relations with Russia. This coalition could quite realistically agree with Moscow a small increase only in the price of gas, furthermore, if 'Regionaly' are persistent, then the government could 'back off' on Ukrainianization, removing some stresses in the southeast of the country.

On the economy there could be two outcomes - one good and one bad. Tymoshenko's desire to increase her popularity amongst the electorate by means of generous social programs could be combined with the economic pragmatism of 'Regionaly'. Alternatively, businessmen from BYuT and PoR could dictate political progress by excessive lobbying of their own business- interests, increasing corruption.

3.The break-up of parliament and early elections would see a sharp rise in social payments to the electorate by the current government, to be paid off by any incoming government, increasing inflation. Talks with Russia would be put 'on hold' because of the uncertainty of who is in charge of the country. Internal investment would decrease. There would be a sharp increase in the tension in the country on the question of the war in Georgia war and relations with Russia, with ever more deepening divisions in society. Finally, the elections may not provide any change to the current stalement, so the same political chaos that exists now could remain for a long time in the future.

4. Broad PoR-NUNS coalition. This could only take place if 'Regiony' back-down from its fundamental positions on NATO and Russian language, or in case of a volte-face on these questions by NUNS and Yushchenko.

Tymoshenko proposes three scenarios to break present deadlock [in English] here


Meanwhile 'Kontrakty' expresses the opinion that the many Russian business interests in Ukraine would prevent any repetition of the Georgian scenario in Ukraine. Ukrainian experts on security issues consider a military conflict impossible.

It is indicative that despite the military conflict between Russia and Georgia and the strain in relations that followed it, no new trading war has developed. Russia did not stop gas delivery to Georgia or fuel transits to Armenia. And Georgia does not intend to restrict the import of goods from Russia.

Russian companies have large investment holdings in Georgia, e.g. in electric power generation, banking, chemicals, petroleum products and telecommunications. The same is true of Ukraine.


UkrToday said...

There is an another alternative.. one that would see an end to the ongoing division and cycle of political power struggles and division.

Anyone that has been watching developments closely in Ukraine know that the real problem facing Ukraine today is Yushchenko himself. It seams no one can work with him and they are all against him.

Yushchenko is looking and sounding more like a man who has lost control of his senses.

Yushchencko has even gone to the absurd by now accusing his ally and previous supporter Yulia Tymoshenko of being involved in a plot to have him poison back in 2004. He also recently accused Yulia Tymoshenko of "High Treason". It seams that everyone but Yushchenko himself is engaged in a plot to have him assigned. He also recently accused another Ukrainian political leader and past associate of conspiracy to murder.

Clearly a reformed NUNS(Our Ukraine plus) will not resolve the irresistible differences that exist in the coalitions relationship.

In 2007 Yushchenko divided the nation and brought it close to civil disobedience. Yushchenko gambled with the outcome of fresh parliamentary elections and lost leaving Ukraine to pick up the pieces. Fresh Parliamentary elections will not resolve the institutional and personal conflicts.

The Alternative Option

If there is to be fresh elections then it is the President that must face the people. He is next cab of the rank and he is the main cause for division and conflict.

It is Yushchenko that should resign and seek to renew his mandate by facing the people in early Presidential elections.

The best option forward now is for Ukraine to adopt changes to its Constitution, compleating is transition to a full European style parliamentary democracy to be followed by fresh Parliamentary elections and appointment of anew head of state under the democratic system of governance.

UkrToday said...

President threatens Ukraine with a state of emergency

Why has Yushchenko implied that he will call a "state of emergency" you might ask? There is no real emergency. The country has not yet taken to the streets.

The answer lies in Ukraine's constitution.

Article 157
The Constitution of Ukraine shall not be amended in conditions of martial law or a state of emergency.

Here lies the truth behind the fears of Ukraine's President.

Yushchenko is so desperate to hold on to power that he is prepared to go to any length to prevent the Parliament from initiating democratic change

He has unconstitutional sacked the previous parliament and is proposing to repeat his actions again.

He has illegally and unconstitutionally interfered with the independence of Ukraine's Constitutional Court

Should the Parliament make moves to reform Ukraine's Constitution and remove him from office he will, undemocraticly go the extent of declaring a state of emergency, even if there is no real state of emergency.

Anything to prevent Ukraine from becoming a democratic Parliamentary republic and to stay in power for another 12 months.