The Supreme Council is supposed to re-vote on the nomination of Yulia Tymoshenko as the Prime Minister. The early parliamentary elections held in the end of September haven’t born any solution to the long-lasting political stalemate. The election results confirmed that nowadays, no political force is capable of ruling on its own without any general consensus. This holds true for the Party of Regions, headed by the PM Viktor Yanukovych representing entrepreneurial circles from Donbas, as well as Yulia Tymoshenko’s populist bloc (BJUT) which succeeded in winning the favour of the majority of national-democratic and pro-western electorate that used to support the President Viktor Yuschenko in the past.
The protracted negotiation along with the parliamentary vote, which was to confirm Tymoshenko’s nomination, testifies to the continuation of instability. Although, after lengthy negotiations the members of the pro-presidential bloc Our Ukraine – People’s Self-defence upheld the establishment of the “coalition of democratic forces” by a narrow majority of two votes in the parliament, Tymoshenko lacked a single vote in the Council. The coalition deputies speak of intentional forgery committed by the representatives of the Party of Regions which wants to remain in power at all costs. The system inspection, however, hasn’t proved this opinion.
So if the parliament entrusts Tymoshenko with the constitution of the new cabinet, things will turn difficult for the coalition. The President Viktor Yuschenko alongside his colleges in Our Ukraine, for instance, the former Prime Minister Yuriy Yechanurov, the head of the Presidential Office Viktor Baloga and the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Ivan Plyush, push through joint steps with the Party of Regions. The last politician mentioned even refused to support the Our Ukraine – BJUT coalition and his party didn’t punish him at all.
Several factors play an important role in this game. The first one is the re-election of Yuschenko as President in the 2009 presidential elections. He pursues the elimination of rivals, namely Tymoshenko and Yanukovych, and that’s why he has come together with the informal leader of the Donetsk privatisation clan Rinat Achmetov. He counts on his support when obtaining votes in the east of Ukraine. This would enable the elimination of radicals on both sides, the legalisation of privatisation results and the establishment of the President’s following among crucial oligarchic clans. On the contrary, Tymoshenko is upheld by a part of medium and small entrepreneurs who would warmly welcome the revision of the great privatisation, because they were excluded form it.
The establishment of the so called “broad coalition” with the participation of the Party of Regions is still less probable. It isn’t feasible without the communists that are unacceptable as partners for the majority of the Our Ukraine deputies. Negative experience of the collaboration with the “Regionals” in the autumn 2006 doesn’t speak in its favour and even Achmetov mightn’t be able to force by means of his money the inhabitants of eastern Ukraine to support Yuschenko who is meanwhile perceived to be the embodiment of all evil. Therefore the presidential strategy ceases to be understandable also for a considerable part of Our Ukraine that has been facing the threat of a dissension currently. Moreover, the creation of the “broad coalition” is hampered also by the unwillingness of another political force, namely the centrist bloc of the former Speaker of the Parliament Volodymyr Lytvyn, to unequivocally support either the “orange” camp or the Party of Regions. Lytvyn’s bloc is thus shaped as an independent force, whereas in the Ukrainian media, speculations about Lytvyn’s possible candidacy for Ukrainian President with the support of the “Regionals” appeared. This candidacy could cut back on the Yuschenko’s and Tymoshenko’s voters’ fears of Yanukovych which might put a stop to Yuschenko’s ambitions to remain in office during the second tenure as well.
Under these circumstances the protraction of political stalemate is convenient for the President as well as Yanukovych. Yuschenko may vacillate between both main blocs and Yanukovych remains in the PM seat. In this way he can rule till the next early elections and in the case that the “orange” electorate is tired, he may resume ruling and perhaps assume the top post in the country.
Similar political games may satisfy the power and privatisation ambitions of its participants, but they aren’t conducive to Ukraine which is thus deprived of political capital obtained during the “Orange Revolution”. However, the worst thing of all is that not only the EU loses the trust in Ukrainian democracy, but also Ukrainian voters and entrepreneurs that can be inspired by the stability in the neighbouring Russia or Belarus.
(Published in cooperation with the daily Hospodárske Noviny.)