Sunday, June 11, 2006

Orange Coalition Break

Our Ukraine continues to undermine formation of a parliamentary coalition government

It is difficult to ascertain exactly what game play Our Ukraine are seeking having failed to secure support for the ousting of Yulia Tymochenko they are now seeking to de-rail the coalition agreement by going after the positions already allocated to the Socialist Party.
Media reports indicate that agreement has been reached which will see Yulia Tymochenko returned as Prime-Minister but ongoing infighting continues with Our Ukraine seeking the right to appoint the position of Speaker, denying the Socialists Party the right of securing this strategic spot.  Previous negotiations and agreements between Yulia Tymochenko bloc and the Socialist Party of Ukraine allocated the position of Speaker to the head of the Socialist Party.
Our Ukraine, which obtained less then 14% of the vote, already hold the influential and powerful position of President with the election of Viktor Yushchenko who was elected with the support of other coalition partners including Yulia Tymochenko and the Socialists.  There are many that believe there is a need for balance and that Our Ukraine should be satisfied with holding the President's position and could also hold/manage the major financial economic portfolios such as Treasury/Finance Ministries.
The Socialist Party secured 7.33% of the popular vote at the March 26 election (representing 33 parliament seats) The Socialists are a minor but significant party in the a three way formation of an 'orange coalition' agreement.  Many commentators believe that the allocation of the speakers position to the Socialist Party is fair and in the best interest of establishing and maintaining a working government. 
The Socialist Party are opposed to Ukraine becoming a member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and some analysts are indicating that by going after the Speakers position, Our Ukraine can arrange a negotiated-trade-off of the Speakers position for concessions on Ukraine seeking membership of NATO.
It is always difficult to ascertain what policies are negotiable and what policies  included or excluded form the draft coalition agreement. It is difficult to see the pubic position of opposition by the Socialist Party to Ukraine's membership of NATO being compromised.
According to opinion polls most Ukrainians are opposed to NATO and any further decline in the relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Without Parliamentary support it would be difficult if not impossible for President Yushchenko to deliver on his promise of Ukraine joining NATO by 2008.
Our Ukraine in going after the Speakers Position are claiming that they where the second highest polling party and as such should have the choice of selecting who will be Speaker. Our Ukraine are once again playing a hard-line game where the stakes are high. 
Not only is the formation of the coalition at risk but also confidence in Ukraine's future. 
Already reports are filtering through where the constant delay in the formation of a working government is beginning to undermine public confidence and create economic uncertainty.  Something that Ukraine can ill-afford.
To add to the climate of distrust the Socialist's Party have hinted that they could opt for a coalition with the Party of Regions if they fail to secure the Speakers Chair in what they consider to be a fair but important position. If this happens Our Ukraine would further loose public support as they would be seen as the spoilers of the Orange cause which in turn would further undermine the role and position of the President.
Our Ukraine must decide, and do so quickly, its priorities, they must begin to compromise their position or face growing dissatisfaction and resentment about the process of reforms and their agenda.
Ukraine' Constitution allows up to one month from the first day of sitting (May 25) for the new Parliament to form a majority coalition government.  Should a government not be formed within that time the President has the power to dismiss the Parliament and force Ukraine back to the polls.  If this was to occur Our Ukraine would surly be the looser along with Ukraine and its desire to become an independent democracy.