Friday, October 20, 2006

List of headlines related to Ukraine's Parliamentary Government


All Headlines on the Subject "Parliamentary elections and governmental crisis in Ukraine":



Saturday, October 07, 2006

Survery of Ukrainian attitudes

NATO, CIS, EU/USA relations

Survey: 73.4% of Ukrainians support the idea of referendum on Ukraine's entry into NATO

Read it in Russian

Source: Regnum

Sept 9-17 2006 the Center for Sociological Studies "Sofia" asked 2,010 people all over Ukraine, in the Crimea, Kiev and Sevastopol (a total of 128 settlements) about their attitude to the prospect of Ukraine's entry into NATO.

They in the center have told REGNUM that 47.1% say that Ukraine should integrate with Russia and the CIS, 24.2% that Ukraine should rely on its own resources and should strengthen its independence and 20.5% that Ukraine should integrate into the West.

The people have turned out to have a differentiated notion of the "West": when saying "partner for cooperation" most of them mean Europe (the EU), and much fewer – the US. This circumstance explains the difference in their attitudes to the prospects of European and North-Atlantic integration.

55.8% support EU integration, while over 2/3 (68.8%) say that Ukraine should integrate into the Common Economic Space together with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

30.8% say that Ukraine should be neutral and should stay outside any military-political blocs. 12.2% support the idea of a new system of European security covering Russia and Ukraine but not the US.

10.3% say that Ukraine "must join NATO without fail and delay," while 44.8% say that "the country must not do it under any circumstances." The rest say – each in different wording – that this step is not timely.

73.4% support the idea of the conduct of a nationwide referendum on Ukraine's entry into NATO.

If the referendum is held, 21.5% will vote for NATO, 60.2% against. Western Ukrainians are better disposed towards NATO, while people in Donbass and Crimea are against NATO membership.

46.1% give more or less negative assessment of NATO peacekeeping activities in the world and Europe, 22.1% approve of them.

56.0% believe that the most active advocate of the idea of Ukraine's entry into NATO among the political parties is the National Union Our Ukraine. 37.6% mention Batkivschina. 49.8% say that the most active opponent of the idea is the Party of Regions, 48.5% — CPU and 40.1% — PSPU.

66.1% say that the key advocate of the idea of Ukraine's entry into NATO among Ukrainian politicians is Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. 41.4% mention the leader of the BYT parliamentary group Yulia Timoshenko. The key opponents are Viktor Yanukovich (51.7%), Pyotr Simonenko (48.5%) and Natalia Vitrenko (47.6%).

55.5% say that Viktor Yushchenko is potentially interested in Ukraine's entry into NATO. Yushchenko is even more interested than the US who got 44.0% and government officials (17.7%). According to the survey, the US is 4 times more interested in Ukraine's entry into NATO than Western Europe is.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Our Ukraine rejects offer by Yulia Timoshenko

Invitation to Our Ukraine to join former Orange Coalition partner in Opposition

Ukraine needs a strong opposition if it is to hold the new Government to account.

The offer by Yulia Timoshenko for Our Ukraine to join the opposition was a good tactical move as it shows up Our Ukraine for what they are. Meanwhile Our Ukraine continues to hold out hope that it might join the governing coalition. Negotiations are proceeding as Our Ukraine's 10 day deadline approaches.

"It is better to be a dog inside and well feed then a dog stuck out in the cold. Pavlov's dog continues to bark at the door hoping to be let inside."

Our Ukraine bloc has no intention to team up with Timoshenko
Source: ITAR-TASS September 22, 2006

KIEV, September 22 (Itar-Tass) -- The just-created inter-factional opposition association in the Ukrainian parliament has incorporated only part of the Yulia Timoshenko faction and two Socialists.

"There is not a single deputy from the Our Ukraine faction," a member of Our Ukraine faction, Boris Bespaly, said after Yulia Timoshenko claimed most of Our Ukraine members would side with the Opposition.

"If Our Ukraine receives any proposals on that score, we shall consider them, just as any other proposals. So far there have been no such steps by Yulia Vladimirovna, although she has systematically predicted the emergence of a powerful opposition in parliament uniting Our Ukraine and her own bloc."

Bespaly said he has no confirmation any of Our Ukraine's members have taken part in talks with Timoshenko.

"There is the objective reality. Everything else is either daydreaming or fantasies by Yulia Vladimirovna and her entourage," Bespaly said.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Transdnestr separatists a cause for concern as division of language and ethnicity continue knocking at Ukraine door

In what is shaping up to be another hot spot. The residents of Moldova's Transdnestr region Sunday votes overwhelming for succession and independence from Moldova. Whilst the World Government's refuse to recognise the ballot the fact still remains that a large section of Moldova's population does not wish to remain under Moldovan rule.

The President of Ukraine also has rejected the referendum as being valid.

There is no quick solution to this problem.

Ukraine also faces the potential of separatist movements building momentum if divisions are not resolved.

The election of Party of Region's Viktor Yanakovich as Prime Minister has dampened for the time being calls for Ukraine to divide into a lose federation of autonomous republics. Crimea is already an autonomous republic and there and those that recommend the creation of additional autonomous regions.

The Hungarian community on Western Ukraine, carved off from Hungary as party of the divisions following the collapse of the Austrian-Hungarian empire after the first and second world wars, have long held the belief that they should be re-united with Hungary. They speak Hungarian and they even set their clocks to Hungarian time. Most of this regions supported Yushchenko's election on the hope that by joining the EU they will be re-united. However during the March parliamentary elections the Hungarian did not support Our Ukraine with their vote split amongst various candidates. All who were part of the Hungarian alliance be it from different directions. Should they be allowed to form an autonomous republic and choose Hungarian as their official language?

Many of the problems related to ethnicity stem from the first and second world war. I do not claim to have the answer other then to give them more autonomy. Burying your head in the sand and hoping it will go away will not resolve this problem.

Transdnestr for independence, union with Russia - referendum

Source:RIA Novosti September 18

TIRASPOL, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - The vast majority of the population of Transdnestr, a self-proclaimed republic in Moldova, voted Sunday for independence and future accession to Russia, the central election committee said Monday.

Transdnestr held a referendum to decide whether it should continue seeking independence and union with Russia. No public disturbances were registered at the polls, a Transdnestr government official earlier said.

More than 389,000 registered voters were asked to answer two questions -- whether they want the Transdnestr Region's independence from Moldova and its subsequent union with Russia, or whether they believe the region should become part of Moldova.

The election committee said 78.6% of voters participated in the referendum. According to preliminary results, 97.1% of voters cast their ballots in favor of independence and union with Russia.

More than 130 international observers participated in monitoring the Sunday referendum in the breakaway republic. They said they did not register any procedural violations during the secret balloting.

Commenting on the preliminary results of the Transdnestr referendum, the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament said Monday that the population of the self-proclaimed republic voted for future union with Russia in hopes of resolving the long-running conflict with Moldova as soon as possible.

"The referendum in Transdnestr, conducted in conditions of political instability and economic blockade, became a form of expression of public will, which reflects the desire of the population to live in stability and predictability," Sergei Mironov said.

Transdnestr, which has a predominantly Russian-speaking population, proclaimed its independence from Moldova in the early 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Armed clashes between Moldova and Transdnestr ensued, and Russia has retained a military presence in the breakaway region ever since.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

President under review

Proposals to reform the office of the Ukraine's Head of State

Office of the President under review.

Ukraine's Communist Party propose to abolition of the post of President. Whilst the communist party, which represent less then 5% of Ukraine, proposal is unlikely to receive the necessary support and the statutory majority required to abolish the President's position the issue surrounding the role and function of the office of president will continue to be under review.

Ukraine is now a parliamentary democracy. Government is no longer by presidential decree but the responsibility of the elected parliamentary representatives. This is a positive step in Ukraine's democratic evolution.

Whilst supporters of the currently president would like to see the president have absolute power. I am sure supporters of the president would be the first to call for reform if someone else other then their nominee held the post of president.

Presidents come and presidents go. Constitutional reform should be based on particular outcomes. Any changes to the constitution should provide fair and democratic representation.

The first issue that must be resolve is the need to hold direct presidential elections. The cost alone, estimated to be in excess of 600 Million Dollars, of holding multiple ballots can not be justified.

Proposals worthy of further consideration include the method of selecting and appointing the person to hold the office of president. It would be perfectly acceptable for the parliament to consider and nominate the president with the requirement any nomination be supported by a statutory 2/3rds majority of the elected Parliament. This could also be balanced out by allowing the judiciary the right to also vote on any nominee of the parliament.

If the president is to continue to be appointed by direct election in a plebiscite then consideration should be given to the adoption of preferential voting and a single ballot as opposed to the current multiple two stage ballot system.

Preferential voting would produce the same result without the cost and need to hold two or more ballots. Voters would rank candidates in order of preference 1,2,3, etc. the vote would be counted according to voters allocated first preference., Should a candidate not secure an absolute majority the candidate with the least vote would be excluded and their votes redistributed according to the voters allocated preference. This process continues until one candidate obtains over 50% of votes. No need for a second ballot or the associated campaign costs.

The benefits of a preferential voting system warrant further consideration

Communists move to abolish presidency in Ukraine

RAI News 16:5315/ 09/ 2006

KIEV, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's Communist Party intends to propose in parliament abolishing the presidency on the grounds that it has proved ineffective, the party's press service said Friday.

"The Communist faction will propose abolishing the post of president, which does not correspond to the nation's centuries-long democratic traditions and has hampered state development," leader Petro Symonenko said Friday.

Symonenko said the presidential form of government had proved to be totally ineffective and even harmful in the recent period of Ukraine's modern history. He said a parliamentary republic was the most appropriate option for Ukraine.

"Political reform gave people's deputies the right to form governments, define policies and control government activities with regard to popular vote results," Symonenko said.

Communists have 21 seats in the 450-seat Supreme Rada and are part of the anti-crisis coalition formed in June, along with the Party of Regions, the largest grouping in parliament, and the Socialist Party.

They all signed the national unity pact, proposed by President Viktor Yushchenko, with Our Ukraine group, ending four months of political crisis that followed the March parliamentary elections in the country.

The pro-presidential Our Ukraine faction has been engaged in consultations with the three parties on the possibility of expanding the coalition.

But friction has persisted between the political forces as Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who is also the leader of pro-Russia Party of Regions, moved to downplay Ukraine's plans to join NATO in Brussels earlier this week, thereby violating the national unity pact.

Western-leaning President Yushchenko has made NATO membership a priority since coming to power following a popular uprising in 2004, but he has met with strong opposition on the issue from pro-Russian political forces and the population at large.


Losing face

Viktor Yushchenko speaks out having lost power and public support

Viktor Yushchenko, having lost public support and the parliamentary election, under pressure from his masters now finds the need to speak out and criticize the newly formed government for not agreeing his policies. ( September 16, 2006) copy below.
In making his comments Victor Yushchenko also insisted that "the formation of a parliamentary coalition should be faster".
Where was the Viktor Yushchenko during the negotiations for the formation of an Orange coalition. Instead of constantly travelling abroad he should have been in Ukraine providing assistance and direction to his own party and their team of negotiators.
The delays caused by Our Ukraine not supporting Yulia Tymoshenko and the Socialist Party, their persistent undermining of the formation of an "Orange" governing coalition did not go unnoticed.
Yulia Tymoshenko and Olexander Moroz both had cause to publicly call on the President as leader of Our Ukraine to bring them to the table and honour the election commitments and unity of the "Orange Revolution" pact. He failed to do so, allowing negotiations to linger on and eventually collapse.
Having gave up the opportunity to form an Orange coalition, share power and responsibility with their coalition partners, and the opportunity to hold positions of major economic portfolios and influence Our Ukraine instead continued to delay. Delaying to a point where Ukraine was facing a major political and constitutional crisis.
A point when the socialist party, an orange coalition member could no longer maintain confidence or faith in the intentions of Our Ukraine to deliver on their commitments. Time was running out and something had to break.
Our Ukraine themselves were reported in the media as also negotiating with Party of Regions, at the same time it was negotiating with Yulia Tymoshenko and the Socialists parties, about the possibility of the formation of a broader governing coalition. They were even offered the role of Prime Minister at one stage.
As it turned out the Socialists, faced with the pending crisis and in the interest of Ukraine as a whole, acted according to their conscience and agreed to form the anti-crisis coalition and appoint a working democratic parliamentary government with Party of Regions and the Communist party.
The President's party "Our Ukraine" having failed to successfully negotiate the formation of a coalition in which they were a contributing member is now facing reality and consequences of their actions..
Ukraine's membership of NATO has been rejected, damages to the relationship with its neighbour Russia have began to be repaired as Ukraine moves forward.
The President should look closer at home and call on his own party to hold those within responsible for the decline of his party and his personal support.
The government and Party of Regions has been given a mandate and an opportunity to correct the mistakes of the past, they have a second chance it is up to them to do what Yushchenko failed to do, to win public support, unite Ukraine and provide stable responsible government. Come 2009 (or possible earlier) the President will face the electorate and they will then decide who is best to lead the country. Yushchenko has along way to go to regain the support and public confidence that he once enjoyed.

President of Ukraine criticised the new Cabinet

In a five-hour conversation with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Victor Yushchenko has voiced his concern over several steps taken by the new government and said the Cabinet must observe the National Unity Pact in its work.

“I invited the prime minister to give him my first political warning about some things certain government executives do, violating the [National Unity] Pact and stabilization agreements. Our meeting resulted in a joint plan of correcting such tendencies,” he told reporters at a mass media briefing on Friday.

He is convinced the National Unity Pact “gave all the political forces keys to implement these major political, economic and humanitarian tasks.” As President of Ukraine, he will thereby spare no effort to make sure that the key principles of this document – among them the unitary form of government, language policy and Euro-Atlantic integration – are secured not only as “common political agreements reached at the phase of finding political compromises and resolving the parliamentary crisis but also used as an action plan by the new Ukrainian government.”

President Yushchenko and PM Yanukovych spoke about some dangerous social and economic tendencies, nontransparent and often inexpedient dismissals and appointments, delays in the formation of a broad parliamentary coalition, violations of the rights of the opposition and attempts to revise Ukraine’s foreign policy, the president press office informed.

“Disregarding the law, the plan to raise the minimum wage on December 1, 2006, has been put off although the country has enough resources this year. This is a dubious and unnecessary revision of budget policy,” he said, adding that VAT reimbursement and tax pressure considerably complicated the dialogue between the government and businessmen.

“The 2007 draft budget has no signs of tax reduction whatsoever,” he said, claiming such a move could have helped legalize the economy.

The President also censured the Tax Administration for being apparently unfair in VAT reimbursement and said he had authorized Prosecutor General Medvedko to study the situation within ten days and “develop a mechanism of monitoring which would make it impossible to carry out such policies in the future.”

Victor Yushchenko also insisted that the formation of a parliamentary coalition should be faster.

“The healthy part of Ukraine’s political forces must understand one thing: given the constitutional changes, which were passed hastily, political forces and government should take responsibility for many economic, humanitarian, and social issues,” he said. “I urge all those who take part in the formation of positions of this or that parliamentary faction to accelerate this process.”

The President and the premier also spoke about the inexpedience of putting pressure on deputies. Yushchenko said the revival of the practice of forcing parliamentarians to join the majority perverted the March 26 poll results.

“I would like to wish the deputies to be responsible for their voters and positions they defended during the campaign and to face all attacks bravely […],” he said. “I clearly demand that the rights of the opposition should be protected and observed so that they can control the government…”

He characterized the prime minister’s attempt to revise Ukraine’s foreign policy as unacceptable and reiterated that the country’s course to join the European Union and NATO would not change.

Victor Yushchenko also said it was vital to pass bills based on the principles of the National Unity Pact and his anti-corruption laws.

The President is soon going to convene the National Security and Defense Council to discuss all these issues.


President in denial

Viktor Yushchenko rejects Prime-Minsiter's statement that public opinon in Ukraine is opposed NATO membership

The BBC continues to display an inherent bias in its reporting on Ukraine.

Prior to the "Orange revolution I recall reports from the Kyiv office that the then Ukrainian Government were scrambling broadcast of the BBC in order to prevent access to news. What was strange about this report is that I was watching the BBC at the time of these allegations and had been watching the BBC for the preceding three days as I worked from home. I was in Ukraine at the time.

Ukraine's President, Viktor Yushchenko, statement that Ukraine's Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych's belief that public opinion opposed the move was "wrong" certainly must be questioned. Public polling has shown consistently that a majority of Ukrainians do not support or are opposed to Ukraine joining NATO. Ukraine's membership of NATO featured prominently during the march 2006 election campaign with most parties and candidates opposed to Ukraine joining NATO. Even amongst supporters of Our Ukraine and Yulia Tymoshchenko there is strong opposition to NATO membership.

NATO membership effectively is the Presidents agenda not that of the government or the Ukrainian people.

There are calls within and without Ukraine for NATO to be reformed. The European Union should abandon NATO in favour of an independent European Security Organisation. This proposed new association would maintain alliances with other nations including the United States but would remain independent and non beholden to the United States and other countries.

Ukraine, likewise, should continue to maintain an associate relationship with NATO and only consider joining NATO if and when Ukraine joins the European Union.

Ukraine according to its constitution is an Independent Nation.

The suggestion that "Mr Yanukovych was named Prime minister in August by his Mr Yushchenko, on condition that he followed his pro-Western agenda." is also extrordinary. Ukraine is an independent Parlaimentary Democracy, teh appointment of priminister is the detrmination of the Ukrainain Parliament and not as an agent or puppert of the President. The President's role in approving the appointment of Parliament's nomination is a formality only. Consitutional Game plays of this kind only serve to undermine Ukraine's democractic development bring the Office of President into confict with the elected Parliament.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has criticised new Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych for suggesting Kiev was not ready to join Nato.

The president said Mr Yanukovych's belief that public opinion opposed the move was "wrong, does not meet national interests and must be corrected".

His prime minister called for "a pause" on Thursday after talks with top Nato and EU officials in Brussels.

Mr Yushchenko has pushed for membership of Nato following his election in 2005.

Mr Yanukovych was named PM in August by his arch-rival Mr Yushchenko, on condition that he followed his pro-Western agenda.

The move capped a dramatic comeback for Mr Yanukovych, who was ousted in Mr Yushchenko's "Orange Revolution" in 2004.


Mr Yushchenko told reporters his government had to abide by his stance of integration with Western institutions as the "foundation, the credo for foreign policy".

The comments came a day after Mr Yanukovych said full Nato membership had only limited support among Ukrainians, on his first visit to Brussels as prime minister.

He said Kiev was taking a pause "because of the political situation in Ukraine".

"But the time will come when a decision will be made... For the time being we are looking at enlargement of our co-operation with Nato," he said.

Opposition to Nato membership is particularly strong in eastern and southern Ukraine - the electoral strongholds of Mr Yanukovych's party.

Russia has also voiced strong opposition to Ukraine joining Nato.

Kiev had earlier expressed hopes of joining the world's biggest defence alliance in 2008.

EU hopes

At the same time, Mr Yanukovych said Ukraine would continue reforms aimed at bringing the country closer to the EU.

EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said the 25-member bloc had no plans to offer Kiev membership "at this moment".

Instead, she suggested the two sides negotiate what was described as an enhanced agreement that would include a free trade pact.

Mr Yanukovych - who favours closer ties with Russia - was initially declared the victor in the 2004 presidential polls, but the result was then annulled by the Supreme Court, which ruled that the vote was fraudulent.

Mr Yushchenko was elected president in the re-run of the second round ordered by the court.

In March, Mr Yanukovych's Party of Regions polled the most votes in parliamentary elections, but failed to secure a majority.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Our Ukraine at the cross roads overlooking the ravine

Do they cross the rope bidge, turn back or jump

As Our Ukraine deliberate over the next 10 days many commentators and interested parties will be making their voice heard. The anti-crisis coalition is fragile and the numbers tight (Although every day more and more oranges are falling off the tree, some sour, some sweet)

Our Ukraine has three choices facing them. They can join the governing coalition and drive from within. They could join the opposition and without compromises criticize from outside and hope they will stumble and fall over. Or they can divide and become a squabbling mess and face political oblivion. They are at the cross roads standing on a pinnacle over looking the ravine. Do they cross the Rope Bridge, turn back or jump?

If they join the coalition they have obligations and a duty to play ball, they will lose public support for their actions and as second fiddle in the orchestra will find it hard to get recognition unless they perform loud and clear.

They could play the role of poison pen pal from within and when the time is right cut the ropes and collapse.

They could remain independent and once again join forces with Yulia Tymoshenko and bide their time hoping the fragile coalition will falter.

Or they could divide and become irrelevant and without any power of future prospects.

The first option has a possible future, the second maybe the third no way.

Governments are at their best when they are held accountable. If Yanukovich can steer clear of controversy and corruption (Some say that will be impossible) and maintain a steady course and economic growth then he will grow in strength and popularity having proved himself. It is difficult to know if he will want to stand for the President role in 2009 (or earlier) as true power now lies with the Parliament and the Prime Minister. Time will tell and Ukrainian politics is anything but dull, anything can and will happen. Stay tuned.

Mykola Katerynchuk on prospects of broad coalition
Source: September 15, 2006

In his interview to Hazeta Po-Ukrainsky (Newspaper in Ukrainian), Mykola Katerynchuk voiced an opinion that if the OU Bloc joins the broad coalition it will not be able to influence on the Cabinet’s work.

According to Katerynchuk, if the position of the deputies who have mantained their political integrity will be destroyed, they will be left with nothing. They will become the spent fuel of politics and will be totally subservient to the majority.

The deputy predicted that if they join the wide coalition the deputies will surrender their ideals and will simply become cogs in a 300 vote machine to rubber stamp questions like second langugelarge privatisation, Ukrzaliznytsa sale, sea ports etc.”

Katerynchuk is convinced that PM Yanukovich will not be a guarantor of democratic changes in Ukraine and in the business.

Katerynchuk revealed that he was genuinely sorry for SPU leader Tsushko who hangs his head in shame, unable to look people in the eye are he parrots phrases he himself doesn't believe. A shame as he used to be a strong man in opposition.

In closing, Katerynchuk said the main problem which caused the current situation was the inablilty of the Orange Forces to run on a united single ballot in the last election. We would have no problems now as we would have pulled 60%.


NATO on Hold

NATO Membership is not a priority of the govenment with only 12-25% support

Ukrainian Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych, shafts Ukraine President's NATO ambitions. "NATO Membership is not Ukraine's main stategic priority".

Opinion polls show that most Ukrainian's oppose NATO membership with support hovering between 12% to 25%.

Viktor Yanukovych told senior officials that his coalition government would continue reforms meant to bring it closer to the rest of Europe.

Ukraine Says NATO Membership on Hold
By CONSTANT BRAND, Associated Press Writer
9:51 AM PDT, September 14, 2006

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych told NATO on Thursday that he was putting moves toward membership in the alliance on hold, but he said the former Soviet republic still wanted to join the European Union.

"Joining NATO is a matter of time. Currently, there is still no support for this issue in the Ukrainian society," Yanukovych said after talks at NATO headquarters. "The support has decreased over the past two years."

Ukraine's previous, pro-Western government had hoped NATO would give the country a plan preparing the way for membership at a summit in November and was hopeful it could get an invitation to join as early as 2008.

Yanukovych, on his first visit since the March parliamentary elections returned him to the premiership, said eventual NATO membership would have to be submitted to a referendum, but that such a vote could only be held after Ukraine had undergone economic and political reforms.

Yanukovych and President Viktor Yushchenko have sparred over future ties with NATO. After Yanukovych declared last month that Ukraine would not launch its bid for membership at the November summit, Yushchenko suggested the country would not "veer one iota" from its plan to join.

Under Ukraine's constitution, the president is in charge of foreign policy, but on a question such as NATO membership he would need the support of the prime minister and government. Yushchenko has assented to the idea of a referendum on the issue.

"Membership of NATO will be the subject of ... a national referendum," Yanukovych told reporters, adding that the previous government had done a poor job of selling NATO, keeping in place old Cold War stereotypes.

He said that Russia would remain a key partner for Kiev, saying Moscow remained one of Ukraine's "strategic interests." He added that his country could act as a bridge between the EU and Russia "through which greater cooperation and closer partnership can be achieved."

During his stop at EU headquarters, Yanukovych told senior officials that his coalition government would continue reforms meant to bring it closer to the rest of Europe.

"We have the firm intention to have excellent relations with the EU and a stable relationship, which will bring us in the long term to accession of the European Union," he said after a breakfast meeting with EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

The EU commissioner, however, said the 25-nation bloc at this time had no plans to offer Kiev membership, and instead suggested the two negotiate a new so-called enhanced agreement that would include a free trade pact -- but only after Kiev joins the World Trade Organization.

"At this moment clearly there is no membership perspective," Ferrero-Waldner said.

Yanukovych, who returned to office as prime minister in this year's parliamentary elections, said few Ukrainians -- maybe 12 percent to 25 percent -- supported the idea of joining NATO. "For the time being we are looking at the enlargement of our cooperation with NATO," he said.

Opinion polls show that most Ukrainians oppose alliance membership; many are distrustful of their former Cold War foe, while others fear membership would irretrievably harm relations with Russia while bringing little significant benefit.

Opposition to NATO membership is particularly strong in eastern and southern Ukraine, where Yanukovych draws most of his support.

The visit was the first chance by Brussels to test Yanukovych, whose fraud-marred attempt to win the Ukrainian presidency in 2004 sparked the Orange Revolution protests.

His campaign in that election was strongly supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his ultimate defeat by the pro-Western Yushchenko was seen as not only a crushing loss for Yanukovych but also as a humiliation for the Kremlin.

Yanukovych rebounded less than two years later to lead his center-right party to victory in the 2006 parliamentary elections, and went on to form a governing coalition that includes the Socialist Party and the Communists.

* __

Associated Press writer Paul Ames contributed to this report from NATO headquarters in Brussels.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Time out

As Our Ukraine delivers ultimatum repeating mistakes of the past

Hours after Our Ukraine lays down its ultimatum and sets a 10 day deadline for the formation of a broad coalition the working group on the formation of the new coalition takes time out. This looks like a repeat of events surrounding the failed negotiations of the formation of an Orange coalition.

At first our Ukriane tried to torpedo Yulia Tymosheko's reapppiontment as prime minister.

When public opinion and internal forces backed Yulia Tymoshenko. Our Ukraine then attacked Olexander Moroz, Socialist Party of Ukraine, and challenged him for the job of Parliaments speaker. Our Ukraine already held the position of President which it only won with the support of its Orange coalition partners.

Instead of agreeing to share responsibilities in partnership and accepting responsibility for major economic portfolios Our Ukraine continued to chart a course of pending disaster. Ukraine was facing a major political and constitutional crisis as a result of Our Ukraine's refusal to compromise.

In the end negotiations failed and Orange coalition turned sour. Time was running out and Olexander Moroz having lost confidence in Our Ukraine's in ability to reach agreement decided to act and supported the formation of the anti-crisis coalition. Our Ukraine played their cards to the very end where they eventually lost the game.

In ten days time if there is no agreement then Our Ukraine will hopefully make a positive contribution as members of the opposition. Come 2009 Our Ukraine may not exist in the future.

Thursday, September 14 2006

The working group on broad coalition formation has taken a time-out, Yevhen Kushanryov informed on Thursday.

“We asked for few days for examining a new reduction of the coalition agreement. Then we will be ready to launch talks and keep negotiating,” said Kusharyov.

Responding to Matvienko’s statement, Kushnaryov responded: “Pressure of any kind and acceleration may destroy the negotiation process.”

According to Kushnaryov, the talks will be continued when communists and socialists will be ready to do it. “Probably this week, we will return to the talks,” mentioned Kushnaryov.

He opined that the President of Ukraine and the Our Ukraine Party should admit that fact of other part of Ukraine’s existence.

Source: ForUm


Our Ukraine set deadline for new coalition

Countdown to oblivion


Our Ukraine makes ultimatum as ten day count down commences:

Anatoly Matvienko Our Ukraine spokesperson declares "Ten days is enough time to if no agreement reached ... It will prove that there is no word in the politics but only absolutely opportunistic approach and profit-making policy"

This looks more like an escape clause and more hypocrisy..

Our Ukraine could not form, or to be more precise would not agree to form an Orange coalition after three 3 months of negotiations.

As a result of Our Ukraine's actions the anti-crisis coalition was formed with Olexander Moroz, Socialist Party of Ukraine, taking direct action to avoid a major political and constitutional crisis.

Our Ukraine do not deserve trust or respect. Forget them if they want to join they will if not get on with the role of governing and repairing the divisions and damage generated by Our Ukraine.

Let the dog sleep outside, Their betrayal and lust for power will after time for reflection help them in opposition.

They had their chance to form government and failed to act preferring to undermine the creation of a Parliamentary democracy in the hope of creating a crisis and grounds for the President of Ukraine to rule by decree.

Our Ukraine is serious divided with half of the Our Ukraine block supporting the formation of a broad coalition. Division and disunity of a sure fire recipe for disaster, Our Ukraine runs a serious risk of sinking into oblivion along with the Orange revolution which lies left rotting on the orchids floor.

Thursday, September 14 2006

The pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc said Thursday it has given the Party of Regions 10 days to decide on forming a new coalition in parliament.

A parliamentary anti-crisis coalition, formed in June and comprising the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party and the Communist Party, has for the past two weeks been engaged in intensive consultations with Our Ukraine on the possibility of expanding the grand coalition.

In August, the parties signed a national unity agreement on key policy areas. But outstanding differences on some of its provisions prevented them from forming a common political platform in the Supreme Rada.

"Ten days is the maximum time within which members of the anti-crisis coalition can make up their minds," said Anatoliy Matviyenko, a member of the Our Ukraine parliamentary faction.

The pro-presidential bloc warned that otherwise it would move to the opposition.

"If this is not done, it will mean intentional retreat from the national unity agreement, and then we will have to switch to the opposition," Matviyenko said.

He said the six political forces comprising the bloc "are ready to search for a compromise, but we cannot violate fundamental positions on the pro-European choice, European integration, the EU, and the language policy."

Source: RIA Novosti


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

More Oranges fall from the tree

Three more defections from the Orange orchid opt for ruling coalition receipe

Wednesday, September 13 2006

Ukraine's opposition took a blow Wednesday when it was announced that three members of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc were leaving its parliamentary faction for the ruling coalition.

The number of seats now held by the grouping led by ex-premier Tymoshenko, who promised in August to form a radical opposition to arch rival Viktor Yanukovych's government, has now fallen to 126.

At the opening of Wednesday's parliamentary session, Oleksandr Moroz read the statements submitted by Maxim Lutskoy, Inessa Vershinina and Dmytro Kryuchkov announcing their decision to join the anti-crisis coalition, which comprises the Yanukovych's Party of Regions, the Socialists, the Communists and some members of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc.
Tymoshenko, a charismatic leader of the 2004 "orange revolution" that swept Viktor

Yushchenko to the presidency and saw her installed as his first prime minister, has repeatedly claimed that her political opponents in parliament have attempted to bribe members of her faction into changing the sides. She has failed to provide concrete evidence to support her allegations.

The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, which won 129 seats in the 450-member Supreme Rada during the March 26 elections, was the leading force in the first parliamentary coalition to emerge after the elections, but the alliance collapsed when the Socialists defected to join the Party of Regions.

Source: RIA Novosti


Monday, September 04, 2006

To govern or not to govern

Our Ukraine face divison as calls for Our Ukraine to support the formation of a broad governing coalition increase

Our Ukraine are facing a crisis of their own and face a very bleak future amidst concerns that division within its ranks. Reports that half of Our Ukraine members support the the formation of an alliance with party of Regions and the formation of a grand governing coalition.

If Our Ukraine do not re-invent themselves Viktor Yushchenko's future is looking more and more like a one term wonder.

Already his moral authority has been reduced to the barest minimal.

Our Ukraine had its opportunity but with all its game play it has squandered much of the good will that once was afforded them. The Party is over and its members know it. They are accused of being traitors and continue to be the focus blame for the loss of public faith.

( - September 4, 2006

Zaporizhzhya Governor Chervonenko on the Our Ukraine Party's prospects

Yevhen Chervonenko Zaporizhzhya Governor and the Our Ukraine Political Council member has subjected to criticism the future of his party.

“I remain a member of the OU Political Council but I have no illusions regarding its coming future,” said he in his interview to Izvestia in Ukraine daily.

“If Our Ukraine Party does not change the situation existing now – few people pass decisions and submit them for ‘approval’ to the Political Council – such party will have no future,” stated Chervonenko.

According to his belief, “an abscess” of Our Ukraine reached the crisis point long time ago. “In the nearest time we will hold a session where the issue of OU further existence will be addressed,” added Chervonenko.

Touching the issue on possible the OU joining the broad coalition, Chervonenko stressed that the agreement with the Party of Regions should be inked earlier when the conditions were more preferable for the OU.

He also emphasised that the National Unity Universal consists the principles of the further democratic development of Ukraine.

“I wish it were implemented by the parties which had ratified it. However, nobody can be sure in the country where to betray means to foresee,” concluded Zaporizhzhya Governor Chervonenko.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

More defections from the Orange basket

Members of Yulia Tymoschenko support the formation of the anti-crisis coalition

Saturday, September 9 2006

Olena Lukash, Part of Regions reports that three members of the Yulia Tymoshenko Block have filed applications to join the anti-crisis coalition.

Oleksandr Borzykh, Volodymyr Tolstenko and Mikhailo Zubets are all reported to have all submitted applications.

Earlier reports indicate that Volodymyr Zubik and by two members of Our Ukraine – Oleksandr Volkov and Volodymyr Zaplatinsky have also supported the establishment of the anti-coalition headed by Party of Regions Viktor Yanukovich .



Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Anti-Crisis coaliton receives international recognition

European Council endorses the formation of the Ant-Crisis coalition

European Council endorses the formation of the Ant-Crisis coalition.

Victor Yushchenko and Javier Solana, Secretary General of the EU Council and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy express appreciation that Ukraine has been able to resolve its pending political crisis in a civilized and democratic manner. Ukraine was facing a major political and constitution crisis as time began to run out for the formation of a governing coalition. Our Ukraine continued to undermine and delay the formation of an "Orange" governing coalition eventually leading to the decision of Olexander Moroz to abandon further negotiations with our Ukraine and support the formation of an anti-crisis coalition lead by Viktor Yanukovich

European council appreciated formation of the new government in Ukraine

( August 8, 2006

Victor Yushchenko and Javier Solana, Secretary General of the EU Council and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, discussed the successful settlement of last month’s parliamentary crisis, which resulted in the signing of the National Unity Pact.

Mr. Solana assured the President that Europe appreciated such a civilized mechanism to resolve crises. He congratulated the head of state on the formation of Ukraine's cabinet, Yushchenko's press office reported.

Yushchenko and Solana also spoke about Ukraine’s integration with the EU. The President reiterated our country would not change its foreign policy, having added that this course was stated in the National Unity Pact. He said the new government and parliament would both work to achieve this strategic goal.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ukraine's political crisis comes to an end

Ukraine's Viktor Yushchenko accepts Parliament's nomination of Viktor Yanukovich as Prime Minister

Ukraine's Viktor Yushchenko accepts Parliament's nomination of Viktor Yanukovich as Prime Minister

Viktor Yanukovich nomination was submitted to the Present of Ukraine following the breakdown of negotiations between Our Ukraine and other "orange" coalition partners. faced with a major political and constitution crisis Olexander Moroz and the Socialist party of Ukraine abandoned coalition talks with Our Ukraine and supported the formation of the anti-crisis coalition headed by Viktor Yanukovich resulting in the formation of an anti-crisis coalition representing a majority of elected members of Parliament.

The President faced with reality had no other alternative but to consent to the nomination of his past rival and accept the determination of the elected parliament. Under the provision of Ukraine's Constitution a governing coalition must be formed within a specified period or face being dissolved and the need for fresh elections. With time running out the formation of an anti-crisis coalition was necessary to avoid major constitutional and political crisis and a loss of confidence and possible civil unrest.

Viktor Yushchenko is reported as having said "there were several ways to end the parliamentary crisis but neither “would have changed the results of the parliamentary ballot."

The President's party. "Our Ukraine" received only 14% support in the March elections. Internal pooling indicated that if a fresh election was held Our Ukraine would receive even less support with a likely outcome of fresh elections failing to provide a different outcome. Fresh elections would have cost Ukraine 100's of millions of dollars.

Ukraine's Yushchenko supports Yanukovich for PM post

Victor Yushchenko told journalists he would back the candidature of Viktor Yanukovych for post of Prime Minister of Ukraine, president's press office informed.

“I do understand that in the east and in the west of Ukraine results of the March vote, as well as any candidate for prime minister, arouse much controversy. I urge the nation to accept this decision, for we may now be given a unique chance to make the two banks of the Dnieper reach understanding,” he said.

“Today I am demonstrating another chance to reunite the country. I am taking this step towards parliament and hope it will use this chance constructively for the prosperity of the nation,” he said. “We have a unique chance enabling Ukraine’s parliament to work stably for five years. Will the political forces use this chance? Well, it is a question to them. But the President gives his hand to parliament, […] and gives it a chance to carry out these policies.”

Yushchenko said there were several ways to end the parliamentary crisis but neither “would have changed the results of the parliamentary ballot.”

"The March election has, in fact, proved that Ukraine has two poles in its choice. If new elections had been called, we would have received similar results,” he explained.

The President added we had “a chance to start implementing the course we declared in Maidan from scratch - the course enabling us to be politically tolerant and speak about goals that unite us…”


Monday, July 10, 2006

The End

After months of indecision and internal bickering with Ukraine facing a major constitutional crisis Orange partnership dissolves

Ukraine parliament announces end to "orange" coalition

Source: RAI Novisti

KIEV, July 10 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's west-leaning "orange" coalition has been formally dissolved, following one party's defection to a pro-Russian camp, the press service of the Ukrainian parliament said Monday.

The coalition, formed on June 22 by the pro-presidential Our Ukraine party, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the Socialist Party, collapsed last week as the Socialists withdrew to team up with the Party of Regions and the Communists. Their decision was prompted by the surprise election of Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz as parliament speaker, a position originally promised to a member of President Viktor Yushchenko's party.

The parliamentary press service said the Supreme Rada had registered documents confirming the dissolution of the coalition and the formation of the new coalition that had already nominated Viktor Yanukovych, leader of the Party of Regions, as the country's prime minister.


Friday, July 07, 2006

President held to blame

Moroz places blame on the collapse of the Orange alliance on Ukraine's President

Ukraine's socialists accuse president over coalition collapse

Source: RAI Novosti 19:40
07/ 07/ 2006

KIEV, July 7 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's Socialist Party blames President Viktor Yushchenko for a virtual collapse of a coalition majority formed in the country's parliament in June, a party member said Friday.

Ivan Boky said, "The president ruined the coalition by nominating Petro Poroshenko for the post of [Supreme Rada] speaker."

The coalition of Western-leaning forces broke up when the Party of Regions, holding 186 seats in the Rada, and the Socialist and Communist parties with 33 and 21 seats respectively joined forces late Thursday to elect Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz as speaker.

The three parties are currently holding talks on the formation of a new parliamentary coalition.

Boky said anarchy followed the collapse of the "orange" coalition that "ruined the economy and created political instability."

"Therefore, we had to assume responsibility and search for a way out of this situation," he added.

The Socialists were accused of breaching an agreement with its "orange" allies, pro-presidential Our Ukraine grouping and the bloc led by Yulia Tymoshenko, who was Ukraine's prime minister for eight months last year and is aspiring to the post again. The "orange" coalition, made up of the three parties that propelled Viktor Yushchenko to the presidency in the "orange revolution" of 2004, earlier planned Poroshenko, an Our Ukraine candidate, as Rada speaker.

Tymoshenko said earlier Friday that the "orange" coalition had ceased to exist and urged President Viktor Yushchenko to either approve a new coalition or dissolve the Rada.

The Rada, meanwhile, is to form the government by July 22. After this deadline the president is entitled to dissolve legislature and call new elections.


Deadline approachs

Ukraine faces the unkown and a major consitutional and political crisis as July 22 approaches

Ukraine president may dissukrolve Rada if no govt. formed by deadline

Source: RAI Novosti19:2507/ 07/ 2006
Print version

KIEV, July 7 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said Friday he may dissolve the country's parliament if deputies fail to form a government by the July 22 deadline.

"To avoid debates over the political and legal legitimacy of elections of the Supreme Rada speaker or prime minister, we should stick exclusively to the provisions in the constitution," the president said. "Therefore, I would say that a threat of dissolving the parliament exists in this context."

Yushchenko also said he was concerned that talks in parliament may fall outside the framework of the country's constitution.

Under Ukrainian law, the president may dissolve parliament and call new elections if a new government is not formed after the dismissal of the old cabinet.


Moroz elected speaker

In a breakaway move Moroz supports move to fukrom a anti-crisis coalition to avoid consitutional crisis as 22 July nears

Ukrainian parliament elects Socialist leader as speaker

Source: RAI Novosti

KIEV, July 7 (RIA Novosti) - Leader of the Socialist Party Oleksandr Moroz is Ukraine's new parliamentary speaker.

Two hundred and thirty-eight deputies in the 450-seat house voted late Thursday in favor of Moroz, who occupied the post in 1994-1998.

The Supreme Rada resumed work Thursday after the opposition ended its the blockade of the rostrum and reached a compromise with the coalition majority. Yanukovych's Party of Regions had staged a sit-in since June 27 in protest against the allocation of Cabinet and Supreme Rada portfolios by the coalition of three Western-leaning groupings.

Deputies from former premier Yulia Tymoshenko's eponymous bloc and the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc refused to participate in the vote in protest against the Socialist faction. They claimed the Socialists had breached an "orange" coalition agreement, which had a provision to elect a candidate from pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc as a speaker.

The three parties formed a coalition June 22 after three months of negotiations over key posts.

Representatives from the largely pro-Russia Party of Regions, which won the largest share of the March 26 parliamentary vote, said that Moroz's election as parliamentary speaker had drastically changed the balance of political forces in the Rada.

Now, the Party of Regions (186 deputies), the Communist Party (21 deputies), and the Socialist Party (33 deputies) can form a new coalition majority, although the Socialists have been rejecting this possibility so far.

The Rada is to form the government by July 22. After this deadline the president is entitled to dissolve legislature and call new elections, though President Viktor Yushchenko has already warned that holding new elections could be too costly.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Submitted by Matt Jay on 6/13/2006 – 12:44 pm
Publihsed by Publius Pundit

Think back to March 26 2006. Belarussians were on the street protesting against Lukashenka, an Afghan Christian convert risked the death penalty, London Mayor Ken Livingstone had just called the U.S Ambassador a ‘chiseling little crook’, and the Commonwealth games had just concluded. Whilst some sort of closure has been brought to all of those events, one news story from the week wrangles on. Ukraine went to the ballot box 4 months ago – a government has still yet to be formed.

For those of you who have not been following the story, it will not take long to explain the events of March, April, May and June. The results yielded a Parliament, as expected, with ex-Kuchma ally Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions the biggest seat holder (186 MP’s). In Second, Third and Fourth place came Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, Our Ukraine (President Yushchenko’s party) and the Socialists. The three parties held 129, 81 and 33 seats respectively – enough for a majority to set about governing.

After a brief period of relief in Western Ukraine that the Pro-Russian parties would not form the new cabinet, the blocs began talking. And talk they did. The first sticking point appeared to be Tymoshenko’s demand to be Prime Minister. Apparently, as Yushchenko had fired her only months before from the same position, this was unacceptable. I mean, why should the party with the most MP’s in parliament have the most powerful post? For months, the bickering went on, with whisperings of alternative candidates, and the occasional claim that Our Ukraine was talking to the enemy (Party of Regions). Only last week did Yushchenko finally agree that Tymoshenko should be PM.

But now a further thorn in the side of a reunited Orange Coalition has emerged. Yes, Our Ukraine is opposed to the Socialist Party gaining control of the Parliamentary Speaker’s post. So much so that all talks have been broken off.

So why is Our Ukraine causing such a fuss? Why are they using such definite terms as ‘impossible’ and ‘dead end’?

Personally I feel that Yushchenko is angling for the strongest possible position he can – one where he regains the powers he lost at the start of the year.

When Kuchma agreed to a new election in 2005, it was done so on the premise that the President would have far fewer powers. Yushchenko naturally agreed and all was well. Fast forward a year and the new Head of State began to call for a referendum to see if the Ukrainian people agreed with the constitutional reforms. Backsliding in the face of poor opinion poll ratings, Yushchenko seemed determined to reverse the laws which placed most important decisions in the hands of the Prime Minister.

Realising that a referendum would likely fail without support from Party of Regions and Yulia Tymoshenko, the Liberal Head of State adopted a new tactic. If he could pack the Constitutional Court with his own supporters the reforms would be overturned. Parliament would not play ball.

So now Ukraine faces crisis. An Orange coalition is off the table (allegedly) and Yushchenko appears to be cosying up to Party of Regions through small steps. Im sure after a brief chat, Our Ukraine will further denounce it’s former allies and agree on some kind of ‘Government of National Unity’ with Yanukovych. All the time, Yushchenko probably hoping to strike some sort of deal that gives his party the chance to swear in those all important judges. If this is the game, and the reasoning behind it, that the President is playing it is extremely foolish.

The Party of Regions have little interest in Democracy, are associated with crime, and tainted with the alleged poisoning of Yushchenko himself. I fear that in his desire to regain his power the President is risking handing everything to the party of big, murky business. Whatever the result, Our Ukraine’s opinion poll ratings must be sliding further into the abyss – 2010 is unlikely to see them returned to power and Ukraine most likely just as far away from NATO and the EU as ever before.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Could Ukraine become a dictorship

Victor Yushchenko rules out parliamentary election rerun

Interfax-Ukraine reports Yushchenko as saying there will not be a rerun Parliamentary election. This send the wrong signals given that the President's Our Ukraine Party have just stated that negotiations on the formation of an Orange coalition have failed.

Could Ukraine become a dictatorship with Yushchenko at the helm?

If there is no working coalition formed before June 25 then Ukraine will enter a catch 22 constitutional Crises leaving Victor Yushchenko and the former Government in control.

As previously reported unless this situation is resolved quickly then Ukraine will begin to suffer economically. Ukraine will suffer a loss of confidence, the one thing business does not like is uncertainty.

Our Ukraine appear to have been edging or trying to find excuses to not form a government. Their demand first for Yulia Tymoshenko to not be re-appointed Prime-minister failed to attract support, now they are looking to shift responsibility to the third coalition partner, The Socialists, claiming for themselves the right to appoint the Parliamentary Speaker. The Socialists hold the view that as Our Ukraine holds the President's position, Yuylia Tymoshenko should be appointed Prime-Minister and the Socialists should have the Speakers chair.

It is difficult to ascertain why Our Ukraine is prepared to put so much at risk over what is really a trivial issue. Our Ukraine would be better off securing the major financial/economic portfolios and steer from the rear. instead they are prepared to risk all and plunge Ukraine into the abyss, further undermining public confidence in the President.

Viktor Yushchenko instead of staying home to resolve the potential crisis of confidence continues on his world tour as if there is no problem or it is not his responsibility.

24 hours is a long time in politics but one can not help but wonder if those involved, Our Ukraine in particular are sincere about developing a true democratic state.

Yuschenko rules out parliamentary election rerun

Kyiv, June 12 (Interfax-Ukraine) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has ruled out the possibility of repeat parliamentary elections despite the current impasse in talks on the formation of a governing coalition.

"Remember - there will be no repeat elections. Today you have been entrusted with responsibility for the country, and this means that you must form a majority. External and internal threats require consolidation and not egoism on the part of Ukrainian politicians. This is what the president and Ukrainian society expect from you," Yuschenko said in a radio address.


All hope dies as Ukraine faces a major constitutional crisis

Kyiv Post update

Ukrainian president's party: continuing coalition talks with Socialists is hopeless

Jun 12 2006, 17:05

(AP) President Viktor Yushchenko's political party said Monday it saw no point in continuing talks with the Socialists on forming a governing coalition, possibly signaling the imminent collapse of 11 weeks of negotiations to reunite Ukraine's Orange Revolution allies.

The sticking point has been the job of parliamentary speaker, which both Our Ukraine and the Socialists have demanded.

"In connection with the Socialist Party's ultimatum relating to the post of parliamentary speaker, Our Ukraine considers future talks to form a coalition as pointless," Yushchenko's party said in a statement.

The Socialists were "acting irresponsibility before the Ukrainian people," the party said.

Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz, who is his party's candidate for the speaker's job, countered that Our Ukraine had constantly shifting conditions that set the talks up for failure. He called on Yushchenko to intervene personally.

The failure by the three parties that supported the 2004 Orange Revolution to reach an agreement has left this ex-Soviet republic effectively rudderless, with neither the Cabinet nor parliament fully functioning. The disarray prompted U.S. President George W. Bush to put off a visit to Ukraine this month.

The parties halted talks on Saturday, and face a self-imposed Wednesday deadline to present an agreement to parliament.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who would get her old job back if the coalition forms, has accused Our Ukraine of purposely trying to sabotage the talks so it can pull out and form a coalition with the top vote-getter in the March parliamentary elections - the pro-Russian Party of Regions.

Yushchenko fired Tymoshenko eight months into his presidency, plunging their two parties into a bitter rivalry that has raised questions over whether they can reunite.

Initially, Tymoshenko's reappointment had been seen as the biggest obstacle, but Our Ukraine has acceded to Tymoshenko's demand that she become prime minister, while claiming the parliamentary speaker's job for itself.

The Socialists argue, however, that for the coalition to work, it must represent a balance of power, which could be achieved by them having the speaker's job.

Tymoshenko's bloc won more seats than Our Ukraine or the Socialists combined.


Ukraine's coalition talks 'fail'

BBC Reports

Our Ukraine place Ukrainian democracy in hold as they fail to negoitate a working coalition government.
Ukraine's coalition talks 'fail'
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's party has said talks to form the so-called Orange Revolution government have "no prospect" of succeeding.
Our Ukraine (NU) party has been trying to form a coalition with the Socialists and the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc since the election in March.

But the NU said the Socialists' demand to be given the post of parliamentary speaker caused the talks to break down.

The three parties led the revolution in 2004 that swept Mr Yushchenko to power.

"In connection with the Socialist Party's ultimatums about the post of speaker... Our Ukraine notes that further talks on the formation of a coalition have no prospect of success," the NU said in a statement.

"Our Ukraine regrets that the personal ambitions of the socialist leader have destroyed the negotiations on the creation of a coalition," it said.

The NU emerged as the second strongest "orange" party after the 26 March election - behind the Tymoshenko block but ahead of the Socialists.

The three parties have reportedly agreed that Yulia Tymoshenko would lead the government in a new coalition, but the speaker's post remains a major obstacle.

Under constitutional changes that took effect earlier this year, the post of prime minister will carry substantially more weight than before.

Mr Yushchenko's options now include entering into coalition talks with Viktor Yanukovych, who was his rival during the Orange Revolution.

Mr Yanukovych's Regions' Party polled the most votes in the March poll - but not enough to form a government on its own.


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.