Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Opposing Tactics

Ukraine's Opposition coalition faces defections

In a month of ongoing political conflict caused by the recent alliance and creation of an opposition coalition between various members of Our Ukraine and Yulia Tymoshenko block has generated tension and further division within Ukraine.

Encouraged by a new found partnership of convenience Yulia Tymoshenko and Our Ukraine had embarked on a deliberate campaign of destabilization of Ukraine's political and democratic development.

At the centre of the pending political crisis was Ukraine's President, Victor Yushchenko, and his power and right of veto.

The President under Ukraine's constitution has the right to veto any legislation as he sees fit to veto. A power that is widely open to abuse. In order to over-ride the President’s right of Veto the Parliament requires a statutory 2/3rds majority vote of the Parliament.

Recently Yulia Tymoshenko forced the hand of the President by backing proposals by the Government to pass legislation on the law of Cabinet of Ministers. This temporary alliance between Yulia Tymoshenko and the Governing Coalition set alarm bells rings within the Presidential camp. Our Ukraine quickly agreed to a new alliance and the creation of an opposition coalition.

Under the terms of the new alliance Yushchenko was to back the opposition who in turn had promised not to support any proposed motion to overturn the Presidents veto. The President power had been significantly strengthened

With the agreement signed Yulia Tymoshenko embarked on a campaign of defiance and destabilization with reports of the opposition blocking access to the tribune and sabotaging the operations of the parliament. Hardly a day went by last week were the opposition threatened and walkout of the parliament. Ukraine' Parliament once against denigrating into a farcical dysfunctional entity.

Yulia Tymoshenko and Our Ukraine had proposed to create perception of dysfunctional paralyzed Government.

The Plan was for the President to veto all legislation that the opposition did not support and as such prevent the Government from functioning.

The plan began to back fire with various members of the Opposition Forces opposed to the tactics.

Olexander Moroz, Speaker of the Parliament, reaffirmed the resolve of the Government to continue governing and to not cave into the black-mail and tactics of the opposition.

As the month came toward an end various members of the Opposition have announced their decision to leave the opposition coalition and join the Government forces.

Olexander Moroz's claim of expanding the governing coalition alliance to 300 members looks like becoming a reality sparking off anther round of power struggle between the office of the President and the Parliament.

The President faced yet again with a decline in his authority and power. The possibility of a 2/3rdfs majority governing coalition would see the President stripped of his power to veto legislation passed by the parliament.

News today published by Intefax Ukrainian news agency indicates that the President had drafted a Presidential decree to dismiss the Parliament and to hold fresh Parliamentary elections.

It is difficult to know if this is just a part of the political stand-off between the Parliament and the office of the President or part of a long-term plan to overthrow the democratically elected Parliament that Olexander Moroz had warned about last month.

The sacking of the Government and the holding of fresh parliamentary elections is the last thing Ukraine needs.

The Government maintains the confidence of a majority of the parliament and following announcements of the creation of a new expanding coalition of National Unity is getting stronger not weaker. The growing strength of the Government coalition is due mainly to the rejected tactics of the opposition, whose goal is to destabilize the government in the hopes that fresh elections will see a change in the oppositions fortunes.

Whilst the polls indicate a decline in public support for the government it also shows a corresponding decline in support for the opposition and as such it is very difficult to ascertain who would win should fresh parliamentary elections be called.

If anything the premature and opportunistic sacking of the Parliament, which was elected just over one year ago, would seriously destabilize Ukraine’s' social, political, economic and democratic development.

Faced with an out of control irrational opposition and the possibility of a new crisis on the horizon a number of Members of parliament have decided to abandon the proposal of Yulia Tymoshenko in favor of creating a more stable broad governing coalition.

Victor Yushchenko, who is trailing both opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, and Prime-minister in the polls, has stated that he will not sign the draft Presidential decree.

The Constitution Court has not yet considered or responded to his earlier request for a ruling of the Court to outline under what conditions and authority the President can sack the Parliament. under western conventions a government that maintains the confidence of the elected parliament has a right to govern. in Ukraine’s case the Government is getting stronger not weaker. There is no justification or legal grounds for the Parliament to be sacked other then the desire of the opposition to have a second chance at winning government. Its a bit like having lost the spin of the roulette wheel asking the bank for a double or nothing second chance and betting all on black.

In the meantime the only crisis that's facing Ukraine today is that which has been manufactured by the opposition and fueled by the office of the President who are engaged in a reckless and irresponsible power struggle with the democratically elected government.

The last thing Ukraine needs is fresh elections and a period of instability.