Monday, May 07, 2007

Friction within Coalition Factions facing agreement for new elections

Prime-Minister, Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukraine's President, Viktor Yushchenko, have agreed to put an end to the ongoing political conflict that was dividing the nation.

Following last Friday's announcement that an agreement has been reached to hold fresh elections in Ukraine before the years end has began to create disagreements and friction within the governing coalition.

Election Free Summer Holiday with politcal discord

Whilst Ukraine can look forward to an election free summer holiday the political game play is far from over as the politicians try to come to agreement over the details of putting the peace plan into effect.

Member's of the coalition parties have expressed concern that they have not been fully consulted and that the Prime-Minister has given credence to the President's demands which they say are unconstitutional and should only be agreed to if and when Ukraine's Constitutional Court rules in favour of the President which is unlikely.

President Opposition Victory Spin

Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko have been quick to claim a victory putting a spin on the peace deal agreement.

The President is hoping to hold fresh elections in July/August where the Prime-Minister is advocating an October/November poll.

The conflict resolution has come after 40 days of bitter divisions and political conflict following the President's unilateral decree to dismiss Ukraine's democratically elected parliament following unity with the opposition coalition with a number of members of the opposition crossing the floor to support the parliamentary majority.

The constitutional authority of the President was on shaky grounds and members of the governing coalition had appealed to Ukraine's Constitutional Court against the authority of the president to dissolve parliament.

Shoring up fresh elections by resignation

Members of the Opposition blocs Yulia Tymoshenko and Our Ukraine had tendered their resignation from Parliament in order to ensure the dissolving of the parliament.

Under Ukraine's Constitution the parliament needs to have more then 300 elected members of Parliament in order to hold a plenary session. If less then 300 members of parliament are available then within 30 days the President under the terms of Ukraine's constitution (Article 90) can legally dismiss the Parliament and call for parliamentary elections to be held within 60 days from that date.

Plenary session are organised into half yearly periods with the next session due to start in September.

Constitutional deliberations

The ongoing political conflict was not in Ukraine's best interest and whilst the Constitutional Court is still deliberating on the merits and legality of the President's decree there was little to gain in perpetuating the conflict given that, even if the Constitutional Court ruled against the President's decree, the president in the future would have the constitutional right to call for early elections in late October/early November.

Extending disputation

The longer the disputation the worst it with the government losing support as the crisis is allowed to fester.

The prime-minister and the president have rightly agreed to end the conflict by agreeing to hold fresh elections before the end of the year. Although the date and details had not yet been finalised.

Legislative reform

The Parliament needs to put in place a series of amendments to Ukraine's constitution and and legislation to facilitate the financing and holding of the elections. In order to do this the president has to revoke his decrees and reconstitute the old parliament (Including rescinding the President's earlier acceptance of opposition members resignation for the parliament - although there remains many question as to the legality of such moves pragmatism should prevail in the end of the day)

Issues such as the date for elections, whether the forthcoming election will also include fresh presidential elections along with the desired changes to Ukraine's constitution all need to be resolved.

All issues will add to the increasing friction within both the opposition and governing coalitions .