Saturday, October 15, 2011

Struggle for democracy, to War of attrition to arrest and imprisonment

In the analysis of David Marples published by Kyiv Post

David Marples leaves out part of the history behind Ukraine's poliical manoverings which all play a part in the events that are unfolding today. Much of it has roots to Yushchenko's failed term of office

Marples correctly stated
"The presence within this group of Firtash is possiblythe most significant. An ally of former president Viktor Yushchenko, heestablished a position for his company RosUkrEnergo as an intermediary in thebitter gas war between Russia and Ukraine. Firtash offered to buy the gas fromRussia and resell it to Ukraine."

Here lies much of the problem Victor Yushchenko, Ukraine's past President,fuelled by resentment and desire for revenge, against Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's past Prime-minster.

Yushchenko,blames Tymoshenko for his political demise and low standing in the polls. Truth is Yushchenko has only himself to blame.

Victor Yushchenko persistently attacked and undermined those who had supported hiselection.

His down fall started beforehe was elected when he opposed Ukraine becoming a parliamentary democracy backin 2002.

The compromise and changes toUkraine's Constitution that enabled Yushchenko to win the 2004 Presidential electionwas a natural progression that stemmed from the 2002 reform proposals . The amendments agreed to would become inforce following the March 2006 Parliamentary elections. Amendments that saw Ukraine shift from aPresidential-parliamentary system to a Parliamentary-Presidential system of government.

Yushchenko’s refusal to support the formation of a orangecoalition following 2006 Parliamentary election was the period that saw the beginningof the end of the Orange coalition. Yushchenkofirst tried to oust Tymoshenko from the leadership, when that failed his party then went after OlexandrMoroz. Yushchenko was not prepared to share power or support Ukraine's newdemocratic government. It was his way orno way. Yushchenko gambled with the outcome of failed negotiations and lost.Three months had elapsed and Ukraine was facing a major constitutional crises.Moroz abandoned support for Yushchenko and his party and agreed to form agoverning coalition of unity to Yushchenko's disliking. This saw Yanukovych assume the role of PrimeMinister putting Party of Regions back in government. Has Yushchenko supported the orange coalitionParty of Regions would have remained in opposition.

The events of 2007saw the whole thing blow up and collapse.

Yushchenko, facing the prospect of losing power with support growing forfurther Constitutional reform, dismissed Ukraine's parliament causing sevenmonth of political and civil unrest. Yushchenko was convinced that he, with the support of the breakawaySocialist party group "Peoples self defence" would win the majorityvote in fresh Parliamentary elections. Again Yushchenko gambled with theoutcome and lost. Yushchenko's Partywent backwards and Tymoshenko secured the majority of the Orange coalitionsupport.

The Socialist Party, whose votes were halved in the election,fell short by 0.14% from being elected to parliament. Had they secured the 3%representation threshold the overall results of the election would not havechange from that in 2006.

The November 2007 Parliamentary election result saw Ukraine’sparliament divided with the alliance between Bloc Tymoshenko and Our Ukraine combinedmanaging to win the majority vote on the floor of the parliament by thesmallest of margins.

Within days the Our Ukraine grouping, at the bequest of Yushchenko’soffice, was refusing to support Tymoshenko who had held three times the numberof Parliamentary seats then Our Ukraine. Tymoshenko lost the first round of voting on the floor of the parliamentto eventually won by a vote of one. Thisleft Ukraine in an even more unstable position then it was before the 2007elections.

Yushchenko continued to engaged in a war of attritionundermining the government at every stage.

In 2008 Yushchenko wanted to Ukraine to go to war withRussia in support of the Georgian Government, who within the support of the USAGovernment at the time had provoked Russia into a short lived civil war byinvading the autonomous regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Northern Georgia.

If Ukraine had acted on Yushchenko's orders we would have seena full scaled regional war break out. Thanks to cool heads, and Tymoshenko, the escalation of war with Russia wasavoided.

Yushchenko was alienated in the period that followed and Yushchenko once again tried to have theparliament dismissed. A move that was rejected with Yushchenko's own partysplitting down the middle. Tymoshenkonegotiated the support of block Lytvyn to shore up her government by an additional20 votes of the floor of the parliament by offering Lytvyn the position of Parliamentary speaker, a postion that Yushchenko had denied Olexandr Moroz back in 2006.

Yushchenko's public support slumped to below 5% and he neverrecovered with over 85% of Ukraine actively opposed to his continued presidency.

Efforts to revive the prospects of further constitutionalreform and the removal of Yushchenko from office came close but fell apart inteh last minute with the various parties failing to agree on the detail and structureof the new parliament.

The rest is history.

Yushchenko tried to cling on to power until the last minute, knowing thathe was going to be defeated. His targetof revenge was Tymoshenko.

In 2009 Gas wars broke out between Ukeaine and Russia, with Dmitry Firtash, an ally and closefriend of Yushchenko, seeking to be set himself up as a middleman energy broker for the sale and supply of gas to Ukraine. A contact that stood to win himhundreds of millions of dollars in profits taht naturaly would benefit Yushchenko as well..

Yulia Tymoshenko was opposed to Ukraine having to deal with a thirdparty broker in the supply of gas to Ukraine. This precipitated the so called gas wars between Russia and Ukraine thatfollowed as a result.

Firtash's companylost out and a negotiated contract between Ukraine and Russia was agreed toending the standoff that saw Europe's denied the supply of Russian gas.

Yushchenko, who was backing Firtash's gas takeover, and seeking revenge against Tymoshenko enaged the National Security Council to initiate allegations andcharges of abuse of office against Tymoshenko arising from the signing of the gas contract between Russia and Ukraine. The Natuional Security Council is a presidential executive body appointed by Yushchenko at the time.

It is these charges and allegation made by Yushchenko and the National Security Council that saw Tymoshenkoimprisoned on October 11, 2011