Tuesday, July 11, 2006

If at first you don't succeed, revote 

In Ukraine, the standoff between the now-defunct Orange coalition and the new possible coalition is getting stronger. President Yushchenko issued a statement in Ukrainian on Saturday establishing his guidelines (a new statement in English seems to support this -- a report on the Saturday address is here.) From the Ukrainian (thanks to Dominique Arel of the Ukraine List for the translation):
My position regarding the situation in the Verkhovna Rada is the following:

First. Emotions should not prevail. Deputies should determine the make up of the coalition. In accordance with the legislation they must present its program and agenda.

I need to see a viable coalition with which I will work.

Second. This majority will have the responsibility to make the work of parliament and government effective. I will react appropriately to its actions or lack thereof.

Third. There are three weeks left to form a government. The coalition is supposed to nominate the prime minister. However I will submit its candidacy to the parliament only after the activity of the Constitutional Court is resumed.

Fourth. Today my position remains unchanged. There will be no return of "Kuchmism." The country will be moving towards the European Union. The country's foreign and internal political course will remain unaltered.
Whether he can make these demands stick or not depends on his resolve -- increasingly questioned both inside and outside the country -- and the interpretations of the agreements that ended the Orange Revolution in early 2005 by the Constitutional Court. There was once the possibility that Yushchenko and Yanukovych would work together (one side at least is still talking), which former Orange PM Yulya Tymoshenko completely rejects:
I do not want to be one of them. That is why we are either in the opposition, and, importantly, an honest opposition that does not hedge, or we will fight honestly in new elections to make people understand that new elections will offer a new chance to purge based on the existing knowledge of politicians' true faces.
At this time it appears the Oranges are sticking together (sans Moroz) leading to a raucous Parliament assembly and calls that the Oranges are running a banana republic.

My bet is on early elections. There is no stable majority in the Rada.

UPDATE: The Parliament is in a standoff and recessed for the time being. The pro-Yanukovych forces appear better organized at this time, but it also appears that Tymoshenko and Yushchenko have decided to be allies regardless of past differences. The claim of the Orangists right now is that Moroz was supposed to give ten days notice before leaving the coalition so that the government could reconfigure and maintain a parliamentary majority. No such notice was given.