Friday, March 31, 2006

A Do-able Plan?

From Ukrajinska Pravda (English translation by Nikolai Bilaniuk for UkraineList, original article here in Ukrainian):
The leader of the Socialist Party of Ukraine, Oleksandr Moroz, has come out in favour of a coalition including the Tymoshenko Bloc, "Our Ukraine" and the SPU.
He spoke about this to journalists next to the Presidential Secretariat, after a meeting with President Victor Yushchenko.
"We are ready to support a memorandum on the principles of forming a coalition of three parties - the Tymoshenko Bloc, Our Ukraine, and SPU," said Moroz.

It should be a coalition of those people, for whom the majority of the electorate voted. That's because the election campaign was based on the alternative "either the people of the Maidan, or the Party of Regions." explained Moroz.

To summarize, in his words, about 70% of the electorate is not in favour of the Party of Regions.

According to him, the memorandum is to be signed "in the nearest days."

To this Moroz added, that he agrees with Yushchenko's thought that "we don't need to deepen the east-west fissure."

"We have to search for understanding. I would advocate a solution, in which the Party of Regions would nonetheless be represented in the power structures. In four or five oblasts they have a majority on the oblast councils. So it would only be natural that they hold the governorships too," added Moroz.

In his words, the possibility of achieving this solution will depend on Viktor Yanukovych.

Moroz said that in the formation of the government they will apply the principle that every party will take turns claiming a portfolio, and the remaining portfolios will be handed out on the basis of who has more votes in Parliament.

Moroz also said that other forces that are party to the coalition will not have veto power over ministerial candidacies.

In response to the question, will the Tymoshenko Bloc have the right to nominate the prime minister given that they earned the greatest number of votes in the coalition, Moroz answered "Yes, of course."

To this, the leader of the SPU added that a second option is being considered, in which the candidates for the posts of prime minister and speaker will have to be decided by consensus among the three parties.

On the question of Tymoshenko, Moroz said that he had met with her, and "she did not use the language of ultimatums."

Concerning his meeting with Yushchenko, Moroz explained: "We did not agree to anything, but the above mentioned negotiations are taking place."
This plan seems to fit all the pieces of the election puzzle together the best, given that it now seems that the Socialists have agreed to work with BjuT to form the majority only with Our Ukraine; i.e., that they agree with BjuT that the government should be based on "the people of the Maidan," not of the Regions. . .

If all this really is the case, then it seems that Our Ukraine are now, for the moment, the King-makers.

Our Ukraine can still decide to take its 1/3 of the Maidan votes (as the Socialists and BjuT together have more or less 2/3 of pro-Orange votes) and form a coalition with the Regions on the basis of what could be summarized as the stance that what is needed is post-OR reconciliation. . .

Also, Tymoshenko is allegedly pledging to be more business-friendly (i.e., no more reprivatizations, presumably. . .)

Another oped article by RFE's Roman Kupchinsky here; not quite sure what he means by the last line. . .


Anonymous said...

Kupchinsky's concerns seem a little far-fetched or extreme. They seem to be worries of a drama-queen, or of someone who overly dramatizes the risks inherent in present realities.

To what extent do you think Russia is a match for the US on the "Grand Chessboard" and is rising as a truly competitive power?

Stefan said...

Ukraineblogger bob at is critical of the piece as well. In Bob’s typically mocking and entertaining style, his comments are entitled, “World War Eight.”

I too was critical of it right when I read it, but posted it anyway because it raises the point again of the role of Russia in international politics and in Ukraine. It is given to hyperbole (and I should have qualified my posting of it). However, whether the degree of threat that Kupchinsky thinks is posed by the Russian government, in the realm of global geopolitics in general and in Ukraine in particular, is real or imagined, it is important to note that the Russian government intends to make itself this relevant of a power.

As for the statement in the article about Russia behaving as the most (arrogantly) self-confident and aggressive nation in the world today? Give me a break! Has Kupchinsky been out of it for the years that the Bush administration has been in power? That was the most ridiculous assertion of his piece.

Also, the piece left me wondering, does Kupchinsky really believe in the altruism of the US mission in the world today? Does he really think the US is effectively promoting democracy? And about the rhetoric of “failed states,” I just listened to an interview with Noam Chomsky on DemorcayNow! website (listen to or read the transcript here:; jfyi, if you don't know, Chomsky is a leading dissident intellectual in the US and DemocracyNow! is dissident Radio/TV news program with a website).

Chomsky has just published a book, entitled "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy," in which he makes the case that the situation today in the US under the Bush administration exhibits the very characteristics of a “failed state” that the Bush administration uses to justify its rhetorical and real attacks on other countries. Yet Kupchinsky concludes his article with the pathetic little threat that, “the time may come when Uncle Sam will throw up his hands in frustration at the shenanigans played in the Ukrainian capital.” Oooh, scary. What does he mean here? Clean up your act, children, or Uncle Sam is gonna come whoop some ass?

However, in terms of an attempt to rebuild or gain foreign influence and empire, then Russia is second to the US of today. Is reality dividing into Us v Them again? Well, just like the Cold War world actually was not divided in neat halves (many global struggles, then and now, involve complicated triangulations), the world today is a much more complicated place than what a “Us v. Them” thinking about it represents. It has only ever been thus. The Cold War never really ended; or rather, it never really began. The conflicts of today, in their general outline, are nothing new; they’ve just altered their specifics.

However, I have always favored a harder line in Kyiv vis-à-vis the Russian government (e.g., in case of the gas crisis) and the oligarchs. This is one thing that Kupchinsky has, in various pieces and in just so many words, repeatedly called for.