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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Yushchenko Reschedules Elections, Reinforces Decree

In a surprise and concise address to the nation on Wednesday night, President Yushchenko announced his decision to hold the elections on June 24, not May 27 as his previous decree stated. He thereby rescinded his April 2 dissolution decree, replacing it with one that contains stronger constitutional language.

Filled with numerous citations, it comes as a smart move that offers the voters a better explanation of where both sides of the conflict stand. The punch line remains unchanged: The coalition has violated the choice made by the voters in the last election, and thus has violated their constitutional rights.

So, “it ain’t over till it’s over,” as the saying goes, meaning that the coalition has to do it over again. Only this time the Yanukovych lobby in the Constitutional Court will probably have a harder time derailing Yushchenko’s case.

As today’s session of the unruly Rada opened — on a day that marks the 21st anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster — the guys there didn’t look quite as happy as they did a few days ago. The luster and confidence they exuded has tarnished. The practice of licking one’s lips in front of the camera — peppering the audience with spoilers on how the pet Court will bomb Yushchenko into submission — has come to a hiatus.


David said...

Are the duelling rallies still continuing?

I rather like the contrast between the counter-maidan full of people paid to be there and the maidan 2 full of people who choose to be there(with very little compensation).

I'm also sure that informal interactions between participants in the two rallies may also be important for Ukraine's future.

David said...

What's this with a Wednesday agreement by coalition and opposition to ban rallies?

Is PoR tired of paying for ralliers? And the Oranges accomodating this by cutting short Maidan 2.2?


Anonymous said...

I'd tell as many people about this as possible...


Anonymous said...

This is bad. Sehr bad. Mas bad.

Signs of retrenchment.


Taras said...

David, there’s neither much rallying, nor is there much of a commitment to refrain from it. Yanukovych supporters held a rally on Friday, and the opposition plans one on Saturday.

The voice of intellectual Ukraine may not be a silver bullet, but it certainly adds firepower to the cause. As of today — and with the recent armwrestling zigzag — I think that people on both sides of the game have come to accept the idea of new elections and are now longing for a political spring break. The good news is, according to polls, 84 percent are willing to participate in the summer elections.

Luida, on the contrary, it’s a good sign:)! It’s a sign of reinvigoration.

They thought that, with the Court at their beck and call, they could shoot Yushchenko like a clay pigeon. They were wrong. Alas, he turned out to be a wild duck who’s done his homework and is a few steps ahead of them. They thought they had it all fixed, and now they’re pissed. They’re back to square one. The struggle continues, and Yushchenko’s approval ratings have climbed a few points.

I’d sum it up as “Don’t be a menace to Bankova St. while drinking your juice in the Court:)!”

Anonymous said...

With the Orange rallies, do they pay protestors anything, like money for the ride back home? I'm told they did that during the OR and for some it tarnished the experience some.

I read that Yanuk has expressed some consent for early elections, but am not sure if he is still insisting on early presidential elections, as well.

I also hear that Akhmetov wants early elections.


Taras said...

In ascending order of “capitalization,” I would rate the three Maidans as follows:

Maidan II
Maidan I

During the Orange Revolution, they set up a public fund that accepted contributions from Ukrainians of all walks of life and channeled them to the benefit of Maidaners.

Don’t be confused. People didn’t come to Maidan to make money. They came there to prevent politicians from making money off them. They came to prevent the Putin appointee from perpetuating their misery.

Yes, they gave some Maidaners the money for the ride back home. As you know, Ukraine is a low-income country, and the people out there spent almost two months rallying and living in tents. Obviously, not all of them had enough savings to support themselves throughout that period.

Maidan II is a little different story. People are less driven. Those who come from other towns get some sort of financing. But we also should take Kyiv’s contribution into account. Kyivites, 70 percent of whom support the opposition and dislike Mayor Chernovetsky, can pay their own bus fare.

And as for the Counter-Maidan, it’s “what you pay is what you get.” When interviewed, they seem to read from the same script. Some are not ashamed to admit the fact that they’re doing it for a price. Local grocery stores get swamped with 200 ($39) hryvnia bills. Here’s a commentary from majority coordinator Raisa Bohatyryova, PRU, which she made in a live interview on Channel 5, after being shown a footage that brought the truth home.

"Важливо зараз вести іншу розмову".

"Якщо такі факти будуть доведені, то їх треба аналізувати і робити все, щоб політика ставала більш моральною. Але зараз не той час, не та атмосфера і не той виклик ми маємо, щоб тільки на цьому зосередитися".

"It’s important that we have a different talk."

"Should facts like these be proved, we ought to analyze them and make every effort so that politics becomes more moral. But this is neither the time, nor the atmosphere, nor the challenge we face, for us to focus solely on such issues."

Anonymous said...

So non-Kyivites opposition-supporters get paid somewhat less than the NU-supporters and the Kyivites who mainly support the opposition subsidize the outsiders?

Sounds reasonable and I guess one can't blame people for being less enthusiastic 'bout Maidan 2 due to the disappointments of the past couple years.


Taras said...

I believe, by and large, the bus folks do get paid, as opposed to the metro folks, that is, Orange Kyivites.

I also want to emphasize that this year’s Maidans differ both in terms of capitalization and mobilization.

The coalition’s Counter-Maidan, slapped with a serious shortage of local supporters, had to pay its way by importing rally-goers from its home base.

In contrast, the opposition, despite a solid electoral base in Kyiv, has maintained a low profile, adhering to a stay-at-home policy interrupted by single-shot rallies such as Maidan 2- 2.3.