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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Yushchenko Dissolves Parliament, Blames Tymoshenko (Updated)

In a televised address at 9 p.m. local time Wednesday, President Viktor Yushchenko announced his decision to dissolve Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, due to what he described as "the ambition of one person" and the "prevalence of personal interests over national ones."

He also blamed PM Tymoshenko for inflation and populism.

His decision brings an end to a monthlong drama of rocky relations within the Orange coalition and following its demise, in which Tymoshenko's BYuT and Yushchenko's NUNS sought advantage over each other.
Influenced by their leaders and power brokers, the two Orange coalition parties flirted with the Party of Regions with an eye toward the 2010 presidential election.

The situation deteriorated after the Russo-Georgian conflict. Unlike President Yushchenko, PM Yulia Tymoshenko showed little support for Georgia. In addition to that, the Presidential Secretariat accused Tymoshenko of treason, alleging that the PM had held secret meetings with the Russians.

On September 2, Tymoshenko's BYuT entered into an ad hoc alliance with the Party of Regions, voting to curtail Yushchenko's powers and make Russian a second official language for public servants.

Recently, BYuT reversed its decision in an apparent attempt to stem the fall of its approval ratings in western Ukraine. Nevertheless, attempts at resurrecting the Orange coalition have failed, giving the President the right to dissolve Parliament.

New elections will be held on December 7. Previous elections were held on March 26, 2006 and September 30, 2007.

Sources: President Yushchenko's address on Channel 5


Anonymous said...

Children will be children!

Its time to call Parliamentary and Presidential elections.

Yushchenko has ruined this country. Enough is enough.

Its time that all three (Yushchenko, Tymoshenko and Yanukovych) be held for treason and removed. None have done anything for Ukraine in the past 4 years.

It is just starting to look like the Orange Revolution was staged to remove Kuchma.

Ukraine With Kuchma is starting to sound like a better proposition. At least there was some order to the chaos.

Anonymous said...

Disappointing. I expected pragmatism to prevail as it does not serve any party's interest to be elected given current economic circumstances.

Wonder what will be USD/UAH rate tomorrow. Will it go to 6.50?

elmer said...

The night we met
I knew I needed you so

So you won't you please, be my baby

C'mon now, be my, be my baby"

I'll make you happy baby
Just wait and see

For every kiss you give me, I'll give you three

Taras said...

Children indeed!

The trio must go. I strongly disagree, however, that Kuchma would be a better alternative.

Kuchma created too much order for his serfs but too much chaos in the minds of his nobility.

Today, we the serfs have more freedom but the chaos in the power-hungry minds of our ruling elites persists. The Orange Revolution abolished the monarchy, but it has not retired the elites’ feudalism and tunnel vision.

Amid a lack of grassroots activism, this helps preserve the status quo, better known as stabilnist. To be successful, Ukraine needs a chaordic system.

Until spring 2008, the local exchange rate had remained unchanged for three years despite the dollar’s significant decline relative to other currencies.

Ordinary Ukrainian consumers hardly benefit from the dollar peg and the economy’s dollarization. Nor do they benefit from extreme rate fluctuations.

I hope America will harness its recession, and Ukraine will rely more on its own currency.

Elmer, how about this one?

elmer said...

Good one, Taras! I had forgotten it.

Sooo --- if you look at a little blurb in Unian, Baloha, the little thug, is predicting that there will be some sort of a "crush" as people defect to BYuT, and there won't be enough room on the BYuT party list.

Sooo - President Baloha, the little thug, is always calculating miracles for Yushchenko.

It is beyond me why Yushchenko would want to rely on a little thug like Baloha.

How could a person who was so right be so wrong?

He has a psychosis about Tymoshenko. It's gotten to the point that he is passive-agressive - he won't answer phone calls from Lutsenko, or Tymoshenko, he steals Tymoshenko's plane, he's willing to put the country through yet another snap election.

Chaordic system?

How about irrelevant?

The "political elite" has made government irrelevant in Ukraine - except for themselves.

They continue to use government to line their own pockets.

Everyone, even the "political elite" thieves, acknowledges that noone trusts the government.

So be it - I hope that Lutsenko and his bloc join with Tymoshenko, and get 51% of the vote.

Serhiy said...

For me, what is more interesting is how they will find out a way out of the current crisis. It's absolutely clear that just holding elections will not solve anything. But there shoudl be a rational behind the decision to hold snap elections.

Anyway, it seems that we are approaching the point where a major political "restructuring" becomes inevitable. Since the social structures and population's preferences cannot be changed overnight, we cannot reasonably expect some new faces, new generations of politicians or new ideas to appear in the near future. However, what is plausible is that the current players will change, putting forward some brad new solutions.

In general, I tend to think that now the ball is on the Party's of region side. If the numbre of votes they will get will not suffice to make a coalition on their own, blocking with some players (Commi, Lytvyn), they will have to rebrand themselves. Practically, it will mean getting rid of Yanoukovich and other soviet-type populists and transforming itself into a genuine liberal party. It will open the way for a coalition with Yuschenko and for a government headed by a person without presidential ambitions (Bohatyryova, Ekhanurov,...). In a longer term, it will be a formdiable chance to creat a strong united righ-wing party, both with liberal (Akhmetov) and patriotic/nationalistic (Yuschenko) wings. The populists, Yanoukovich and ko, will have no choice but to block with the Communists and the like.

Anonymous said...

Serhiy. That was a great comment. The comments were getting as stale as the politicians - same old speechs repeated again and again. What you said also sounds like it could work and get Ukraine out of the rut. A prime minister who's not running for President with the support of a reformed POR who'd prepared to support Yush's western policy in return for a sounder and more predictable econonmic policy than they'll ever get from Tym.

Taras said...

Thank you for your comments, guys!

After BYuT’s resounding failure in the Kyiv election and its recent hookup with the PRU, my trust in Tymoshenko hit an all-time low.

This, I suspect, supplied the rationale for Yushchenko’s decision to dissolve parliament: fire Tymoshenko, reclaim the western Ukrainian vote.

I once viewed Tymoshenko as a gutsy replacement for Yushchenko, but now I don’t have that much optimism. Her opportunism killed my optimism. Both Yushchenko and Tymoshenko have enormous egos and have surrounded themselves with Kuchmanoids. Yushchenko’s employment of Baloha turns me off just as much as Tymoshenko’s employment of Medvedchuk. Both Tymoshenko and Yushchenko overpromised and underdelivered. Both hunger for a grand coalition with the Party of Regions or its elements.

In summary, September 2 became a litmus test that tipped my voter scales against her. I really don’t know if she will be able to undo the damage.

I’ll be watching things.

The idea of a reform-minded Regionalist leader sounds good to me, and so does the idea of a PM with no presidential aspirations. The latter, however, appears to be more realistic than the former.

We’ll get a clearer picture of who gets to be PM after we go to the polls. In this election, Yanukovych will certainly be the brand. Without Yanukovych, the PRU does not amount to much.

I think a sound economic policy should combat corruption and the commodity curse. That’s where the going gets tough. As of today, I don’t see too many oligarchs willing to bite the hand that feeds them.

On the other hand, change often comes with a crisis. Perhaps the falling metal prices will help diversify the economy a bit.

elmer said...

I think that there need to be more fundamental changes than just some horse-trading for a PM who "doesn't want to run for Prez" in return for a "sounder economic policy."

There ain't going to be any "sounder economic policy" as long as the system remains as it is.

What you'll get is simply more pictures of the PoR or the Party of Regions blocking the rostrum.

In the meantime, Ukraine has to deal with the personalities that it has.

Tymoshenko, and Lutsenko, have demonstrably fought corruption. Tymoshenko got rid of RosUkrEnergo in the latest gas deal with Russia, and she is fighting Vanco Prykerchenska.

Both of those seemed to be pet projects of Yushchenko in order to buddy up to Firtash and Akhmetov.

Both of those are not "economic policy" - they are merely corruption.

What has the Party of Regions done? NADA - not a singly thing, except to block the rostrum in the parliament at various times.

Given the current mess, which is what Ukraine needs to deal with absent a complete systemic overhaul, the jockey that I would go with is Tymoshenko-Lutsenko.

In other words, there are still Kuchmanoids all over the place.

But the sooner that people realize that the horse needs to be changed, the better off Ukraine will be.

Ukrainian government is at the point of being irrelevant.

Now, if anyone can thing of a political party that will do all the things that need to be done to form a good system of government in Ukraine - please let me know.

- eliminate parliamentary immunity

- eliminate the party list system, and have open elections on a district-by-district basis

- implement separation of powers, with clear authority

- create an independent, non-corrupt judiciary

The list goes on.

Anonymous said...

The idea of a reform-minded Regionalist leader sounds good to me, and so does the idea of a PM with no presidential aspirations. The latter, however, appears to be more realistic than the former."

I've no idea about the balance of force in the POR, how many reformists they're are and whether they can get the other hand. But then Raisa was a big surprise considering her previous activities. Maybe someone else has more information. As for the second part, the PM without Presidential asprirations, that needs are high vote for NUNS since that's their candidate for PM, Yehkanurouv.
As for Yush he's done quite a good job as Pres given the circumstances and the fact that he has to fullfil the President's role and not the PM's. He's made the right calls given that at one stage POR threatened to take over with a 300 plus majority, put together by individuals moving over from their party lists that they were elected on. Yush said if you want that you need to get a mandate from the people which was correct. This time round the PM doesn't have a majority anymore and the coalition that was doesn't have any credibility anymore. As far as Yush personally is concerned in connection with Tym, well you don't believe in her because of her opportunism and neither does he.

elmer said...

This time around the PM doesn't have a majority any more, because Yushchenko's Our Ukraine bloc, a portion of it, announced that it was leaving the coalition.

The coalition was formed in the first place through a very difficult birth, including Pig Plushch holding back for some unknown reason or other.

The coalition had an agreement, it had the points, in writing, that were to be carried out.

Our Ukraine decided to vote against all of that when push came to shove.


It was a coalition in name only.

Now we get more of the inane and insane from President Baloha, er, Yushchenko - "let's get a Prime Minister who doesn't have any ambition."

So President Baloha, er, Yushchenko, is the only one allowed to have any ambition in Ukraine?

Is this more of the famous, or infamous, Ukrainian "third way"?

Who dreams up this kind of inanity?

Why are Yushchenko and his few adherents fighting Tymoshenko?

What are they fighting about, in view of the fact that there was a written agreement on the coalition's program?

What are they fighting about - do they even know?

Other than the good old Ukrainian tradition "I'd rather fight and argue than get anything done?"

Yushcenko made one or two good calls - his idea of a "round table" where people talked to each other, instead of killing each other, was a good idea.

But he is refusing to pick up his telephone for Tymoshenko or Lutsenko, and refuses to meet with them.

In psychology, we call that passive-aggressive behavior.

Yushchenko thinks he's an emperor, and that everyone should bow down to him.

He's got another think coming - he's just a president of a democracy.

And, in his own words, he's hired by the people, to serve the people, not to rule over Tymoshenko, whether directly or through thugs like Baloha.

Taras said...

Yushchenko and Tymoshenko can be compared to Tom and Jerry, except that you can’t turn it off.

When I think of Baloha, I also think of his brother-in-SDPU(o) Medvedchuk. Two Balohas are one too many. That’s why it makes perfect sense to me to have a PM with no presidential aspirations in the pre-election period.

I valued Tymoshenko for her resolve and Westward drive. Once she blew the Kyiv municipal election and then embarked on a “go East” campaign, she stopped representing my interests. She destroyed her value.

Her effort in taking on RosUkrEnergo and Vanco certainly deserves more applause than Yushchenko’s non-effort.

Still, she just scratched the surface. In the meantime, she keeps being a mother hen for "consultants" who sell Ukraine’s electricity to their factories in Hungary and Slovakia at below-domestic prices. Is that the "Ukrainian Breakthrough" she promised?

"She did it back then, she’ll do it again." Remember one of those BYuT slogans in the last campaign? Well, if by "it" she meant voting with the Party of Regions, then I certainly agree.

What did Lutsenko do except hitting Chernovetsky “in places that men often take pride in?” Not much. Road killers and land grabbers get away with murder.

"One law for all," "we'll lift parliamentary immunity," "an ambulance for every village"... what a collection of jokes!

I can’t wait to see their “fresh” campaign slogans.

Anonymous said...

Her efforts against VANCO and Rosurkenego were motivated by the fact that the beneficiaries were political opponants. What's it worth if states bodies have direct contact with gazprom if the state bodies are controlled by private business men like Haidyuk who their own very substantial business interests in competition with others. It doesn't look like so much fight against corruption as an attempt at changing the beneficiaries to her political supporters.

elmer said...

Well, anonymous, it's a step in the right direction.

Even if the motive is to get rid of the corrupt financial schemes of a political opponent.

The next step, of course, is to get rid of the control by Haiduk and other businessmen of state institutions for their own personal benefit.

One has to start somewhere.

Taras said...

Good point about Tymoshenko joggling special interests. If one wants to fight corruption, one should put the corrupt ones in jail.

Anonymous said...

But there's a problem putting the corrupt ones in jail with a legal system that is widely seen as corrupt, biased and the judges "buyable". It'll look more like a settling of personal scores amongst politicians and their supporting businessmen.

Serhiy said...

Certainly, a strong State is needed to get over the problem of corruption and state capture. But what's also crucial, is the structure of economy and the caracteristics of its leading sector. For Ukraine, it means that only by divesifying its economic structure and by reducing its heavy reliance on exports of metals and some other commodities, this problem could be solved. Regarless the degree of personal determination, it's extremely hard to fight corruption and to take any public action contravening the interests of a group of composed of very few players, endowed with tremendous economic resources, counting on a geographically concentrated political support and a very strong ability to control and to mobilize labor throug the existing quasi-corporatisit arrangements or identity politics. Moreover, a huge energy sector needed to sustain this type of economic specialization is also a great rent "swamp". With such a rent "pool" existing within the State, every political is permanently lured to tap, either for personal enrichment or power maximization. Tymoshenko is by no means an exception.

Actually her way of articulating private interets does not seem to be a start of something new. It looks more like a return of Kuchma's way of using the monopoly position of huge public holdings in network industries and of allowing some "private interests withing public companies", as the situation with the "consultant" Hayduk de facto running the Naftohaz illustrates. Finally, I'm far from being convinced that a return of semi-autoritarian rule and easward-looking multipolarity is a good alternative to a Hayekian "free-hands" approach of Yushenko.

elmer said...

Serhiy, that's why people have the vote.

It gives them the ability to break the "political elite."

The problem is that people in Ukraine still haven't figured out how to use the vote.

Second, there's nothing "hands-free" about Yushchenko's approach at all.

He says privatize, Yulia says don't privatize. He says don't privatize, Yulia says privatize.

The Odessa port is one such example, and the Odessa-Brody pipeline is another.

President Baloha's, er, Yushchenko's dissolution of the court the other day is yet another.

The heavy hand of government is involved either way.

By implication, you are labeling Tymoshenko as a semi-authoritarian, eastward-looking operative.

But look at what Yushchenko did to protect RosUkrEnergo, in which corrupt Russians, as well as Ukrainians were involved.

And look at what Yushchenko did to protect Vanco Prykerchenska, a corrupt deal, in which Akhmetov was involved, along with the Russian Novitsky.

By all means, get rid of Hayduk.

Is there noone in Ukraine who can figure these things out?

Are the people in Ukraine going to forever just sit back and wring their hands, and moan and groan and provide no solutions or answers?

Voting "against all" is not a solution.

It's like telling a robber that is robbing you and your household that you're going to cut off your toes if he doesn't stop robbing you.

And voting for the same old thugs is like telling the robber, "please, keep on robbing me, I'm too stupid to make you stop."

Why the hell can't people in Ukraine finally provide a solution, instead of asking the same questions over and over and over again?

Are there no people in Ukraine, except the "political elite," who are capable of stepping up to run the government properly and democratically?

elmer said...

Serhiy, you said something that really stood out for me - swamp.

They are not just sucking money - they are sucking the life out of Ukraine.

And that is exactly it - in Ukraine, politics and the "political elite" consists of a big sewer, swamp, mud pit and quicksand, in which the "political elite" fight with each other.

The problem is that the quicksand, and the fighting of the political elite, is literally sucking the life out of Ukraine.

People may feel like they are just standiny by and watching the fight in the swamp/mud pit/sewer, and that government is irrelevant - but it is sucking the life out of Ukraine.

- Chernovetsky, the mayor of Kyiv, gives land to the "political elite" while people in Kyiv go begging in the streets, and worse

- people die in coal mines due to lack of safety and explosions, while oligarchs in silly Donbass build mansions for themselves and cart money out of the country

- try to start a business in Ukraine - you have to pay "protection money" to some government thug or other

- bridges collapse in Western Ukraine during floods because some of the "political elite" took construction shortcuts with the bridges when they were being built, and pocketed some of the money

- Prominvestbank, controlled by a group of Donetsk thugs, tries to launder money out of the country, with the help of Member of Parliament Shepelev

- Yushchenko buddies up to Akhmetov and steers the Vanco Prykerchenska Black Sea deal to him

- Yushchenko tries to buddy up to Firtash, and tries to prevent Tymoshenko from cutting Firtash's RosUkrEnergo out of the gas deals between Ukraine and Russia

- there is still huge state control and ownership of businesses, with huge conflicts of interest

- people are literally being cut in half, and into pieces, by drunk oligarch drivers, their sons, and by corrupt police, as they kill Ukrainian bicyclists and pedestrians with expensive BMW's, Porsche's and Bentley's, and then buy their way out of it - or simply escape

I say - cover up the mud pit, the quicksand, the sewer. Eliminate it.

- put limits on campaign finance and contributions, as in other countries, so that wealthy oligarchs don't simply continue to buy up all the politicians and places on party lists for up to $20 million

- enforce conflict of interest laws - if you are a member of parliament or in government, you can't also be a director or owner of a state enterprise (Hayduk and Kolomoisky and Boyko, that goes for them too)

- create and enforce an independent, impartial judiciary, so that no politician can have influence over it, or dissolve it, as Yushchenko just did.

That's what the vote is for, Serhiy - to eliminate the sewer/mud pit/quicksand/swamp