The True Test Of Yushchenko....
...Will he dissolve a parliament already infested with corruption, or is July to be the last month in which Ukraine enjoys freedom of speech and assembly?
In this month Ukrainian Democracy has taken a pounding. For those who haven't been following Foreign Notes, this week has been marked by major allegations against Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions. Lip-Readers (hopefully employing more skill than the numerous individuals wildly guessing about that 'Zidane-Headbutt') allege that a certain video proves the Blue team bought off the Communists and Socialists for figures of around £300 million. Further evidence is emerging today, all fueling growing anger and concern in Liberal Ukrainian hearts. How much of this is true remains to be seen, but lets throw some educated guesses about, and then provide some form of analysis to current and future affairs.
- Firstly it is quite obvious that either Oleksandr Moroz has been an unexposed power-hungry bribe-taker for the past 16 years, or he really does just love that anti-Socialist, Big-Business agenda of Party of Regions. Whichever one of those is true is becoming increasingly irrelevant - Moroz is a sly liar. Today he took it upon himself to announce that the section of the Ukrainian Constitution providing Yushchenko with the right to dissolve parliament somehow had no legal basis. Gosh, riding rough-shod over the law? Moroz you sound more like Yanukovych everyday!
- Secondly it is is quite clear that Regions are already wearing back in their old corrupt-governance shoes. Making ultimatums to the President such as; "approve Yanukoych as P.M or face impeachment", or "we'll carry on working even if you dissolve the Rada" show that the true colours of PoR haven't even slightly faded in the past year and a half out of power.
- Finally, Yushchenko is clearly displaying all of his characteristically weak traits. Over the past month mixed messages have been leaked to the press, and Yushchenko himself seems to have switched from; wanting to team-up with Yanukovych to being happy in opposition; happy to have Yanukovych as PM to demanding a neutral; even from wanting Parliament to get on with things to possibly seeking its dissolution. All this flip-flopping means that whatever choice he now makes he looks a fool. I get the impression that the man simply reads opinion polls everyday and tries to base his decisions upon them. It's clear that President Yushchenko must grow a spine and gain a bit of his old charisma for the sake of Democracy...
What Yushchenko Must Do....
- Do NOT let the Anti-Crisis Coalition take control of any of the government posts. The whole time that Yuriy Lutsenko is Acting-Interior Minister he controls the police forces. Once Yanukovych gets his tenticles around law-enforcement expect to see him give the Cops a massive pay-rise (see Buy-Off) and any peaceful attempt to change power dramatically crushed. Remember - in the Orange Revolution, Yanukoych wanted to crush Maidan, but because a then more powerful Presidential post was held by Kuchma nothing happened. In the new constitutional situation Yanukovych would be in charge of the man pulling the police's strings and quite able to smash demonstrations and strikes. This one fact makes 2006 more dangerous than 2004.
- Dissolve Parliament and expose what a bunch of corrupt individuals the Regions and many Socialists are. If Yushchenko and Tymoshenko launched a joint bloc and called upon all those concerned about Democracy to vote for them, im sure they could beat Yanukoych. Remember in March one of Regions strengths was getting out the vote in the East. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Our Ukraine in the West.
- Appeal To The East. At the last elections the Liberals barely bothered to touch eastern regions such as Donetsk. It's high time they attempted to unite Ukraine, but under a Democratic banner.
- Make This A Fight About Democracy. If BYuT and Our Ukraine abandon their staunch pro-EU, NATO and Ukrainian language positions, they might stop being seen as lackeys of Washington and Brussels in the East. A pledge to hold referendums on all 3 issues would show that power truly did lie with ALL Ukrainian people - and some of the fears about voting for anyone other than Regions by Russian-speakers might fade.
What may happen...
- Yushchenko has been waiting until today 25 July - when he can now legally dissolve Parliament. He takes this choice and Regions accept - ready for the challenge. An election campaign is fought in which the Orange team narrowly winning and Lytvyn's bloc managing to get back into Parliament. Realistic? 10%.
- Yushchenko has been waiting until today 25 July - when he can now legally dissolve Parliament. He takes this choice and Regions accept - ready for the challenge. An election campaign is fought, but in spite of an heroic performance by Tymoshenko, Regions scrape a majority. Yushchenko realises his impeachment and a trip to Kiev by Alexander Lukashenko are only months away. Realistic? 65%
- Yushchenko has been waiting until today 25 July - when he can now legally dissolve Parliament. He takes this choice and Regions announce a Coup is underway. Thanks to Lytvyn and Tymoshenko messing about last year and refusing to swear in judges, no Constitutional Court exists. Chaos ensues. Yanukovych and Moroz announce they are holding the Rada against the Coup, and begin to make moves to impeach Yushchenko. Sensing disaster, Tymoshenko and Poroshenko urge the President to use force to capture the Rada. The move is successful, but only smells like mid-1990's Russia. The taste is much sharper and some form of mild Civil War breaks out between the East and West, with local councils in the East deciding they want to break-away and join up with the Russian Federation. Yushchenko rules by decree. Eventually western-Ukraine splits away and forms its own state - quickly joining the EU. Realistic? For the most part 35%
- Yushchenko reads the above possibility or realises that he better not risk lowering his opinion poll rating any further. He decides to do nothing. Regions form a government, but it turns out Moroz was just pulling our leg. He really is a decent Socialist. Realising that he and the Communists have nothing in common with Yanukoych, he causes all kinds of havoc before teaming up once more with BYuT and Our Ukraine. Now though he has the Speaker's post, and £300 million to retire to a villa in Northern Cyprus once his disgraced party flunks the next election. Well....maybe not the latter part. Realistic? 10%
- Yushchenko reads the above possibility or realises that he better not risk lowering his opinion poll rating any further. He decides to do nothing. Regions form a government, but it turns out Moroz really couldn't care less about Socialism or Democracy. The £300 million bung he MAY have received is enough for him to keep quiet whilst Yanukovych closes down all independent media and slips a more effective poison, than the job SOMEONE did on Yushchenko, into Tymoshenko's soup. Yushchenko fades into the sunset, barely making a speech or visit out of shame until his term in office runs out. Realistic? 80%
- Yushchenko reads the above possibility or realises that be better not risk lowering his opinion poll rating any further. He decides to do nothing. Regions form a government, but waste most of their time not on sorting out the economy but dealing with a weak, poc-marked President. The Constitutional Court becomes stacked with Donetsk gangsters who are quite happy to impeach Yushchenko. Viktor leaves office, Moroz becomes acting-President (at last the position he dreamed of in 1999!), but is told to refrain from any independent thoughts. Yushchenko and his family are forced to flee to the EU whilst Tymoshenko stays to fight on. Within 10 years Ukraine is in a Belarus situation, where BYuT can't muster a seat in Parliament and foreign investors have lost all interest. Realistic? 70%
N.B - The above percentages are worked out using a mathematical system no more sophisticated than my own hunches. Any references to suspected poisonings, bungs or villa's in Northern Cyprus are purely fictional.
Appologies for the deeply sarcastic tones at the end of the article, but it's late and when I get really annoyed about a subject, I try to vent my frustration through 'humour' rather than sw%*r#ng. Today is the day folks. Has Yushchenko got any guts?