Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Closure... last, after Yushchenko finally made a decision. In spite of earlier predictions, a scenario previously unseen occurred. Our Ukraine looks set to join Regions and the Socialists without the Communist Party, who failed to agree to a number of points in a National Unity Document.

So good news or bad news?

Well no Communists is certainly good news. If they were thrown a bung by the Party of Regions, they're now out of a likely government, which should make decision making a bit more fluid. A situation where a bloc in the government has been bought off, tends to result in their blind and unwavering support. At least with a (more or less) honest Our Ukraine holding a few posts, the chance of Democracy being completely destroyed are slim.

More good stuff. Yulia Tymoshenko has agreed to come back to Parliament. This means there will be someone leading from the opposition who isn't an old school Communist. Should certainly keep Regions on their toes, and might give the kiss of death to the government in the coming months. Afterall if Yulia is serious about recruiting Regions/NSNU/Socialist rebels, she may get enough people on her side to bring down the government - or at least frighten Yanukovych enough to prevent him doing anything too radical.

Bad news. A lot of people still aren't sure exactly what Yanukovych will get upto in office. Fears about Freedom of Speech and government transparency are likely to remain. Furthermore in spite of the pledges to continue integration towards the EU - I just cant see it. If Yanukovych is to be a Dictator, then he has no hope of joining the Union, and will make no pretence about that. If he is to rule as a Democrat then he will need to rely on his Russian-speaking support base. His work will be cut out if they are to change their minds - personally I think it is a no-go.

A few final thoughts for now...

Why has Yushchenko insisted that the Orange Revolution was about bringing Ukraine closer to the EU and NATO? These are positions that Yanukovych would have found intollerable - so why would he have signed any documents pledging support for such policy. Surely the spirit of Orange was Democracy and Freedom of Speech. These would have been much more easier for Regions to agree to (although only if they wanted to), without abandoning their core supporters. Why did the two Viktors not agree to put the whole EU/Russia thing on pause for 4 years, and work simply towards economic growth and raising the Ukrainian standard of living. The country is big enough to stand and grow on it's own without being propped up by Brussels.

Yanukovych can rule as a Democrat. He has the opportunity - if he wants it - to start afresh and run a clean government. The past is the past - he was allowed off the hook by Yushchenko, and any shady dealings of the past should be left to history. Starting from today, he can run a smooth ship and improve all of Ukraine's wealth (which would include his own) if he so wishes.

All is not lost. Yushchenko will exercise some influence through the Our Ukraine involvement in government. He also has a veto that would require a 2/3rd's majority to overturn at his disposal. Unless Yulia teamed up with Regions to do so, it's likely that what laws Yushchenko finds unsatisfactory will be overturned.

We wait and see......


  • At 9:00 pm, Blogger MSS said…

    Was the scenario unseen? Commenting on a news report from Kyiv in early March, I wrote: "So, a very likely coalition might be Orange Ukraine, Regions, and Socialists."

    I will admit that I thought this was only the second most likely outcome. I was naive enough to think that the "Orange" parties would kiss and make up after the election, despite the considerable differences that led to last September's Orange Divorce.

    But this "grand coalition" is anything but "previously unseen."


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