“Ukraine against Yanukovych” Campaign – YatseniukJuly 9, 2012
Oh dear! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!
One of the reasons I have always had time for Arseniy Yatseniuk, is that over the past decade he has very rarely entered into “personality politics” and remained firmly in the policy arena. He is after all, a natural born thinker and quite capable in the policy sphere, hurdles to implementation and understanding causal effects.
Whether it is because he is now the “Head of the Council at the Batkivshchyna’s United Opposition” that has made him leave the policy arena and enter the “personality politics” always associated with Ms Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna Party I am unsure, but it is neither familiar territory for him and neither is it where Ukrainian politics needs to go.
As I concluded in yesterday’s post, the United Opposition needs policies and implementation strategies to sell to the Ukrainian public – preferably those that address their concerns as consistently highlighted in social polling. Personality politics simply doesn’t provide that and this is why Ms Tymoshenko’s popularity has not gained equally in relation to President Yanukovych’s popularity falling.
Actually what I concluded yesterday was that the United Opposition need strategies about how to be in opposition, but having some should they return to power would seem a good idea with elections coming up in 4 months.
There is little more effective a way to give themselves the best chance of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory than to concentrate themselves around the language law and personality politics, as neither strike a chord with the Ukrainian public with sufficient traction to make a difference at election time. Both, if anything are voter entrenching in stayed historical regional positions, which the Untied Opposition are on the wrong side of when it comes to the geographical populous spread.
The United Opposition should be concentrating on the current governments failures in central government, transparency, corruption and administrative reforms throughout the regional fiefdoms. There are such things as social polling over what matters to the public, and you would think those areas highlighted are a pretty good place to pitch your political strategy and electioneering tent.
Unfortunately, it seems they are going to stick with the language law and a newly unveiled campaign “Ukraine against Yanukovych” as declared by Mr Yatseniuk on 6th July. The aims of this campaign are to get early parliamentary and presidential elections.
Well, it is doomed to failure naturally.
Parliamentary elections are scheduled for October and are thus only 4 months away. Administratively it is probably unlikely that they could be enacted much more swiftly by the CEC or indeed the political parties, who have yet to decide who stands for what seat – a necessity for a printed ballot paper you would think.
With regards to early presidential elections, unless Mr Yanukovych suddenly becomes too unwell to hold the position, there is very little likelihood of a presidential election prior to the one scheduled for 2015 whether the United Opposition form a majority after the October elections or lose and remain in opposition.
Looking at the Constitution of Ukraine, (Pt IV Article 111), it is almost impossible to impeach a Ukrainian President.
To bring forward the 2015 presidential election and remove Mr Yanukovych early would simply mean gathering far more RADA votes than any majority has ever held in any Ukrainian parliament:
“Article 111. The President of Ukraine may be removed from the office by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in compliance with a procedure of impeachment if he commits treason or other crime.
The issue of the removal of the President of Ukraine from the office in compliance with a procedure of impeachment shall be initiated by the majority of the constitutional membership of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall establish a special ad hoc investigating commission, composed of special prosecutor and special investigators to conduct an investigation.
The conclusions and proposals of the ad hoc investigating commission shall be considered at the meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
On the ground of evidence, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall, by at least two-thirds of its constitutional membership, adopt a decision to bring charges against the President of Ukraine.
The decision on the removal of the President of Ukraine from the office in compliance with the procedure of impeachment shall be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by at least three-quarters of its constitutional membership upon a review of the case by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, and receipt of its opinion on the observance of the constitutional procedure of investigation and consideration of the case of impeachment, and upon a receipt of the opinion of the Supreme Court of Ukraine to the effect that the acts, of which the President of Ukraine is accused, contain elements of treason or other crime.”
Whilst it is probably not difficult to implicate any Ukrainian President, past or present, in a crime, to gather all the votes needed to impeach one is simply out of the question in reality, regardless of the findings of any ad hoc investigative commission.
To change the Constitution of Ukraine in order to lower the threshold of votes for impeachment would require 300 RADA MPs to vote in favour. Again, an absolute impossibility (and is also the reason why Russian will never be given the official standing as a language of State along side Ukrainian).
We must therefore return to the strategy of the United Opposition. Having allowed themselves to fall for a knee-jerk nationalist answer to the proposed regional language law, thus allowing all sorts of other laws to pass whilst they were out swapping pepper spray contents with the police, they now launch into personality politics with a declared aim of early parliamentary elections that are only 4 months away (and with MPs already on holiday until mid-September), and a quite unfeasible call for early presidential elections that even if they win a majority after the parliamentary elections, they simply cannot achieve in accordance with the Constitution as they will never get enough votes.
Quite why they are going down this route of calling for early elections when it is simply always going to be a failed policy I don’t know. What good does making such declarations to the public do when it can never be any more than rhetoric, and rhetoric is all they delivered to the public last time they were in power? Do they enjoy taking on a battle they know they will not win whilst ignoring open goals in failed or failing government policy where they could score some political and electoral points with the voters?
Considering the absolute shambles they were when in power only a few years ago, how does pursuing short term campaigns doomed to failure from the start highlight their ability to be any better in the future?
If there is a United Opposition anywhere on the planet that so readily will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, it is certainly seems as if the Ukrainian opposition are prepared to give them a run for their money when it comes to being feckless wonders.
I really hope somebody within the United Opposition begins to get a grip on strategy!