Vereskiy and Vlasenko – Cause and (unintended?) effectMarch 9, 2013
Cause and effect – Not something that really registers with many, if any, of the politicians in Ukraine. Why would it? The vast majority are in the RADA for no other reason than to defend and expand their own personal interests. Others are hungry for power for power’s sake.
Examples of legislative initiatives or political actions for personal benefit, or revenge – one way or another – litter the history of the RADA. There are high profile cases and there are low profile cases – but there are a lot of cases.
Now much is in the press about the removal of the Deputy mandate – and by extension immunity – of Serhey Vlasenko, the high profile lawyer currently defending Ms Tymoshenko. Even if this act is actually strictly within the parliamentary rules as is claimed, one has to ask why now? Why was this not done earlier – a year or more ago?
Mr Vlasenko’s circumstances that have led to this action have not changed as far as his Deputy status and professional advocacy on behalf of Ms Tymoshenko are concerned since she was first pursued and in need of legal representation. Whether or not you actually believe he is doing a good job or not on behalf of Ms Tymoshenko – and that is debatable – the reasons as stated for his sudden removal of Deputy mandate have existed ever since he decided to represent Ms Tymoshenko.
It would appear that at the same time Vlasenko was stripped of his Deputy mandate, so was a man called Andrey Vereskiy.
Andrey Vereskiy is a billionaire who created and sits on the board of Kernel Holdings. His political career – and one suspects the reason Kernel did so very well – began just prior to the Orange Revolution. After the Orange Revolution he joined Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna Party. No doubt both his personal wealth and that of Kernel flourished under her patronage as Prime Minister.
However, as I have already written, many are in Ukrainian politics to defend and expand their personal interests – no more and no less.
Thus in June 2010, Vereskiy changed parties and joined the Party of Regions, the party currently in power after Ms Tymoshenko was defeated by now President Yanukovych. Undoubtedly his personal wealth and that of Kernel continued to flourish.
And what has this to do with Vlasenko?
Well, at the behest and after official demands of Svoboda, the issue was forced relating to Vereskiy holding a Deputy’s mandate and also heading a commercial entity – in accordance with the parliamentary rules this, it appears, is not allowed.
Fair enough – The rules are the rules – However, if you are intent on removing a Party of Regions billionaire from the RADA via such rules, that cause naturally has an effect.
That effect being that because Vlasenko is practicing advocacy whilst remaining a Deputy, he too was subject to the very same complaint and procedure via the Party of Regions, that Svoboda instigated against Vereskiy.
Vereskiy had his Deputy’s mandate stripped from him 4 days ago, (5th March) in accordance with the parliamentary rules and Svoboda demands that they be adhered to.
Consequently, Vlasenko had his Deputy’s mandate stripped from him also – in accordance with the same rules and demands from Party of Regions on the same day.
Net effect – Svoboda force a point of principle, remove a one time Batkivshchyna Party political turncoat and the Party of Regions lose a billionaire from their political RADA ranks – and also manage to get a Batkivshchyna Party Deputy and Ms Tymoshenko’s high profile lawyer removed as a consequence of others enforcing the same principle and rules.
Not a bad result for Svoboda it has to be said, – after all they operate independently of the Batkivshchyna Party despite both being amongst the opposition ranks – neither is it necessarily a bad result for those who want the entire cesspit that is the RADA to play by its own documented rules on a level playing field.
However, such is political expediency and media bias, we can expect very little mention of Vereskiy’s removal from the RADA, who instigated it and why it happened – or the effect that cause managed to create. The stripping of Vlasenko’s Deputy status and immunity is likely to be all we will hear about with next to no mention of how it came about.
As the procedural cause and effect that resulted in both Vereskiy’s and Vlasenko’s Deputy mandate being removed are not a secret to anybody who closely follows the internal workings of the RADA – instead of simply being spoon-fed the headline news which concentrates on only one of them – it seems incredulous that some public figures outside of Ukraine are demanding explanations as to why Vlasenko has been subject to his mandate being stripped as if they are aware of nothing other than the headline news.
I am quite sure Andrey Vereskiy can explain in detail how the system and the rules that removed his Deputy status the same day as Serhey Vlasenko works – if Mr Jagland cares to lend an ear.
Maybe Mr Jagland would care to explain to Mr Vereskiy why such rules should only apply to him and not Mr Vlasenko – or if Mr Jagland’s statement applies to both, why he didn’t mention his concerns over Mr Vereskiy’s removal by naming him in his statement about the RADA as well – as diplomacy would dictate.
Is it fair to say that Svoboda’s actions were politically motivated to remove a turncoat MP in the form of Vereskiy – or were they fighting a point of principle?
If they were fighting a point of principle, then by extension that principle applies to all in breach of it – and that would include Vlasenko. It will also include numerous others, so perhaps we will see a large number of procedural complaints to follow and even more current MPs having their mandates removed from majority and minority parties, plus a large number of independents alike. Or perhaps we will see a changing of the rules that would allow both to be reinstated?
Whatever the case – if you pursue a cause, then be sure the effect is what you expected. And maybe from Svoboda’s point of view, it has been. After all, what does Svoboda gain from Ms Tymoshenko getting out?