EU admitting defeat over Tymoshenko?December 26, 2011
As we all know very well, politics and policy are often understood by the specific language statements contain.
It is why so many politicians and technocrats have their own dedicated speech writers forged in the furness of international diplomacy. Words, each and every one of them, employed in any statement, are very carefully chosen to be either elastic in their interpretation, or indeed robust and unequivocal.
Here is a statement released by Baroness Ashton’s office relating to Yulia Tymoshenko and her failed appeal through the Ukrainian courts.
” The High Representative regrets that Yulia Tymoshenko, an opposition party leader, will now be
prevented from participating in next year’s parliamentary elections.”
Well that send a very clear message that the EU have now given up any hope that a solution to Ms Tymoshenko will be found before the parliamentary elections in October 2012.
Of course, there is the ECHR appeal lodged by Ms Tymoshenko which some claim will be fast-tracked. However this presents moral issues over whether Ms Tymoshenko’s plight should have any priority over the huge backlog of pending cases with the ECHR submitted by people whom also feel wronged or are in a difficult predicament.
Many of those pending cases may very well also be perceived as wrongful imprisonment and some may also be perceived as politically motivated. Whatever the circumstances, is it right that Ms Tymoshenko’s case should take priority over existing and backlogged cases? Are her human rights any more significant than any other pending case?
Does this tacit admission by Ms Ashton’s office that Ms Tymoshenko will not take part in the October 2012 elections signify the fact she will not be fast-tracked through the ECHR system, or even if she is, due to the backlog any fast-tracking is not fast enough to reach a verdict before the end of July 2012 when electioneering will commence?
There is of course the issue of numerous ECHR rulings that remain unactioned across Europe against several sovereign States.
Indeed, when Ms Tymoshenko was Prime Minister, her own government allowed ECHR rulings against Ukraine to simply pile up rather than action said rulings. A fact that will no doubt come to light should the ECHR rule in her favour and Ukraine ignore the ruling. That particular can of worms is as yet not in the public spotlight or indeed opened. You can however feel fairly assured that such issues will be highlighted quite robustly should circumstances dictate.
Undoubtedly, even with a very clean and technically perfect election in 2012, the EU will now be forced to declare the elections unfair should Ms Tymoshenko remain incarcerated and unable to participate, whether or not her party does very well.
It would be interesting to see Ms Tymoshenko’s party make major gains in the October 2012 elections and yet see the EU condemn the elections as flawed due to her personal lack of participation. Her incarceration has thus far had very little effects either for or against the popularity of her party in the polls, and the parliamentary elections are not a personality contest like those of presidential elections.
Nevertheless, it does seem the EU is publicly throwing in the towel rather early over Ms Tymoshenko, considering there is another 7 or 8 months before electioneering begins for the parliamentary elections and a full 10 or 11 months before the elections themselves.
Although I wrote a few days ago that it is likely the DCFTA and AA will be shelved at the very least until after the Ukrainian parliamentary elections in October 2012 (barring their initialing in February to effectively seal the end of negotiations), and in fact we should consider the possibility of these agreements gathering dust until 2016 whereby the current President will have had the opportunity for reelection in 2015 with Ms Tymoshenko languishing in jail until that time, it does seem rather negative to simply state that there is no chance of Ms Tymoshenko now participating in the October 2012 elections from the EU.
Of course behind the scenes diplomatic pressure will continue to be applied relating to her release but public perception also counts. The public statement from the Baroness’ office seems rather fait accompli.