Archive for August 4th, 2012

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Boxing Clever? – Klitschko’s UDAR Party

August 4, 2012

Before I start, it is necessary to raise the issue of Ales Bialiatski, human rights campaigner in Belarus who has been in jail for exactly 1 year to the day for – being a human rights campaigner – and is still nowhere near seeing a trial for being a human rights campaigner.  Enough!  Let him out with immediate effect.  The Nobel Peace Prize should be his this year to add more annoyance to the Belarus regime.   I can’t think of a more suitable European candidate for this prize!

Now onto the main subject of this post – A quick look at a collection of the most recent polls in Ukraine would suggest a very tight race between the governing PoR and their allies (added together about 29%) and the United Opposition parties (about 25%).

Those outside any formal alliances are Natalia Korolevska’s Ukraine Forward (about 4.5%), Svoboda (also about 4,5%) and Klitchko’s UDAR Party (about 11%).  Under the 5% threshold required for the proportion representation seat in the RADA, that means Ukraine Forward and Svoboda lose out as of today – but it is early days.

However, UDAR are certainly going to pass the 5% threshold and with such a small gap between the two major groups, it would leave UDAR as king-maker.  Or rather government maker – depending upon which of these two groups it decided to join.

Looking at the UDAR Party list, it is not as clear cut as one might think.  The majority of candidates, about 60% of them would be termed as the old “orange” order, including my old friend and ex-Mayor of Odessa, Eduard Gurvitz who sits at 16 on the party list.

However there are also some who would sit very well on the Svoboda list and also some, about 30%, who could feel quite comfortable on the PoR list.

Therefore to assume that after the elections are over in October and both sides are desperately wooing UDAR to join them to form a majority government he will be drawn to the United Opposition is not a given.

After all, he and UDAR could have joined the United Opposition now, but have point-blank refused to do so.

To be quite fair to Klitschko, both parties and their members are dire and soiled by their own individual and party histories.  Neither offer a particularly bright future for Ukraine.

One therefore wonders why the main stream media here is expecting UDAR to side with one or the other after the elections.  If neither are deemed suitable to join forces with prior to the election, why will they be deemed that way afterwards?

What nobody thus far has mentioned is the possibility that UDAR will remain independent after the election.  If it does, whether the PoR or United Opposition win and form a government, both would need the 10%+ votes of UDAR MPs to pass any law through the RADA.  Remaining independent would then allow UDAR to vote specifically for or against any proposed legislation on the merits of that legislation alone without being beholding to either side – and with neither side could confident of having unconditional UDAR support.

Such a position may actually begin to break the polarised cycle of us verses them politics in the RADA, and may  even raise the standard of law drafting which all to often is awful.

It would also mean that Klitschko and the party will not be mired with a formal affiliation to anyone when future scandals emerge, and they will regardless of which pigs and egos are at the trough, quite possibly adding to the image of a clean party at future elections to the point it could actually win elections outright in the future.

In short, the UDAR 10%+ RADA MPs if independent, can hold the power, even when not in power, regardless of a PoR or United Opposition Party win.

Rather than becoming king-maker as is quite obviously the case if UDAR sides one way or another, if it boxes clever, it can become the de facto king despite the de jure results.  The problem with that is, de facto, as Ukrainian political history ably displays, would not be enough for some MPs who could very well defect to become de jure with the winners once they have taken their seats in the RADA.

It would be so very interesting if UDAR decides to remain independent after the elections and can keep their discipline.  I live in hope!

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