Archive for February 10th, 2013

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Releasing Lutsenko – Support within Party Regions gains momentum

February 10, 2013

As we all know, the EU has made no secret about “selective prosecutions”, particularly in relation to Ms Tymoshenko and Mr Lutsenko as leading opposition political figures, as one of the stumbling blocks to the definite signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

That said, many recent statements have called for “significant progress” in 19 areas the EU feels has not been given sufficient attention – or action – by authorities in Ukraine, without defining what “significant progress” is.

Would that be the creation of, if not the implementation of, laws required to fill awkward gaps with EU parity?

Would it be the implementation of existing laws or policies currently unimplemented?

Is it amending, mostly to EU liking, the current laws of the land?  Certainly the laws governing the Prosecutors Office is an absolute must, not just for the EU but for Ukraine to meet its Council of Europe obligations in this area.

Anyway – what is “significant progress”?  Does going from a standing start to half way down the road count as “significant progress” – or does that depend upon just how long and difficult a road that process is deemed to be by the EU?

If all of those deemed “persecuted” – with the exception of Ms Tymoshenko – are released from prison, does that count as “significant progress”?  By way of physical numbers it would, and should it include Mr Lutsenko, theoretically, as a major opposition political figure, it necessarily is significant.

Thus, how do the current authorities manage this political maneuvering whilst retaining some form of apparent justifiction/defence in the eyes of at least some of the Ukrainian public for its alleged application of “selective justice/prosecutions” – notwithstanding admitting “fault” in the international arena unnecessarily?

Well, amongst my twitter followers, friends on VK, LinkedIn and on Facebook, I have more than 120 current RADA members from all parties – admittedly significantly more opposition MPs than Party of Regions.

Some of the exchanges between them are entertaining, often bizarre and sometimes very disappointing when it is clear they are not only arranging the next fist fight in the RADA, but looking forward to it and indeed posting on each others pages encouraging those from other parties (friend and foe) to join in the next affray.

Anyway, when all of these entries are collated and examined collectively, together with what I get told by those I know quite well, plus media speculation/rumour/reporting, occasionally patterns begin to emerge.

One such pattern, relating to the release of Yuri Lutsenko has been gathering pace amongst the PoR ranks in recent weeks.  The latest entry on any particular page in Cyberspace social media came yesterday, and mirrors very much what has been muted by a growing number of PoR deputies in various parts of the social media recently:

Юрій Гримчак
Я вважаю, що на часі звільнення Луценко. Чому? По-перше, коли звільняють за станом здоров’я, а не як невинну людину, то потім довго прийдеться виправдовуватися, майже все життя. Як в анекдоті: рос.” Ложечки нашлись, а осадок остался..” Це на користь цій владі. По-друге,це частково задовільнить вимоги Заходу, що стане приводом для початку дискуссії в іншому ракурсі між Януковичем & K та представниками європейської спільноти.
Втім я бажаю Юрію Вітальйовичу вийти на волю хай і так, а вже тут ми продовжемо боротьбу, і найкраще в нас ще попереду.”

This, in summary, is a PoR member calling for Mr Lutsenko’s release on the grounds of ill health on one of his social media pages – thus leaving Mr Lutsenko with a conviction, but also free – partially satisfying the calls from the EU relating to the release of Ms Tymoshenko, Mr Lutsenko and others.

As Mr Lutsenko’s conviction would still stand – at least until the current opposition are in power, there is an appeal to a receptive parliamentary majority and malleable judicial system and subsequent expunging of the conviction inevitably follows – some face will be saved by the current authorities – particularly as any subsequent expunging many Ukrainians will see as typical manipulative politics employing the legal system to their own ends – again.

There are one or two others that “ill health” could be made to satisfy – not withstanding Ms Tymoshenko herself – although it seems very unlikely it will be applied to her – at least at the moment.

This idea had been kicking around so long that it almost seems new

Anyway, let’s see just how much momentum this idea gathers within the PoR ranks in the case of Mr Lutsenko.  Should there be enough internal support, it seems very likely that Mr Lutsenko will be released – a guilty man – and some “significant progress” will have been made.

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