Opposition demands to be debated next week in the RADA

April 13, 2013

The United Opposition have stated that the will unblock the RADA next week as agreement has been reached to allow their 4 key “issues” to be considered during that time.

Those 4 key issues are:

The setting of an election date for the position of Kyiv Mayor.

A vote of “No Confidence” in the current government.

The abolition the new pension reforms.

The removal of the Artilces of law under which Ms Tymoshenko is currently jailed.


Well the issues relating to the Kyiv Mayor are currently being considered by the Constitutional Court which the law proscribes must give their decision upon within 3 months.  Would it not be wise to allow the court to come to its conclusions prior to this debate?  At least everybody would know what cards they have to play with then.

A vote of “No Confidence” is very likely to be unsuccessful and will do the image of the United Opposition no good whatsoever if they prove ineffective at removing the government.  The “Rise Ukraine” campaign is for what exactly if they cannot deliver?  To prove they still cannot deliver perhaps?

And what if they win a vote of “No Confidence”?  New elections at a time when all in the RADA should be concentrating on getting as much EU compatible legislation passed within the very limited time frame available before the Vilnius Summit in November  – as their joint pro-EU statement proclaimed.

Elections under the same electoral laws that are a key EU demand for reform and under which the opposition lost only 6 months ago?  Why is electoral reform not a key demand of the United Opposition – does it not help their cause to have a far more equitable playing field?

Should the EU/Ukraine AA and DCFTA not get signed in November as planned, is that not a far better time to call for a vote of “No Confidence”?  It would be a major failure of both Yanukovych and the government.  Or do the United Opposition believe that it will be signed and that to try and win a vote of “No Confidence” after a successful signing would be far harder?

I have to be honest and say that just as I doubted the timing (and effectiveness) of the “Rise Ukraine” campaign, I also have serious doubts about the timing of the attempts to topple the government – a central plank of the “Rise Ukraine” campaign.

I have no problem with the politics, but the timing seems very poor given the wider best interest of Ukraine being at least able to function until November and the Vilnius Summit if there is to be a glimmer of hope relating to signing EU agreements.

Abolishing the pension reforms?  To be replaced by what?  The old and economically unsustainable rules that previously existed?  What is the United Opposition policy to deal with a serious economic issue facing not just Ukraine, but almost all European nations relating to pensions, in lieu of the current reforms?  What is their policy, how will it be financed, and is it any better than the current reforms they are balking against?  Does anybody know?  As a follower of the opposition I am yet to hear their alternatives.

Lastly, the removal of the legal Articles under which Ms Tymoshenko was jailed.  I am not sure if this is the second or third attempt to do so – but previous attempts have failed.  The reality, unfair as the entire process may have been, is even in removing the offending Articles now, they were still the law when she was found guilty under them.  It will not do nothing to remove her conviction even if it would perhaps give greater scope for moral pressure relating to her release.  Laws are not retrospective in their application or removal – and neither are convictions under them unless officially pardoned.

Given the United Opposition’s very subdued reaction to Lutsenko’s release, are the United Opposition simply going through the motions for the public relating to Tymoshenko anyway?

What do they gain by her release in the long run vis a vis her continued incarceration?

What happens to their little power-sharing deals if she was released?  A major “cause” and easy headline maker in her de facto political prisoner/martyr status will also be removed, not to mention they would immediately be standing in her very considerable vocal and political shadow the moment she left the prison gate.

Would or could the United Opposition even manage to remain united if she was released and took the helm of Batkivshchnya again – giving a public perception of sending the three current captains back to being nothing more than deck-hands in the process?

Do Yatseniuk, Klitschko and Tyhanbok willing want to take that chance with their own political futures – or will they simply go through the motions for the public?

More broadly, what are the chances next week of the United Opposition winning any, let alone all, of the above 4 issues over which they have blocked the working of the RADA for months?

If they fail to make any progress after these issues are debated – are they going to block the RADA again?  To what end?  The dissolution of parliament and with it any hope of timeliness in legislative progress toward the EU normative within the EU nominated time frame?

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