Archive for January 13th, 2014

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3 – 2 = 1….or 3? – A single opposition candidate – Ukraine

January 13, 2014

According to this article the opposition leaders have decided upon a single candidate at last – kind of.

The nomination is Yulia Tymoshenko, but recognising she cannot run, it is Vitali Klitschko, who has already declared his candidacy and leads the opinion polls amongst all potential opposition presidential candidates (including Ms Tymoshenko).

However, should he fall foul of Article 103 of the Constitution of Ukraine due to the yet to be clarified  definition of “resident” for the past ten years as required, then Arseniy Yatseniuk becomes the single candidate.

Should Mr Yatseniuk be unable to run for some reason, then Oleh Tyahnybok takes picks up the gauntlet.

Thus there is what is being called “a ladder” amongst the opposition circles – or a scale of the least worst option for the rest of us perhaps a better description.

It follows that the single candidate will not be the only opposition leader to register for the presidential elections – they all will do so in order to fulfill any bureaucratic deadlines and pick up any gauntlet dropped by another.

Petro Poroshenko you may ask?  Well he doesn’t feature despite being very capable – perhaps the most capable – of sitting in the presidential chair amongst opposition figures.

The “single candidate” will therefore be the man (acknowledging Ms Tymoshenko cannot run) that is “promoted” by the other registered opposition candidates first and foremost – until knocked over by fair means or foul.

Inevitably that leads us to the necessity for a jointly agreed 5 year policy plan for the winner/last man standing to implement as president – on the assumption the opposition win the presidential election.

Herein lies the next set of problems for the opposition to wrestle with.

As Mr Klitschko goes to great lengths regularly to point out, all parties are ideologically different.  Thus it would be necessary, for the sake of unity and trust, to reach a common denominator policy across the entire political/social/economic spectrum of governance required – to be implemented by any winner without deviation.

To accomplish that it is very likely to be an acceptance of lowest common denominators rather than any flagship policies the boys and girls in each political party have been working on.

(Thus, if this is to be the case, European integration begins here and now –  for the lowest common denominator agreed by all EU Members and EU institutions is quite often what is left by way of agreement once policy goes through the EU wringer.   It’s called “consensus” in EU-speak, as that sounds better than lowest common denominator.)

Months of thrashing out agreed policies now awaits – and hopefully with unity at the end of it, meaning any opposition presidential candidate is actually a nominal choice – quite literally – as policy will remain exactly the same under any of them.

Naturally, if discord and disagreement is the result, all 3 opposition leaders will be registered as presidential candidates anyway and can go their separate ways.

Of course that does not deal with the issue that any new opposition president will face a RADA that is not due for reelection until 2017 – and with PoR the biggest MP number, plus the Communists unlikely to be favourable to any new presidential policies, difficulties await.

As the current RADA composition has a public mandate until 2017, it presents the problem of either working (or attempting to work) with the existing RADA make-up, or finding a legal and justifiable way to provide for early RADA elections that has legitimacy with the public as well.

Thereafter any new president must hope for a radically different composition post new RADA elections that would provide a presidential policy friendly majority.  Not as easy as it sounds – if it sounds easy.

Those agreed opposition presidential policies therefore, may face a rough ride in the RADA – or at very least a very slow start pending dissolution of the current parliament, elections, and a resulting new RADA composition.  Either way, the first 100 days in office may very well be ineffectual for the most part, limited to what the president can do unilaterally and without parliamentary agreement or ratification.

However, those are issues to be written about in more depth closer to the presidential elections themselves.

For now, if the above article is correct, we have the situation whereby there is nominally – and for the moment – a single candidate, but all opposition candidates will need to register for the presidential elections and appear on the ballot to avoid last minute disqualifications with no printed alternatives on ballot papers – which is exactly what they would have done if they hadn’t agreed a single candidate amongst themselves too!

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