Assimilation complete? SolidarityAugust 23, 2015
Last week, this blog sent the following tweet relating to the assimilation of Mayor Klitchko’s UDAR Party into President Poroshenko’s Solidarity Party.
— Nikolai Holmov (@OdessaBlogger) August 18, 2015
It was no surprise of course. As predicted many months ago, the assimilation of both UDAR and Prime Minister Yatseniuk’s National Front into Solidarity would be part of a Grand Plan for Solidarity, and a necessity for both UDAR and the National Front if they were to survive in any shape or form in the political future.
It is necessary to identify that UDAR was a political vehicle for Vitaly Klitchko no differently to the National Front for Arseny Yatseniuk and really little more. Identifiable political ideology missing and political manifesto in both cases limp. Sadly personality politics still beats party politics in Ukraine. It will be a major success when the political parties of Ukraine are bigger than the politics leaders of the parties – thus the parties controlling the leaders rather than the leaders using the parties as little more than a vehicle for personal projection.
Solidarity to be blunt is no better – but it is bigger due to it being the current president’s party and thus the magnet to which the political survivors gravitated riding on the coattails of Poroshenko’s popularity at election time.
As has been stated a thousand times within this blog over the years, Ukrainian politicians are generally devoid of identifiable ideology and are therefore only ever for “rent” to whichever party can best service their requirements/survival.
Anyway, as predicted many months ago, and as the above tweet stated, UDAR has been assimilated, with National Front to go.
Agreement it seems, has now been reached between the National Front and Solidarity regarding the former’s assimilation into the latter.
Prime Minister Yatseniuk will remain Prime Minister under the terms of the assimilation agreement that has now been struck – public confirmation will soon come, albeit because this is a holiday weekend, it may be later next week or the week after before confirmation in the public realm is forthcoming. Nevertheless the deal has been struck (though apparently as yet unsigned).
Solidarity will now have a Rada majority with or without Ms Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna or Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party. In effect, their support (or not) will be increasingly immaterial as previously stated when it became clear that Ms Tymoshenko intended to run for Kyiv Mayor – “It is now almost a certainty that Yulia Tymoshenko will run for that office against current incumbent Vitaly Klitschko – and others candidates undoubtedly.
Clearly, the ex-Prime Minister is not (and never would be) happy with the public role of being simply the leader of a minority coalition partner. It is a role that carries far too little media space and (populist) political and policy weight.
As she is somebody that you work for, or by default are working against, but not with – and being the (media grabbing) head of the capital city may be a far smaller pond than being Prime Minister of the nation, but it is about being a (populist) political/policy big fish – even if it means down-sizing the pond to accomplish that.
As Mayor of Kyiv she would become the high profile big fish within the local governance of the capital city – something her ego would undoubtedly prefer to her current position. Further, the new constitutional parameters both grant additional power and also protection to the role, notwithstanding so written are the constitutional amendments that Article 4 of the European Charter of Local Self Government potentially provides a great deal of scope for local government leaderships.”
She, like this blog, has long been aware of the political realities – those realities being that once the inevitable assimilations into Solidarity began, she would become an irrelevance in the Rada.
The deal will look something (although perhaps not exactly) like this –
The National Front (no differently to UDAR) will take part in the October local elections with their candidates on the Solidarity (presidential party) ticket. A coordination committee/liaison group will insure strategic decisions are made regarding strong candidates (expect Yatseniuk to concede about 20% of his party candidates almost immediately – Poroshenko association has the polling numbers whereas Yatseniuk association clearly doesn’t).
Arseny Yatseniuk remains Prime Minister. His National Front “quota” of cabinet ministers will remain the same as will Rada committee heads for his continued consideration within the broader Solidarity Party machinery during any “reshuffle”.
Post local elections, as with UDAR, the National Front will formally dissolve and assimilate into Solidarity.
To be blunt there is not the time to do so before the elections as the bureaucracy will take a few months.
Entering into 2016, and the much anticipated early Rada elections may become far more questionable. UDAR and the National Front will have ceased to exist and Solidarity will be the dominant Rada party. Batkivshchyna and The Radical Party will be nothing more than a populist fringe whose alliance is no longer required. Their sensibilities far less important than previously.
The Opposition Block, the remnant of the Party of Regions will remain toxic for another electoral cycle if not already destined to die off completely. The oligarchy behind it have already conceded as much and are thus thinking of creating alternatives.
This leaves the Samopomich Party of Lviv Mayor, Andrei Sadovyi. The ideal opposition party for Solidarity, for its European leaning means by default a pro-European majority un-reliant upon populists, verses a pro-European opposition party that prides itself upon no oligarchy ties – albeit it can be populist on occasion, and also seen to associate and join ranks with the oligarchy when their positions coincide. Politics can make some strange bedfellows when positions coincide.
Desired outcome: UDAR & NF assimilated, Op Block still toxic, populists Tymo & Lyashko marginalised – Euro leaning major op party Samopomich
— Nikolai Holmov (@OdessaBlogger) August 14, 2015
And there be the outcome of the Ukrainian political Grand Plan. Sidelined populists whose sensibilities will no longer require entertaining, no legislative room for the far right or far left, a further political neutering of the (unfriendly) oligarchy, the self-outcasting of the former Regionaires, and a decidedly pro-European majority and pro-European opposition party.
All long predicted here at the blog – but worth noting that the predictions are now starting to occur.
Perhaps no need for early Rada elections after all – although don’t rule them out either.
What are the ramifications for Odessa?
As long as Governor Saakashvili (who technically has no party affiliation being a formal member of none), continues to publicly play “whack-a-crook/scam”, implements his one-stop-shop for business (coincidently (or not) timed to open 3 weeks prior to polling) and the new “Police” don’t make a major hash of things prior to polling, such assimilations within Solidarity will put pressure upon the designs of Ihor Kolomoisky’s “Ukrop“, the Opposition Block, the nefarious Sergei Kivalov and his local party Morskaya, and Mayor Trukhanov’s imaginatively titled Party Trukhanov.
Indeed dependent upon the candidate strategically decided upon by Solidarity in coordination with UDAR and the National Front (that won’t appear on any ballots), Mayor Trukhanov may well fail to be reelected (unless he becomes their candidate and abandons ties to Ihor Kolomoisky and his well known association with organsied crime – neither of which will be easy nor believable).
An interesting 70 days or so before the local elections beckons.