Circling the ethical toilet bowl of Ukrainian politics – BPPMarch 27, 2016
Following on seamlessly from yesterday’s entry regarding the Verkhovna Rada and President Poroshenko resorting to the passage of democracy affronting legislation to correct party political errors of the recent past for the sake of expediency, another day seemingly brings another circling of the toilet bowl of Block Poroshenko/Solidarity Party ethics.
Having successfully managed to remove Andrei Bogdan (the immediate political problem) together with Malovatskoho, Malashenkovoyi, Ryabykina, Vovk, Friedman, Raupova, Ilyashenka, Tarasovtsya, Revenko, Byedovoho, Leshyka and Velimovskoho from the official and CEC recognised party list under the presidential flag on 26th March, the Poroshenko faction is also seeking to employ an obscure, and never before used constitutional party/faction “loyalty Article” – presumably Article 81 of the Constitution of Ukraine – to rid itself of two troublesome MPs within its faction.
The two MPs in question, the experienced Mykola Tomenko and novice Igor Firsov have seen their faction vote to remove their mandates and have them replaced. Their political sins are not rolling over for the Party Whip, being rather too vocal about the lack of action against corruption, and for actually highlighting corruption and naming names.
A reader may rightly ponder just how long reformist, anti-corruption, and democracy advocates such as Mustafa Nayem, Serhiy Leshchenko (and numerous others of similar ideology and moral fortitude) can continue to remain within the Block Poroshenko faction and retain their integrity and perceived moral high ground. Clearly it seems that removing them in a similar manner to Messrs Tomenko and Firsov is currently seen as far too problematic given their high domestic and international profiles. How many other morally upright and ethically sound new MPs would follow them out of Block Poroshenko if they left? Enough to cripple the faction and party – thus perhaps forcing elections far sooner than Autumn 2016/Spring 2017? Would it have sufficient resonance to change “western minds” regarding early Verkhovna Rada elections?
Mr Nayem et al., are no less critical of their own Block Poroshenko faction than those now subjected to the virgin use of the constitutional “faction loyalty clause”.
Indeed, Mr Nayem, having been somewhat successful when last calling the Ukrainian people to the streets in Autumn 2013, has once again called for them to demonstrate on 28th March demanding the removal of Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin for the blatant sabotaging of reform and due process obstructionism with which he is nationally and internationally associated.
If it is difficult to see how presidential popularity will stop its increasingly swift downward trend without a genuine (rather than rhetorical) turn toward reform, it is yet harder to see how Block Poroshenko/Solidarity will survive if it continues along its current path. The speed at which it now circles the political toilet bowl of ethics is increasing exponentially – far swifter in fact than its loss of constituency support which is nothing short of dramatic.
Some may ponder what outcomes if only those unethical means were designed to reach far better ends. If such manipulations had removed the odious MPs with mandates and replaced them with reformers in an internal clean up, perhaps polling ratings would have turned favourable for the presidential power(s) – a flight of fantasy to be sure considering the ends for which such means have been created and employed.
Thus the speed at which the Poroshenko faction and political party now circle the ethical and political toilet bowl dictates just how quickly the reformers spin away in a centrifugally forced separation.
As and when they do, it will leave behind an ugly turd that will inevitably, and finally, display the President without his clothes – for what remains will be nothing more than the corrupt old guard that was drawn to power for the sake of self-preservation and/or continued self-enrichment.
In short Block Poroshenko is not a party nor a faction of shared ideology, nor even a collection of the reasonably like-minded, but nothing more than a collection of differing interests all of which used it as a platform to pursue very different ends – some noble and some nefarious.
What is perhaps most ominous for members of the Block Poroshenko/Solidarity Party is that both those they currently seek to repress through the virgin use of the “constitutional loyalty clause”, and the genuine reformers that will inevitably split off, will find a political home that will see them returned to the Verhovna Rada at any new elections. That cannot be said for the rest of Block Poroshenko/Solidarity as it will certainly lose a lot of seats at the next elections – perhaps to the point of failing to be returned as the largest party in the Verkhovna Rada. The most likely casualties being the middle strata of the odious.
It is for this reason that the President wishes to avoid new elections.
It is also why it has been so hard to replace Prime Minister Yatseniuk. It is necessary to be blunt and state that should all concerned have been confident that Block Poroshenko/Solidarity could have accommodated most of Prime Minister Yatseniuk’s MPs within the Verkhovna Rada after any early elections, the usual theatre of faux loyalty to the end, swiftly followed by party hopping would have already occurred.
Clearly the legislative political expediency as well as the sullying of the currently virgin Article 81 are designed to purge political missteps and replace those too difficult (one way or another) to insure far, far stricter party discipline and personal subjugation.
This is not the first incarnation of the President’s Solidarity Party, it will perhaps not be the last either – but certainly this political phoenix is starting to look rather sickly and the ashes seem to beckon it sooner rather than later.