Friday, July 21, 2006

Impasse In Ukraine

RIA Novosti is reporting that Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian Party on Nations leader and big loser of the 2004 Orange Revolution, has made overtures towards President Viktor Yuschenko's Our Ukraine bloc to form a sort of grand coaltion to end the 4 month political standoff that has resulted from the inability of anyone to form a government following the March parliamentary elections.
Viktor Yanukovych, leader of the pro-Russian Party of Regions, said Thursday he hoped that pro-presidential bloc Our Ukraine would join the "anti-crisis" coalition in parliament.

Our Ukraine was part of a short-lived coalition with the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the Socialists - the two other political forces that propelled Viktor Yushchenko the presidency in the 2004 "orange revolution" - that emerged three months after parliamentary elections but then collapsed when the Socialists left.

The Economist raised this possibility in this week's issue. (subscription required, or you can probably watch a short ad to receive a one day free pass)
"The other option may be a grand coalition that takes bits of the President's party as well as the Party of Regions, drops the Communists and leaves Ms. Tymoshenko's bloc in opposition - though that would probably mean finding a different prime minister to Mr Yanukovich...A grand coalition might ease the resentments of eastern Ukraine, which overwhelmingly backs Mr Yanukovich - though it is hard to see such a coalition lasting long."
Any grand coalition, however, would likely only involve parts of the Our Ukraine bloc. The leader of Our Ukraine in parliament was not terribly enthusiastic about the idea.
But Roman Bezsmertniy, head of Our Ukraine's parliamentary faction, said Thursday his party would never join "the so-called anti-crisis coalition."
A grand coalition would at least allow for a conclusion to this constitutional crisis in Ukraine. Other advantages include Our Ukraine's presence to mitigate the threat of a reversion to corruption under a Yanukovich government. Likewise, as The Economist points out, this would be somewhat palatable to those in the country's east. It would be a fragile coalition, to be sure, but may be the best solution, as dissolving the parliament for new elections would be a major blow to Ukraine's fragile democracy.

Of course, any grand coalition would likely mean further splintering of the Orange Coalition, but in the end, the Orange Revolution was about democracy and honest government, not a single party or faction of party maintaining a hold on power. If the bits of Our Ukraine that join a grand coalition can ensure that Yanukovych comes to accept the way the new, democratic Ukraine works, the Orange Revolution will have achieved its goals.


Post a Comment

<< Home