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06KIEV459, UKRAINE: EX-ORANGE COALITION TALKING DEAL, BUT

February 2, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV459 2006-02-02 12:46 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KIEV 000459 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/02/2016 
TAGS: PGOV
SUBJECT: UKRAINE:  EX-ORANGE COALITION TALKING DEAL, BUT 
DEAL FAR FROM DONE 

REF: KIEV 3620 

Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 

1. (C) Summary:  In a February 1 meeting with Ambassador, Our 
Ukraine legal department head and ex-Minister of Justice 
Roman Zvarych indicated that President Yushchenko's party was 
doing increasingly well in the polls, which were showing 
20-percent support for Our Ukraine, as opposed to 12-13 
percent for the once allied Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) and 24-32 
percent for the opposition Regions Party of ex-PM Yanukovych. 
 In ongoing coalition negotiations with BYuT and the 
Socialists, BYuT had proposed that positions in government be 
apportioned on the basis of showing in the elections, a 
prospect Zvarych thought would give Our Ukraine the Prime 
Minister slot.  Zvarych speculated that BYuT realized its 
position was declining, and wanted to lock in its gains. 
Zvarych opined that Tymoshenko might take the position of 
Presidential Secretariat chief, and that a deal might be 
concluded soon, enhancing the position of both Our Ukraine 
and BYuT vis-a-vis Regions.  End summary. 

2. (C) Ambassador met February 1 with Roman Zvarych, head the 
legal office of President Yushchenko's party People's Union 
Our Ukraine and erstwhile Minister of Justice.  (Note: 
Zvarych, sacked with the Tymoshenko Cabinet in September 2005 
and not brought back under PM Yekhanurov, had a checkered 
seven months as Justice Minister -- e.g. scandals over his 
resume and his involvement in government decisions related to 
his wife's business interests, and little progress in rule of 
law/legal reform.  Seeing him as still loyal to Yushchenko, 
however, the President's party gave him a leadership slot in 
its campaign efforts.) 

Improving poll numbers 
---------------------- 

3. (C) Zvarych indicated that polling results for the March 
26 parliamentary election continued to improve for Our 
Ukraine, currently showing Our Ukraine (OU) at 20 percent, 
Tymoshenko's Bloc (BYuT) at 12-13 percent, and Yanukovych's 
Regions Party garnering anywhere from 24 to 32 percent. 
According to Zvarych, Our Ukraine was confident that it would 
come in second place, giving it a good bargaining position in 
ongoing coalition negotiations with Tymoshenko.  (Note: 
Zvarych seems to have mentioned the top end of a range of 
polling numbers for OU and the bottom end for BYuT; the 
average of various recent polls would put the two parties 
closer together, though the trend in January was indeed OU 
rising and BYuT declining.  Most respected polls showed 
Regions in the 22-25-percent range.) 

Reconciliation efforts 
---------------------- 

4. (C) According to Zvarych, he and Our Ukraine campaign 
chief Roman Bezsmertny met with ex-Security Services head and 
Tymoshenko stalwart Oleksandr Turchynov, Deputy Head of BYuT 
Mykola Tomenko, and two unspecified representatives from 
Oleksandr Moroz' Socialist Party on January 31.  At the 
meeting, Turchynov proposed a plan for the three parties to 
unite following elections, with the distribution of 
government positions to be determined by placement in the 
elections -- whichever party came in first would get its 
choice of positions, with number two getting second choice 
and number three getting third choice.  With Our Ukraine 
ahead in the polls, Zvarych speculated that Our Ukraine would 
get to choose the Prime Minister.  (Note:  How this 
arrangement would work out beyond a first few 
position-choosing rounds, especially if yet another party had 
to be brought into a coaltion in order to form a majority, is 
unclear.  More than likely, the final division of Cabinet 
positions would be the subject of serious wrangling.) 

Not a done deal 
--------------- 

5. (C) Zvarych said Our Ukraine agreed with the proposal in 
principle, and that he and Bezsmertny told their 
interlocutors so in the meeting.  Zvarych opined that 
Tymoshenko's team proposed this arrangement because they saw 
their position in the polls falling and wanted to lock in 
their position.  In Zvarych's estimation, Tymoshenko was 
ready to take the job of chief of the Presidential 
Secretariat.  Zvarych said that a deal between Our Ukraine 

SIPDIS 
and BYuT might be concluded soon, which would allow them to 
cooperate against Yanukovych.  Zvarych speculated that a deal 
between Our Ukraine and BYuT would energize the Orange base 
and improve their performance against Yanukovych in the March 
26 parliamentary elections. 

Comment:  A step forward? 
------------------------- 

6. (C) Zvarych's claims need to be checked out (and we will 
do so with Tymoshenko and Moroz contacts in coming days), but 
if true they represent a positive step in efforts to 
reconcile pro-reform elements. 

7. (U) Visit Kiev's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
HERBST

 

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