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06KIEV1169, UKRAINE: ORANGE COALITION TALKS STALL

March 27, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV1169 2006-03-27 10:35 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 001169 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/27/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM ETRD
SUBJECT: UKRAINE:  ORANGE COALITION TALKS STALL 

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

1. (C) Summary:  On the basis of exit polls projecting a 
surprisingly strong second-place showing in the March 26 
parliamentary elections for her eponymous bloc, Yuliya 
Tymoshenko is driving to close a deal that will reunite the 
original Orange coalition and return her to the PM slot. 
Oleksandr Moroz' Socialist Party reportedly is on board to 
reunite.  Despite early positive statements by leaders in 
President Yushchenko's Our Ukraine bloc, Yushchenko has not 
yet spoken publicly about the election results or a possible 
majority coalition in the Rada.  A Tymoshenko-driven press 
conference to sign the coalition agreement was postponed the 
morning of March 27 due to an ongoing meeting of the Our 
Ukraine political council.  Close Yushchenko advisor and 
former Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council 
Petro Poroshenko told Ambassador March 27 that Tymoshenko was 
putting great pressure on Yushchenko to make a deal.  Other 
Our Ukraine insiders told Ambassador that Yushchenko had 
accepted his bloc's unexpected weak third-place showing, but 
not a return by Tymoshenko to the premiership.  Yushchenko 
has instructed current PM Yekhanurov to being consultations 
with all parties, on a bilateral basis, to form a majority 
coalition, which could be with the opposition Party of 
Regions, which received its expected one-third plurality of 
the votes, or with Tymoshenko.  This move to engage Regions, 
as well as other parties, indicates that the principal 
opposition to an Orange coalition now is Yushchenko, plus his 
entourage.  End summary. 

Tymoshenko in driver's seat? 
---------------------------- 
2. (C) Exit poll projections, including an independent exit 
poll funded by the USG and European governments, released 
shortly after the polls closed at 10 pm March 26 showed a 
surprising strong second-place finish for former PM Yuliya 
Tymoshenko's BYuT bloc, behind former PM Viktor Yanukovych's 
Party of Regions.  Initial statements by campaign leaders for 
President Yushchenko's Our Ukraine (Roman Bezsmertny and 
Roman Zvarych) endorsed a reunification of Team Orange. 
Tymoshenko has made clear for weeks her view that the 
second-place winner (after Regions) would dictate the PM 
selection and that, if her bloc finished second, she would be 
the PM candidate. 

Warning signs 
------------- 
3. (C) Indications that negotiations over the reuniting the 
Orange coalition were having difficulty became clear later 
the morning of March 27.  Yushchenko has not made any public 
statements on the election results or on a possible coalition 
with Tymoshenko and the Socialist Party.  Both Our Ukraine's 
and BYuT's separate press conferences were been postponed 
indefinitely due to an ongoing meeting of the Our Ukraine 
party political council.  Former NSDC Secretary and 
Yushchenko advisor Poroshenko told Ambassador March 27 that 
Tymoshenko was putting great pressure on Yushchenko to make a 
deal.  Poroshenko blamed Our Ukraine's disappointing 
electoral showing on the bloc's poor campaign tactics, and 
specifically on Yushchenko's push late in the campaign for 
the PORA-PRP and Kostenko-Plyushch blocs -- a move that 
Poroshenko said cost Our Ukraine 7% of the vote.  Poroshenko 
also said that Yushchenko had not endorsed the public 
statements by his bloc's leadership. 

Which road to take? 
------------------- 
4. (C) Later in the morning, Our Ukraine campaign leader 
Roman Zvarych told Ambassador that it was very hard to say 
now what would happen.  Our Ukraine understood that 
Tymoshenko had won the election and that Our Ukraine came in 
third place.  Late on March 26, he and Bezsmertny had sent 
the message that Tymoshenko should take the initiative to 
form a coalition and that Our Ukraine was prepared to fulfill 
its obligations pursuant to the pre-election understanding 
worked out with Tymoshenko that gave the party that did 
better in the election the lead on naming the new PM. 

Boulder in the road 
------------------- 
5. (C) However, Zvarych underscored, things had rapidly 
changed from the night before.  Others in Our Ukraine had 
absorbed the fact that Tymoshenko had won, but they had 
started to backtrack on the commitment regarding the PM slot. 
 Yushchenko had signaled his unhappiness with the prospect of 
Tymoshenko as PM.  Yushchenko "probably will not allow this 
to happen now."  Zvarych said that he and Bezsmertny were a 
minority right now within Our Ukraine.  Yushchenko had 
instructed PM Yekhanurov to begin consultations with all 
parties, on a bilateral basis, to form a coalition. 

Comment 
------- 
6. (C) This information confirms that that the principal 
opposition to an Orange coalition now is Yushchenko, plus his 
entourage.  Ambassador is meeting with Presidential chief of 
staff Rybachuk in the early afternoon March 27 and may obtain 
a fuller readout on Yushchenko's thinking. 

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

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