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06KIEV2461, UKRAINE: COALITION OF DEMOCRATIC FORCES FINALLY

June 22, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV2461 2006-06-22 17:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
VZCZCXRO7713
OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2461/01 1731706
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 221706Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0107
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KIEV 002461 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PINR SOCI UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: COALITION OF DEMOCRATIC FORCES FINALLY 
CREATES A PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY, PERSONNEL TBD 

REF: KIEV 2436 

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires a.i., for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 

Summary 
------- 

1. (C) Nearly three months after the March 26 elections, 
Yuliya Tymoshenko's Bloc (BYuT), Our Ukraine (OU), and the 
Socialist Party (SPU) finally created a parliamentary 
majority of the "Coalition of Democratic Forces" mid-day June 
22 by presenting a coalition agreement with the signatures of 
239 MPs, 13 more than the 226 required.  There was no vote, 
however, on a possible Rada Speaker or Prime Minister. 
Outraged Regions MPs, who had been confidently predicting 
earlier June 22 that there would be no Orange Coalition, 
sputtered on their way out of the building on the way to a 
war session back at party HQ (septel).  The Rada then 
recessed until June 27, when the coalition parties hope to 
shepherd a vote to approve nominations for Prime Minister and 
Rada Speaker, followed later in the week by nominations for 
the rest of the Cabinet of Ministers and appointments of Rada 
Committee Chairs.  The coalition agreement stipulates a no 
veto policy on personnel selections; parties have the right 
to select their own nominees to the assigned positions within 
their quotas.  The entire parliamentary majority will caucus 
June 23 to discuss the way forward and seek to heal some of 
the divisiveness of the campaign and negotiations. 

2. (C) A coalition briefing to the diplomatic corps late June 
22 made clear that Our Ukraine has still not decided on whom 
its Speaker nominee will be.  Two names have been forwarded 
by constituent parties--People's Union Our Ukraine's Petro 
Poroshenko, and the Industrialists and Entrepreneurs' Party's 
(IEP) Anatoliy Kinakh--but neither the Our Ukraine political 
council nor the OU faction have discussed/approved the 
position.  That will occur early June 23; two members of the 
seven-man OU Political Council did not rule out the 
possibility of another name emerging.  Acting FM Tarasyuk 
later explained to us that fuzzy language in the coalition 
document on NATO notwithstanding, the coalition had agreed 
that the new PM will write a letter to NATO countries on 
behalf of the new government clearly restating Ukraine's 
Euro-Atlantic policy and desire for a Membership Action Plan 
in 2006. 

3, (C) Comment: the "Coalition of Democratic Forces" 
succeeded in forming a Rada majority June 22, but until a PM, 
Cabinet, and Rada leadership are approved, it is too early to 
say that the coalition is fully operational.  The open 
question upon which many, including coalition members, are 
already speculating is how long it will last in office.  That 
said, coalition members will be under pressure to make the 
coalition work and produce results.  End Summary and Comment. 

Finally: a Rada majority forms 
------------------------------ 

4. (SBU) June 22 began inauspiciously as usual for Team 
Orange at the Rada.  Shortly after the session opened, with 
most of OU's MPs not on the floor, the BYuT representative on 
the provisional presidium, deputy leader Oleksandr Turchynov, 
was forced to ask for a short break to allow OU to "finish 
gathering signatures" for the coalition agreement document. 
(Note: OU and SP sources told us that Kinakh's faction MPs 
had refused to sign the agreement, as they wanted Kinakh to 
serve as the new Rada Speaker, and not Poroshenko.) 
Following the break, Tymoshenko herself strode to the 
rostrum, bathed in camera flashes, to announce triumphantly 
that a "Coalition of Democratic Forces" had been formed with 
239 MP signatures on the coalition document, adding with a 
dramatic flourish: "Glory to Ukraine!" 

Regions Lands A Punch On Yuliya... 
---------------------------------- 

5. (U) Regions MP Oleksandr Yefremov, the former governor of 
Luhansk Oblast, followed Tymoshenko at the podium and blasted 
the Orange coalition.  At times pounding the podium with his 
fist, Yefremov bellowed that the coalition would not take 
care of the people of eastern Ukraine, who had largely voted 
for Regions.  In a reference to a much-publicized incident 
during January's severe cold snap, Yefremov blamed the 
Yushchenko administration for "letting the people of 
Alchevesk freeze" rather than allocate money needed to repair 
the city's dilapidated central heating system.  "We have no 
faith in your coalition," he said, wagging his finger at 
Tymoshenko.  Yefremov's comments were seconded by Communist 
Party leader Petro Symonenko, who chided Tymoshenko for 
agreeing to allow Poroshenko to serve as Rada Speaker, noting 
-- to the cheers of Communist and Regions MPs -- that "last 

KIEV 00002461  002 OF 003 

year, you called him the most corrupt person in Ukraine." 

...She Still Knocks Them To The Canvas... 
----------------------------------------- 

6. (U) A visibly angry Tymoshenko returned to the podium to 
pound Yefremov, calling him a crook "who stole money" 
allocated for updating Alchevesk's heating system.  Looking 
directly at the Regions contingent, she said that under her 
new government "bandits will sit
in jail, not in ministerial 
chairs."  Shifting her focus to the BYuT and OU contingents, 
she urged the coalition parties "to be very careful" about 
who was nominated to fill ministerial positions, specifically 
asking her colleagues not to nominate "people who will only 
enrich themselves."  As Regions MPs whistled and catcalled, 
she snapped back at them that "I'm not talking to you, I'm 
talking to the people" who will fill the senior positions in 
the coalition government. 

...And Then Has Turchynov Offer An Olive Branch 
--------------------------------------------- -- 

6. (SBU) Following a series of breaks to allow the Rada 
Secretariat to verify the 239 MP signatures on the coalition 

SIPDIS 
agreement, some of which Regions MPs argued were forged, the 
rotating chairman of today's session, Communist MP Adam 
Martynyuk, announced that the Rada Secretariat had confirmed 
that 239 MPs had signed the coalition agreement and that it 
was therefore legal and valid.  A subdued Turchynov then took 
to the podium to ask the Rada to vote on adjourning until 
June 27 at 10:00; the new coalition needed time to prepare 
for votes on key government positions, he explained.  In 
sharp contrast to Tymoshenko's morning hostility towards 
Regions, Turchynov, looking directly at the Regions 
contingent, invited them to open a dialogue with the new 
coalition about which government and Rada posts Regions 
wanted to control.  Slipping in one last dig, though, before 
the session closed, Turchynov chortled that Regions "failed 
to form a coalition with bribery and threats!"  Regions MPs 
were spitting venom as they rushed out of the Rada to an 
emergency war session at party headquarters nearby (septel). 

What next?  Coalition Caucuses and Personnel Choices 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 

7. (SBU) Acting FM and OU Political Council member Tarasyuk 
chaired a coalition briefing for the diplomatic corps late 
July 22, introducing BYuT Foreign Policy Adviser Hrihoriy 
Nemyria, OU Party Secretary Roman Zvarych, and SPU MP Shybko 
in turn.  Highlights of the coalition agreement will be 
reported septel.  The main conclusions and the way forward 
follow: 

-- there will be a full coalition caucus meeting at the Rada 
June 23 of all MPs in the three parties forming the 
parliamentary majority. 

-- The coalition agreement allots only positions to the three 
parties; there are no individuals named. 

-- That said, everyone understands that Tymoshenko will be PM. 

-- No party has a veto over the other two parties' selections. 

-- Our Ukraine (the bloc, the faction) has not yet determined 
who its choice to fill the Speaker Slot will be.  The 
Political Council of Yushchenko's People's Union Our Ukraine, 
which controls 40 of the 81 OU MPs, chose Poroshenko as its 
nominee June 21 (reftel), but IEP nominated its leader 
Kinakh.  Neither the OU faction nor the bloc's political 
council has met to discuss who will be the approved OU 
Speaker nominee, according to Tarasyuk, who sits on the 
latter council as Rukh Party leader, but they would meet June 
23 prior to the full coalition caucus meeting to discuss the 
matter  Tarasyuk and Zvarych -- also on the council as party 
and bloc Secretary -- did not rule out another candidate 
emerging. 

-- Notwithstanding the no veto principle, Zvarych 
acknowledged the Speaker role would come up in the wider 
coalition discussion June 23 (note: SPU leader Moroz had 
stated from the Rada floor that Poroshenko as Speaker was not 
a done deal). 

-- The coalition hoped for a vote on both PM and Speaker 
Tuesday June 27 when the Rada reconvenes. 

-- Ideally, that would be followed by a vote June 29 on other 
Cabinet nominees.  Those nominees would likely come in two 
batches: those whose names are proposed by the PM, and the 
two (Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministers) proposed by 

KIEV 00002461  003 OF 003 

President Yushchenko. 

-- Once the Cabinet is set, Rada Committee Chairs would be 
selected, perhaps June 30, to allow the Rada to start 
substantive work on legislation in committee. 
Gwaltney

Wikileaks

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