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January 31, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV225 2007-01-31 16:46 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

DE RUEHKV #0225/01 0311646
P 311646Z JAN 07

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KYIV 000225 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/31/2017 
REF: KYIV 0135 
Classified By: Political Counselor Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 
1. (C) Summary.  Rada Speaker Moroz and the Yanukovych 
government have used "creative" interpretations of the 
constitution and the Rada rules of procedure to try to bring 
into force the controversial law on the Cabinet of Ministers, 
despite presidential claims that the law was vetoed (reftel). 
 Their efforts appear to be an attempt to demonstrate 
authority over the President and perhaps give him one last 
chance to sign the new law and to force him to concede to 
their position.  Rada Speaker Moroz on January 29 posted the 
law on the Rada website, but declined to publish it in the 
two Rada printed publications which would make the law 
official.  On January 30, the Justice Ministry included the 
law on its registry of all legal acts, but both the Rada and 
the government have been vague about whether the law is 
actually in force.  At the same time, Moroz claimed the Rada, 
which comes back into session February 6, was preparing 
amendments to the law to remove provisions not compatible 
with the Constitution. 
2. (C) Comment. It seems that Yushchenko's second veto of the 
CabMin law on January 19 (the Rada overrode his first veto on 
January 12), which his team argues is legal justified on a 
technicality (the January 12 text differed slightly from the 
December text he had already vetoed), has frustrated the 
majority coalition.  Even after Yushchenko's veto claim, 
Moroz continued to seek Yushchenko's signature on the January 
12 bill, despite the Rada Speaker's right to sign and 
promulgate a law himself in the absence of Presidential 
endorsement, if he felt the president had no right of veto. 
Moroz's hesitation suggests that he knows he may be on 
legally and constitutionally shaky ground.  In response, 
Moroz has interpreted the Rada's rules as he sees fit; his 
actions have been backed by the Prime Minister's office and 
the government, who also insist the law is coming into effect 
one way or another.  However, the fact that both Moroz and 
the Yanukovych team are offering to walk back the most 
controversial clauses in the law, if Yushchenko will 
cooperate, suggests that the coalition is not fighting to 
preserve the law as it currently stands, but may be using it 
as one more show of political one-up-manship vis-a-vis 
Yushchenko.  With less than a week left before the new Rada 
session opens on February 6, it is clear that the coalition 
is looking for at least a symbolic victory on this issue. 
End summary and comment. 
Loopholes and Fine Print 
3. (SBU) Article 94.4 of the constitution states that if the 
President refuses to sign a law that has been passed by the 
2/3 majority required to override a veto, the Speaker is 
obligated to sign the law, promulgate it, and publish it. 
While constitutionally, Moroz could have done so as early as 
January 22, he delayed the decision to promulgate or publish 
the law, finally posting it on the Rada website on January 
29.  Article 94.5 states that a law enters force ten days 
from the day of its official promulgation, but not prior to 
the day of its publication.   Article 134 of the Rada Rules 
of Procedure--not itself a law but a powerful set of 
regulations--states that to be official, a law must be 
published in one of two Rada publications: "Holos Ukrainy" or 
"Verkhovna Rada Bulletin."  Presidential representative to 
the Rada Roman Zvarych cited this rule as the reason why they 
were not recognizing the law as having been promulgated. 
4. (C) Moroz and PM Chief of Staff Lyovochkin complained 
separately to Ambassador in late January that the 
Presidential Secretariat was playing games with the veto. 
The official explanation for Yushchenko's second veto--after 
the override vote of his first veto--was that the texts 
differed between the original law sent to Yushchenko on 
December 21 and the law sent to him after the override vote 
on January 12.  Moroz explained this to Ambassador on January 
23 as simply a misprint, one that the Presidential 
Secretariat knew had happened.  According to Moroz, 
Secretariat Chief Baloha had told Moroz that he wanted to 
give Yushchenko the misprinted version so that they would 
have a loophole to allow a second veto.  On January 23, 
Lyovochkin told the Ambassador that the presidential team's 
legal argument--that the final draft of the CabMin law 
forwarded to the President had not been identical to the 
first version the President had vetoed--was silly, a child's 
game, and not presidential. 
5. (C) Comment: Silly or not, our understanding is that a law 
in Ukraine is the physical document signed by the Rada 
Speaker and President.  Even if Moroz unwittingly signed a 
KYIV 00000225  002 OF 002 
misprinted document before passing it to the Presidential 
Secretariat, Yushchenko appears to have a legal leg to stand 
on, confirmed by a 1998 Constitutional Court ruling cited by 
his team. 
Compromise Possible? 
000A;6. (SBU) Yushchenko's consistent position since December has 
been that he wants a new, compromise CabMin law adopted.  He 
sent the Rada a number of changes to the current law, which 
would remove the most egregious infringements of his power 
(see reftel for discussion of the law).  Moroz publicly 
admitted that there might be some unconstitutional aspects of 
the law that the Rada would be willing to change, but only on 
its terms: Yushchenko should first sign the January 12 law, 
and only then would the Rada adopt the amendments.  In fact, 
Moroz told the press on January 29 that he was already 
working on the changes--the amended law would not include 
nomination of the prime minister and defense and foreign 
ministers by the coalition in the case of the President 
choosing not to nominate a candidate within 1 days, as well 
as one of the contentious issues concerning countersigning 
documents.  However, he maintained that the amendments could 
not be adopted until the law comes into effect; absent the 
publishing of the law in an official Rada publication, that 
implies Yushchenko agreement either to sign the January 12 
law or retract his second veto/referral of the law back to 
the Rada. 
7. (C) In a January 22 meeting, Lyovochkin told Ambassador 
that Yanukovych had proposed to Yushchenko that, if the 
President agreed to sign the new CabMin law, the Rada would 
draft a new bill to amend the CabMin law to take into account 
eight suggestions that the President had made.  Justice 
Minister Lavrynovych echoed this sentiment publicly on 
January 31, claiming it was not possible to hold a revote on 
a law already in force.  Instead it was necessary to 
acknowledge the law as enacted, then pass amendments as 
separate legislation. 
End Game: Symbolic Victory 
8. (C) Comment: For all their confident bluster, the Rada and 
government are dancing around the rules for officially 
promulgating/publishing the law.  There is no legal 
compulsion why Yushchenko as President must sign the Cabinet 
of Ministers law; if the second veto were invalid, in the 
absence of a presidential signature, Moroz has full 
constitutional authority to promulgate and publish the law, 
making it official.  Assuming that people ignore the second 
veto and the Rada does pass the amendments that Yushchenko 
wants, a presidential signature on the original law would 
appear simply to be a sign of victory for the coalition in 
the ongoing political posturing.  Although the coalition, 
especially the PM's team, continues to insist that they want 
a broader coalition that includes Yushchenko and Our Ukraine, 
it seems clear that they would prefer that such a coalition 
be on their terms. 
9. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 




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