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07KYIV906, UKRAINE: POLITICIANS CALCULATING ON

April 13, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV906 2007-04-13 15:36 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO4464
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #0906/01 1031536
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 131536Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1993
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KYIV 000906 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/13/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: POLITICIANS CALCULATING ON 
ELECTION/NEGOTIATION OUTCOMES 
 
KYIV 00000906  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
Classified By: DCM for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  While President Yushchenko and Prime 
Minister Yanukovych continue to negotiate over whether there 
will be new Rada elections at some point this year, political 
playmakers from all parties are angling for best outcomes in 
the face of possible political compromise or snap elections. 
Opposition leader Tymoshenko, Our Ukraine MP and former party 
chair Bezsmertniy, Our Ukraine MP and financial backer 
Poroshenko, and Socialist Rada Foreign Affairs Committee 
Chairman Shybko all told the Ambassador in meetings April 
11-12 that a negotiated political compromise was a better 
outcome than a Constitutional Court (CC) decision; they 
disagreed, however, over early elections.  Tymoshenko and 
Bezsmertniy argued that early elections had to be part of the 
solution; Tymoshenko pushed for a summer rather than a fall 
vote, while Bezsmertniy adopted the Yushchenko line that the 
date is flexible as long as there was agreement on holding 
elections.  Poroshenko, a representative of the OU wing 
interested in broad cooperation with the Party of Regions, 
and Shybko, whose Socialist party would be in danger of not 
crossing the three-percent threshold in a new election, both 
advocated a compromise that did not involve voting. 
 
2. (C) Comment:  Amidst uncertainty over how or whether the 
CC will rule, many key players continue to express preference 
for a political solution.  Elections always produce winners 
and losers, and likely losers not surprisingly do not favor 
elections.  Poroshenko has been edged out of OU's leadership 
over the past six months and would have even less influence 
after new elections; Shybko's comments underscore Socialist 
concern that they could be cut out of the political puzzle 
entirely after elections, with Regions, BYuT, and OU the main 
three forces likely to emerge if elections are held, and the 
Communists and Nataliya Vitrenko's Progressive Socialists, 
rather than the Socialists, with better chances of getting 
over the threshold.  End summary and comment. 
 
Tymoshenko: Court is Broken, Elections are Key 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
3. (C) Tymoshenko told Ambassador on April 12 that the CC was 
essentially hung; there were not currently ten judges able to 
agree to a decision.  The coalition controlled nine 
judges--Regions three, the Socialists two, the Communists 
one, and former Presidential Chief of Staff Medvedchuk three. 
 On the other side were the five "brave" judges who had 
publicly decried pressure--and who had the best legal 
reputations on the Court, she claimed--three other judges who 
felt the same way but didn't have the courage to say 
anything, and Court Chairman Dombrovskiy, who was "scared of 
his own shadow and did not want to do anything." 
 
4, (C) Citing allegations emerging April 12 that two Deputy 
Court Chairmen loyal to Medvedchuk just came into ownership 
of expensive downtown Kyiv apartments, Tymoshenko claimed 
that the Court and process had been so compromised and 
politicized that a decision would be denounced by one side or 
the other.  The key would be the Court session April 17, 
which she predicted would demonstrate the court's inability 
to decide anything.  This should be the signal for parties to 
get serious about reaching a political compromise; she 
encouraged international reinforcement of this message. 
 
5. (C) Tymoshenko advocated that the main political forces 
needed to agree on a menu of compromises in conjunction with 
elections and to ensure that the compromise avoids possible 
future crises.  Tymoshenko advocated: a temporary 10-year 
imperative mandate to solidify party loyalty as Ukrainian 
politics develop; an improved CabMin law to clearly separate 
Presidential and PM powers on mutually acceptable terms; a 
law on the opposition; and a joint code of conduct to accept 
the results and not blockade the Rada (as both sides, 
including Tymoshenko's bloc, have done in the past year). 
Outside facilitators should not act publicly because that 
would complicate the process, but privately they could help 
facilitate talks and communications where there was no trust. 
 
 
6. (C) While professing not to be a participant in talks, she 
understood Regions' current negotiating position as 
simultaneous Rada/presidential elections in the fall. 
Tymoshenko said that she had met Moroz two days ago and 
discussed a theoretical reconstitution of the 
OU-BYuT-Socialist coalition.  She claimed the meeting was at 
Moroz's initiative, because he was worried about being cut 
out of the Presidential-PM negotiations and knew new 
elections were his political grave.  Elections should not be 
postponed beyond late June/early July to the fall for three 
reasons: autumn was too close to December Russian Duma 
 
KYIV 00000906  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
elections, creating a single electoral campaign field; it 
would allow Yanukovych to repeat his 2004 looting of the 
budget to boost social payments, effectively buying votes; 
and it would prolong the current dysfunctional polit
ical 
arrangement between Rada and the President, with the PM 
continuing to grab as much power as possible. 
 
7. (C) Were elections to be held in the summer, she predicted 
Regions would get 22%, Communists 4%; far-left Vitrenko 4-5%; 
BYuT 25%; and OU/Lutsenko 15-17%.  Yushchenko's numbers were 
rising because his western Ukrainian electorate liked the 
signs of a decisive leader taking action.  The opposition 
needed to run in just two columns; she had already picked up 
Reforms and Order, but OU still needed Tarasyuk's Rukh and 
Kostenko's UPP.  If the smaller parties choose to form a 
Union of Right Forces third column instead, they will strip 
2% off of the orange vote and fail to get into the Rada 
(note: an assessment shared by OU's Bezsmertniy). 
 
Bezsmertniy: We Took Strong, But Necessary Action 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
8. (C) The ever-cynical head of the People's Union Our 
Ukraine Executive Committee Bezsmertniy argued to Ambassador 
on April 11 that given the developments of past year, 
Yushchenko's decree was the only solution.   The official 
laws on the books were not the ones that actually governed 
the country or the current situation.  Yushchenko needed 
strong instruments and to act robustly and quickly.  It was 
important now for all sides to recognize the decree as legal 
and start preparing for elections.  The President's team now 
had to rally those presidential supporters who are not on 
board with implementing the elections and find motivations 
for Regions to participate in the elections.  The date of the 
elections was unimportant--holding elections was crucial. 
 
9. (C) In terms of logistics, Bezsmertniy claimed necessary 
changes in the election law and CEC could be done without 
Rada approval or involvement.  The current election law 
already empowered the CEC to run early elections; Yushchenko 
could issue additional decrees if need be to move the process 
forward.  Somewhat cryptically, he added that there needed to 
be decisions taken regarding the PGO and some (unnamed) 
ministers.  Yushchenko's camp also had to ensure that NSDC 
decisions were implemented (referring to the order to finance 
the elections), and that those who refused were held 
responsible.  Finally, and validating rumors which had arisen 
a week ago, Yushchenko could "if necessary" recall the six CC 
judges on the presidential quota. Combined with two other 
judges who had recused themselves on April 10, would leave 
only 10 judges sitting, denying the Court of the necessary 12 
to constitute a quorum.  (Note: Poroshenko confirmed such 
thinking within parts of OU but thought such efforts would 
not be successful.) 
 
Poroshenko: New Elections Bad, Political Compromise Needed 
--------------------------------------------- ------------- 
 
10. (SBU) Our Ukraine "oligarch" Poroshenko, who largely 
controlled OU's leadership in 2005-06 but was pushed aside in 
late 2006 in favor of Presidential Head Baloha and current 
party leader Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, who stripped regional OU 
branches of many Poroshenko allies, expressed grave concern 
about the current political situation April 12.  He felt that 
neither pre-term elections not a CC ruling could resolve the 
current impasse because in either case it would ultimately 
work to the benefit of the ruling coalition and hurt 
democracy in Ukraine.  He saw compromise between the 
President and PM, facilitated by the international community, 
before the CC reached a decision, as the only way out of the 
crisis.  He said he had told the President not to dissolve 
the Rada, but had found little support in OU. 
 
11. (SBU) Poroshenko suggested time was not on Yushchenko's 
side--the economy is starting to suffer and an election would 
divide the country anew.  Elections would not supported by 
most of the country and would be impossible to organize by 
May 27.  Yanukovych and Akhmetov had been willing to 
compromise right after Yushchenko signed the decree, but now 
Regions think they will win, either through a CC decision or 
early elections. In a matter of weeks, Poroshenko claimed, 
the coalition will have a majority in the CC; Yushchenko will 
not be able to refute the Court's decision and could even see 
impeachment proceedings started against him.  The 
international community had to help break the two leaders' 
hardened positions and reach a compromise. 
 
Shybko: We Do Not Want Elections 
-------------------------------- 
 
 
KYIV 00000906  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
12. (SBU) Socialist Party Member and Chairman of the Rada 
Foreign Affairs Committee Shybko argued against elections and 
placed the blame for the current situation squarely at the 
President's feet.  Yushchenko was trying to block the CC from 
working--the President had met with the judges and if they 
were now refusing to work, they must be afraid of the 
President.  (Note: Yushchenko met with the CC judges on March 
27--one week before he issued the decree.  A presidential 
statement released after the meeting reported that Yushchenko 
had urged them to defend the constitution and address a 
series of important cases which had been appealed to the 
court.  End note.)   The President's decree was 
unconstitutional, Shybko alleged; there was no mention of 
Article 90, which laid out the three specific circumstances 
under which the President can dismiss the Rada.  Without 
this, there should not be early elections.  If there were, 
however, Shybko insisted there must be concurrent early 
presidential elections and warned the Communists would insist 
on a referendum on NATO.  A political compromise was a much 
better choice, Shybko argued; it would help Yushchenko save 
face.  Shybko complained, however, that Yushchenko and 
Yanukovych had excluded Moroz from their negotiations. 
 
13. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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