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07KYIV1117, UKRAINE: NEGOTIATIONS ON EARLY ELECTIONS STALL,

May 11, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV1117 2007-05-11 10:10 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO2311
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #1117/01 1311010
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111010Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2286
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 02 KYIV 001117 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/11/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: NEGOTIATIONS ON EARLY ELECTIONS STALL, 
FRUSTRATION GROWING 
 
KYIV 00001117  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  Continued disagreement over the date of 
elections has paralyzed what initially seemed like a 
breakthrough agreement on May 4 between President Yushchenko 
and Prime Minister Yanukovych to hold early parliamentary 
elections.  The working group Yushchenko and Yanukovych named 
May 4 to finalize the details has not completed its tasks, 
although presidential/opposition representatives claim the 
"small package" of legislation is ready except for the date 
of the elections.  Yushchenko and the opposition want 
elections in July, while Regions wants them in the fall.  The 
Communists and Socialists do not want elections at all, 
playing a spoiler's role in working group discussions. 
Yushchenko's allies have accused Yanukovych of dragging out 
the negotiations until he forces his way on a later date for 
elections; on May 10 Yushchenko also fired a third 
Constitutional Court judge, Volodymyr Ivashchenko, the 
remaining Kuchma appointee on the Court.  In turn, Yanukovych 
accused Yushchenko of sabotaging the May 4 agreement and 
called for European and Russian mediation.  Privately, 
influential Deputy Prime Minister Kluyev argued to Ambassador 
May 10 that a Regions-OU coalition was the only outcome that 
would change the current stalemate. 
 
2. (C) Comment. There is unlikely to be any final decision 
without Yanukovych, who is still in Spain recovering from 
elective knee surgery on May 8.  However, an announcement by 
DPM Azarov to the press that Yanukovych should return to Kyiv 
on May 11 means that progress might be possible over the next 
few days.  Speaker Moroz instructed the rump Rada (meeting 
without the opposition) to be on call for possible sessions 
on either May 12 or May 14.  The date of the election hinges 
on constitutional and legal provisions that say early 
elections are held the last Sunday in a 60-day period 
starting when the decree calling for new elections is 
promulgated.  Based on the May 4 agreement, Yushchenko had 
anticipated that the entire package would be agreed in short 
order, allowing elections to be held in early July.  By our 
calculations, if agreement between the President and PM is 
reached and a new decree issued before May 17, then elections 
could technically take place on July 8.   A decree on or 
shortly after May 17 would push an election to July 15.  If 
dragging continues and no agreement is reached, then it is 
likely that a vote would be pushed to the fall, as Regions is 
advocating.  End summary and comment. 
 
Yushchenko Says Vote Will Move Ahead, Fires Another Judge 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
3. (SBU) After a May 10 meeting with the working group, 
Yushchenko told the press that the group was not doing its 
delegated job and said that he would convene an extraordinary 
meeting of the National Security and Defense Council to make 
all necessary election-related decisions if the working group 
continued its "fruitless dialogue."   The President and his 
Deputy Chief of Staff Vasyunyk have reiterated that the 
"small package" of legislation agreed to on May 4 was more 
than 80 percent finished and just awaiting a date for new 
elections.  The President on May 10 also issued a decree 
dismissing Constitutional Court Judge Ivashchenko, the 
remaining CC judge appointed by former President Kuchma, for 
violating his oath of office. 
 
4. (C) Comment. Ivashchenko's dismissal on the surface 
appeared to be an act of frustration aimed at getting the 
PM's attention, as the prior April 30-May 1 dismissals of 
judges Pshenychniy and Stanik did, although it also could 
have been an additional hedge against an adverse ruling, 
since the Court has not stopped reviewing the April 2 decree. 
 Interestingly, one of the other CC judges told us privately 
May 10 that Ivashchenko had indeed violated his oath of 
office by revealing information about secret deliberations, 
while there had not been similar grounds to fire Stanik and 
Pshenychniy  Amidst threats from the Rada to prepare 
resolutions aimed at dismissing judges on the Rada's quota, 
Court Chair Dombrovskiy made a public statement pleading for 
all sides to stop dismissals and allow the court to work. 
End comment. 
 
Yanukovych Gets Mad, Calls For Mediators 
---------------------------------------- 
 
5. (SBU) In response to the firing of Ivashchenko, 
Yanukovych--who has been in Spain since May 8 for knee 
surgery and may return as early as May 11--publicly 
criticized Yushchenko via a CabMin press release for 
violating the May 4 agreement and obstructing the work of the 
judicial branch.  He also blamed the President for being at 
fault for Ukraine's current political crisis.  The PM then 
 
KYIV 00001117  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
called on the EU and Russia to serve as mediators in settling 
the stalemate, adding: "the continuing neutrality of our 
strategic partners is not promoting the settlement of the 
political conflict but is only adding confidence to the 
President in his illegal actions."  (Not
e: The U.S., Russia, 
and sometimes EU are generally referred to as strategic 
partners by Ukrainian politicians.) 
 
6. (SBU) The Russian Foreign Ministry immediately issued a 
statement expressing the willingness of the Russian 
Government to assist Ukraine in resolving the stand-off.  In 
contrast, European Commissioner for External Relations 
Ferrero-Waldner said that the EU should not mediate, as long 
as Ukraine is working through internal political issues 
within a democratic framework. 
 
DPM Kluyev: Broad Coalition is Only Solution 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
7. (C) Deputy Prime Minister Kluyev--an influential figure in 
Regions who has been an occasional channel to leading 
opposition figures--told Ambassador May 10 that there will be 
no change in the political balance inside the Rada after 
elections--Regions, BYuT, and OU will all do about the same. 
The only way to effect a change in the political situation, 
he argued, would be for a Regions/OU coalition without new 
elections.  In the past, he had opposed such a coalition--OU, 
in his opinion, had proved to be splintered and inconsistent 
at the bargaining table--but now Regions wanted a broad 
coalition.  He agreed that there would be costs if a full 
Rada did not come back into session and that Ukrainian 
politicians may be missing an opportunity to fix the problems 
in the constitution.   He concluded by saying that Ukraine 
needed stability for its economy to grow, but this required a 
coalition that included the President's forces to calm things 
down. 
 
8. (C) On the prospect of new elections, Kluyev claimed 
Tymoshenko was the only one benefiting from instability.  He 
charged that her plan was for the elections to eliminate the 
Socialists and Communists, and if she could raise the 
election threshold (currently set in the Law on Elections as 
three percent), she would eliminate OU as well.  Kluyev 
doubted there would be any change in the threshold to enter 
the Rada--for OU to agree to it would be tantamount to 
political suicide. 
 
9. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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