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07KYIV1305, UKRAINE: DEAL FOR SEPTEMBER 30 ELECTIONS

May 29, 2007

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07KYIV1305 2007-05-29 10:55 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO8645
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #1305/01 1491055
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291055Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2485
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KYIV 001305 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/29/2017 
TAGS: PGOV UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: DEAL FOR SEPTEMBER 30 ELECTIONS 
ANNOUNCED, BUT IS IT A DONE DEAL? 
 
REF: A. KYIV 1297 
     B. KYIV 1244 
 
KYIV 00001305  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
Classified By: DCM Sheila Gwaltney, reason 1.4 (b,d) 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: After all night discussions, President 
Yushchenko, PM Yanukovych, and Rada Speaker Moroz emerged 
after 4 a.m. May 27 to issue a seven-point joint statement 
that set early elections for September 30 and aimed to 
resolve the ongoing political crisis.  Reactions ranged from 
relief to doubt, amidst defiance by some.  While the 
coalition immediately dismantled its two-month old tent camps 
and stage on the Maidan, coalition leaders gave a less than 
ringing endorsement to supporters in the Mariyinsky Park tent 
camp outside the Rada, with Yanukovych several times saying 
"if elections happen."  Opposition leader Tymoshenko blessed 
the deal after the May 27 announcement, but jubilantly 
declared it a total opposition victory to journalists in the 
Rada May 29.  A key part of the May 27 deal was to be a 
two-day Rada session May 29-30 to pass legislation needed to 
hold early elections, reaffirm bills approved by the Rada 
between April 2 and May 26, and pass WTO-related legislation. 
 However, signs from the Rada early May 29 suggest that the 
legislation to be passed is not yet ready and that some 
political forces in both the coalition and the opposition may 
not be fully on board with the terms of the deal struck by 
Yushchenko, Yanukovych, and Moroz.  Parliamentary deputies 
spent much of May 29 in the hallways, in various 
organizational and strategy sessions; the Rada will formal 
convene again at 1600 Kyiv time. 
 
2. (C) Comment:  Ukrainian political developments rarely seem 
final.  The May 27 joint statement on early elections, billed 
as a conclusion to the two-month political and constitutional 
crisis, may take more than just several days to overcome the 
chaotic developments of the past week (reftels) and secure 
the steps necessary to keep the future course of political 
developments on track,  It could yet come unglued, as have 
other previous oral agreements between Yanukovych and 
Yushchenko, although there is a strong push from many to 
resolve the issue once and for all prior to summer vacation 
season.  We believe that party leaders can easily override 
objections raised in the Rada corridors in order to implement 
the deal.  In addition to following the process of 
implementing the May 27 compromise, there are three areas of 
particular institutional concern, given recent vigorous 
struggles for control/influence by the presidential and 
coalition teams, that will bear close watching.  They are the 
status of the Constitutional Court, where three justices 
appointed on the Presidential quota by President Kuchma and 
dismissed by Yushchenko refuse to leave; the Prosecutor 
General's Office, where two people claim to be the Prosecutor 
General; and the status of Interior Ministry ground troops, 
who were transferred to the President by decree on May 25 and 
whose loyalties were called into question amidst confusion 
over the chain of command May 25-26.  End Summary and Comment. 
 
The Deal: Elections on Sept 30, but Much to be Done First 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
3. (SBU) After several days of high drama May 24-26 focused 
on a struggle for control of the prosecutor general's office 
and scuffles between security forces loyal to the president 
on the one hand and the coalition on the other, an all-night 
session between Yushchenko, Yanukovych, and Moroz led to a 
seven-point joint statement released after 4 a.m. on Sunday 
May 27.  The leaders agreed: to hold pre-term elections 
September 30; to do so based on a Presidential decree citing 
Article 82, para 2 of the Constitution (Note: Which requires 
the Rada to have a quorum of 300 elected MPs.  To deny a 
quorum, OU and BYuT factions would resign); to hold a plenary 
session of the Rada May 29-30 to enact legislation to conduct 
fair, democratic, and transparent elections; to readopt 
measures passed by the Rada after April 2 (Note: Yushchenko's 
first decree); to pass WTO-related legislation; to ensure the 
Cabinet and Central Election Commission (CEC) implement the 
law on the voter registry; and to appoint new members of the 
CEC. 
 
4. (SBU) Yushchenko, in comments posted on the presidential 
website, described the compromise as a "truly wonderful 
result" which demonstrated that Ukraine's democracy was 
"mature"; he declared the crisis now "finished."  While the 
coalition immediately dismantled its tent camps, stage, and 
banners on the Maidan and around the city, Yanukovych and 
Moroz caveated their endorsement of the statement before 
supporters, with Yanukovych several times referring to 
elections, "if they do take place."  Other officials 
expressed doubt that the deal could stick as planned.  CEC 
Chair Davydovych said that it would be unrealistic to expect 
 
KYIV 00001305  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
a functioning new voter registry by September 30 while 
various past and present MPs wondered whether all BYuT and OU 
MPs would resign, as required for the agreed-upon legal 
grounds to trigger new elections. 
 
Uncertain
ty in the Rada, Slow Off the Mark 
------------------------------------------ 
 
5. (SBU) On May 29, Yushchenko began the process of 
implementing the compromise by issuing a short decree 
suspending his April 26 decree (that dissolved Rada and 
called for June 24 elections) for two days, May 29-30, to 
allow the Rada to do its work.  However, the Rada did not 
immediately step up to the plate.  It did not open as 
expected on May 29 at 10 am, as opposition MPs refused to 
participate in the opening session, with BYuT instead holding 
a faction meeting.  Representatives from both Regions and 
BYuT indicated that the deal announced by the three leaders 
in Sunday was far from fleshed out.  Speaker Moroz postponed 
the opening of the plenary session to 4 p.m.; while the Rada 
Secretariat distributed a list of 13 laws related to the 
 
SIPDIS 
election that were meant to be passed, MPs complained to us 
they had not seen the text of any laws.  In addition, no one 
we talked to was sure that the Rada would vote to reaffirm 
the 53 laws passed since April 2, especially given BYuT and 
OU's opposition to a package vote since they did not approve 
of all of the measures. 
 
6. (C) Regions MPs Kozhara and Makeyenko claimed to us 
separately that Sunday's announcement was a political 
statement, not a binding agreement, that the coalition still 
had to pass judgment, and suggested that they had doubts as 
to whether elections would happen in the fall at all.  They 
objected to Yushchenko's new decree because it infringed upon 
their right to legislate.   Moreover, they argued that a 
two-day time frame for passing all the legislation named in 
the agreement was unrealistic.  Budget Chairman Makeyenko 
said it would take at least a week just to amend the budget 
to cover election financing and to increase pensions and 
salaries as announced by the Cabinet.  Makeyenko also 
stressed that Yanukovych's statements since Sunday morning 
had added the phrase "if there are new elections," suggesting 
that it had not yet been decided.  Kozhara told us that a 
constitutional amendment had to be part of the package (note: 
this has been one of the sticking points; Yanukovych told 
visiting DAS Kramer that it was not essential, see ref B). 
 
7. (SBU) Aides for Tymoshenko and other BYuT MPs claimed to 
us that Regions and Moroz were already dragging the process 
out again.  They said that Moroz had announced that before 
any voting took place, there would be a full day of committee 
work to review proposed amendments and laws.   They agreed 
with the Regions MPs, assessment that the Rada could not 
make all the necessary legislative changes in just two days. 
There was also some disagreement about whether the opposition 
was ready to resign from the Rada, as required in the deal. 
A BYuT aide said many of her faction's MPs did not want to 
relinquish their summer bonus of $4000.  Svitlana Gumenyuk, 
an aide to OU MP Bezsmertniy, disputed such rumors, saying 
that OU was in the Rada, ready to hold an afternoon session 
and to resign en masse as planned.  BYuT leader Tymoshenko 
was doing her part to stir the pot of discontent, marching 
through the Rada hallways with a pack of journalists talking 
about the political compromise as a "complete victory" for 
the opposition. 
 
8.  (C)  Comment.  These comments indicate that much of the 
rank and file in all of the parties represented in the Rada 
(except for the Communists) have not been brought into the 
discussions that led to Sunday's compromise deal.  In fact, 
the overriding concern for most deputies is whether or not 
they will be able to hold on to their Rada seats if and when 
there are new elections.  In our view, the party leaderships 
have the ability to get enough deputies in line in order to 
implement the agreement.  What is interesting is that they 
have not yet done so (with the possible exception of Our 
Ukraine). 
 
Institutional watch: Courts, Prosecutor, Interior Troops 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
 
9. (C) The end game of the most recent crisis laid bare the 
weaknesses of several key institutions which remain 
relatively unreformed from Soviet-era precedents and 
behaviors: the courts, the general prosecutor's office, and 
the interior troops.  Yanukovych's initial May 4 agreement to 
early elections came in the wake of Yushchenko's moves to 
dismiss two Kuchma-appointees on the Constitutional Court 
(CC) and engineer a change in the Prosecutor General's 
office.  However, as the political crisis lurched on through 
 
KYIV 00001305  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
May, and Yushchenko dismissed a third Kuchma appointee May 
10, the three justices continued to report to work at the 
court, buoyed by mid-May local district court rulings in 
Donetsk and Luhansk, in Regions' home base but seemingly far 
from any jurisdiction to rule on a presidential decree 
involving constitutional court justices.  One of them, 
Pshenychniy, assumed the role of Acting Court Chair May 17 
after previous Chair Dombrovskiy stepped down from the 
position; one justice (Lylak) tendered his resignation May 21 
due to his refusal to serve under Pshenychniy, and the Rada 
voted to dismiss another (Stetsyuk, an OU nominee) May 23 for 
making a public statement suggesting he would not take part 
in proceedings due to pressure on the court.  The Court's 
press service indicated May 29 that the court continues to 
lack a quorum of 12 justices, with seven (of 18) on leave or 
listed as sick.  While the May 27 deal, if implemented, takes 
the pressure off the CC to resolve the political crisis, its 
own institutional crisis and the perceived legitimacy of its 
justices, as well as any potential rulings, will remain a 
matter of debate. 
 
10. (SBU) Over the May 27-29 holiday weekend, both Oleksandr 
Piskun -- who returned as Prosecutor General in early May but 
whom Yushchenko tried to dismiss May 24, sparking the PGO 
scuffle -- and Viktor Shemchuk -- appointed by Yushchenko as 
Acting PGO May 24 -- claimed to be Prosecutor General. 
Piskun held a meeting with deputy prosecutors (nearly all 
with Donetsk roots and affiliated with Regions) and 
provincial prosecutors, at least one of whom spoke to the 
press afterwards and said he recognized Piskun's authority. 
Shemchuk held a session at the Presidential Secretariat; 
attendance was not released.  The matter will likely be 
settled by the courts, which have been issuing contradictory 
rulings over the PGO office, or could be the subject of a 
future political compromise. 
 
11. (C) Of potentially more concern is the confusion over 
chain of command for Interior Troops, a military formation 
led by a Presidential appointee (currently General Kikhtenko) 
normally reporting to the Interior Minister (MOI).  After 
Yushchenko issued a May 25 decree subordinating the Interior 
Troops to him rather than Minister Tsushko, regional branches 
reacted in different ways.  Interior troops based in &#x00
0A;Dnipropetrovsk and Zhytomyr started moving towards Kyiv, 
apparently on Kikhtenko's instruction, before being stopped 
by road blockades set up by the road police (DAI), which are 
under MOI authority, and Regions MPs.  Those in 
Regions-leaning Kharkhiv and Crimea, however, announced they 
would continue to respect Tsushko's authority.  As far as we 
can determine, none of these forces ever actually entered 
Kyiv.  It was Tsushko's intervention with Berkut riot police 
at the GPO May 24 which led to the first known scuffle 
between armed security forces in Ukraine's 16-year history, a 
sobering precedent which helped set the stage for the 
all-night negotiations leading to the May 27 deal.  A Deputy 
Interior Ministry asserted to the press on May 29 that these 
forces were under the control of the Interior Minister, but 
thus far, the President has not rescinded his May 25 decree. 
 
12. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

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