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07KYIV1326, UKRAINE: RADA CONTINUES TO DRAG HEELS WHILE

May 31, 2007

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07KYIV1326 2007-05-31 14:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO1443
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #1326/01 1511421
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311421Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2521
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 001326 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/31/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: RADA CONTINUES TO DRAG HEELS WHILE 
LEADERS NEGOTIATE 
 
KYIV 00001326  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
Classified By: DCM Sheila Gwaltney for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  Despite frequent meetings between President 
Yushchenko, PM Yanukovych, Speaker Moroz, and opposition 
leader Tymoshenko, the Rada has so far failed to approve the 
legislation needed to enable early elections on September 30, 
as agreed to in the May 27 compromise.  Many MPs attribute 
this turn of events to Moroz's growing panic that new 
elections will remove the Socialists from the political 
scene, although Regions so far appears not to have exerted 
much effort to deliver votes.  The key leaders met again 
early on May 31, apparently agreeing to start the Rada's day 
with a fast-tracked vote on budget amendments to finance the 
elections; Yushchenko amended his decree authorizing a third 
day of Rada deliberations.  However, Moroz and Communist 
leader Symonenko pushed through a proposal to vote on just a 
first reading of the budget changes necessary to finance 
pre-term elections, with Moroz suggesting the final reading 
take place June 1.  Yushchenko, on a previously unannounced 
day trip to Croatia, responded from Zagreb with an 
ultimatum--either the Rada finished the election-related work 
May 31 or he would set the election date for 60 days from the 
date that opposition deputies submit their resignations to 
their factions, thereby depriving the Rada of a quorum.  The 
Rada reopened at 1600 hours without Moroz--who was still in a 
meeting with faction leaders, Yanukovych, and Azarov--with a 
fast-tracked procedure on WTO legislation that had already 
resulted in nine new laws out of ten on the day's agenda 
adopted as of 1800 hours.  The Rada also voted to continue 
working until 2000. 
 
2. (C) Comment.  BYuT and Regions MPs with whom we spoke May 
31 agreed that the Rada's slow creep on needed legislation 
was the sign of a flailing Moroz looking to derail elections. 
 If Regions has withdrawn an offer to include Moroz and his 
colleagues on a joint list, as BYuT MP Shevchenko claimed to 
us, the Socialists would not likely return to a new Rada.  So 
far, Moroz has managed to slow the legislative process by 
calling frequent and long breaks, while his Socialist and 
Communist colleagues harangue the idea of early elections. 
With an agenda that included not only the election financing, 
but votes on a new Central Election Commission composition, 
amendments to the parliamentary election law, and 10 new WTO 
bills, finishing the task by midnight May 31 will be 
daunting.  However, it is still possible if there is 
sufficient political will.  Budget Chair Makeyenko (Regions) 
told us that he had a signal last night to finish the 
election financing today, but comments on the floor and in 
the halls indicated that the level of distrust between the 
Regions and the opposition is so high that neither side is 
comfortable committing to an end game position, with Moroz' 
Socialists and Communists eager to play spoiler roles.  End 
summary and comment. 
 
High Level Meeting Late May 30 
------------------------------ 
 
3. (SBU) After a stormy late afternoon Rada session on May 
30, which addressed issues not discussed in the morning 
meeting between Yushchenko, Yanukovych, Moroz, and 
Tymoshenko, opposition MPs walked out of the session hall, 
and Yushchenko convened another high level working session at 
the Presidential Secretariat.  Tymoshenko, speaking to 
reporters later that night, expressed optimism that the 
evening dialogue between President and PM had put the process 
back on track and the Rada would move forward in a late night 
session on agreed-upon legislation.  In addition, media 
reports indicated that Yushchenko and Yanukovych might have 
reached an agreement on resolving fight over the Prosecutor 
General's Office (PGO) by restoring former PG Medvedko to his 
position and making Yushchenko's preferred candidate Shemchuk 
the First Deputy PG with responsibility for investigations. 
 
But Rada Fails to Act 
--------------------- 
 
4. (SBU) However, the Rada failed to pass any legislation in 
another acrimonious session starting at 2230 hours.  The Rada 
debated and voted on pairs of draft proposals from the 
coalition and opposition on two issues: special procedures to 
appeal acts by the President, PM, and Rada, and imperative 
mandate for MPs.  No bill received the necessary 226 votes 
needed to pass, as the Socialists seemed to play a 
particularly unhelpful role.  Our Ukraine MPs walked out of 
the session exactly at midnight in accordance with the terms 
of Yushchenko's May 29 decree--which gave the Rada until the 
end of May 30 to act, although BYuT stayed in the hall to 
participate in the final votes.  Moroz then closed the 
session at 0015. 
 
 
KYIV 00001326  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
New Day, Same Story 
------------------- 
 
5. (SBU) May 31 opened with another unpublicized closed-door 
pow-wow between Yushchenko, Yanukovych, Tymoshenko, 
Moroz--this time with the faction leaders, according to BYuT 
MP Shevchenko.  This meeting agreed that the Rada would start 
its morning ses
sion with a debate and a vote on budget 
amendments to provide financing for new Rada elections, 
Shevchenko added.  At 10:00--with Yushchenko off on a 
surprise one-day trip to Croatia--Moroz opened the session 
with presentations from MinFin Azarov and Budget Committee 
Chairman Makeyenko.  Azarov, reportedly not a fan of new 
elections, tried to raise other issues besides the 
election-related expenditures, much to the annoyance of 
opposition MPs.  Makeyenko announced that the elections would 
cost 360 million UAH, which would be funded via VAT receipts, 
which he said were up 54% this year.  He also suggested that 
the Rada combine all three readings of the bill into one 
vote, so that it could be passed quickly. 
 
6. (SBU) Socialist and Communist MPs immediately attacked the 
election financing proposal, arguing that it was impossible 
to finance elections that still have no legal basis, and that 
using the money in this manner was harming Ukraine's 
peasants, who could better use the government's financial 
support.  Symonenko suggested that the Rada only hold a first 
reading that day--instead of the fast-tracked "three 
readings-in-one" vote proposed by Makeyenko.  Moroz seconded 
the opinion, suggesting that after the first reading, all 
factions should send suggestions to the Budget Committee and 
the Rada should hold a second reading June 1.  The first 
reading passed with 386 votes in favor. (Note: it requires at 
least one more reading). 
 
7. (SBU) The Rada recessed until 1600 hours so that a new 
high-level working group--the PM, Speaker, and faction 
leaders--could try to work through remaining differences. 
First Deputy Speaker Martynyuk (Communist) chaired the 
afternoon session with the announcement that no 
election-related bills could be discussed until Azarov and 
Moroz returned from their meeting.  Instead, the Rada began 
with a debate on WTO legislation in a fast-track procedure 
which allowed only two comments in favor and two against each 
bill before a single vote (as opposed to the normal three 
readings).  As of 1800, nine laws out of ten on the day's 
agenda had been approved, with one more under consideration. 
The Rada also voted to keep working until 2000. 
 
8. (C) Comment.  The Socialists' renewed vigor in attempting 
to undermine the deal is likely rooted in electoral 
desperation.  Recent polls show that the party would have 
trouble passing the three-percent barrier to get into a new 
Rada, with many former Socialist voters turned off by Moroz's 
decision to form a coalition with Regions and the Communists. 
 BYuT MP Shevchenko told us that there had been a deal on the 
table May 26, just prior to the May 27 agreement on early 
elections, for Regions and the Socialists to form a joint 
party list, with Regions giving the Socialists 22 slots of 
the first 180 and ranking Moroz high on the list, but as of 
May 31 the deal was off, leaving Moroz few other options 
besides a rear guard fight. 
 
9. (C) Comment cntd.  The high level of distrust between 
Regions and the opposition is also contributing to the Rada's 
lack of progress.  Throughout the morning session, coalition 
MPs periodically taunted the opposition, demanding they 
demonstrate their commitment to the May 27 deal by resigning 
immediately.  One BYuT MP responded on the floor by saying 
that the opposition would not resign until all legislation 
was completed because they had no faith that the coalition 
would do anything to maintain the bargain unless the 
opposition was sitting in the session hall.  Privately, BYuT 
MPs Volynets and Bilorus told us that the opposition had 
already lost a few MPs who had changed their minds about 
resigning out of fear that the plan would not work; both MPs 
remained optimistic that they had enough resignations (151 
required) to deny the Rada a quorum.  BYuT deputy Vinskiy and 
OU leader Kyrylenko both reiterated to the press May 31 that 
the opposition would follow through on its resignation 
strategy--once all the necessary legislation was adopted. 
Makeyenko told us that he took the political signal he had 
been given to fast-track the budget amendments as a sign that 
the agreement was moving forward, but that he could not say 
with certainty that Regions had made a final decision on 
whether to push for the election-related laws to be adopted. 
 
Tsushko as Possible Fall Guy? 
 
SIPDIS 
----------------------------- 
 
 
KYIV 00001326  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
10. (SBU) Adding to the sense that the Socialists may end up 
as the fall guys, BYuT MP Shkil told us that currently 
hospitalized Interior Minister Tsushko had suffered neither a 
heart attack nor a poisoning, but was dodging criminal 
accountability for the use of force at the PGO on May 24. 
(Note: checking oneself into the hospital is a time-honored 
way since Soviet times for state officials to avoid 
recriminations.)  According to Shkil, part of the deal 
between Yushchenko and Yanukovych on resolving the PGO 
confusion was that the new PG would open criminal proceedings 
against Tsushko for the May 24 events. 
 
Leaked CC Document Could Be Added Pressure 
------------------------------------------- 
 
11. (SBU) News website Glavred May 31 ran a purportedly 
leaked copy of a May 12 Constitutional Court draft 
decision--updated May 29--that ruled Yushchenko's April 26 
decree dissolving the Rada was unconstitutional. The CC press 
service later denied that any such ruling had been drafted. 
The CC lacked a quorum May 29, including two justices listed 
on the draft decision, and the CC continued to lack the 
quorum of 12 on May 31, with at least seven judges absent 
(either on annual or sick leave). 
 
12. (C) Comment.  The leak could be another tactic to 
increase pressure on Yushchenko, by reminding him that the CC 
is not on his side.  It may be worth noting that of the 12 
judges who are listed as supporting the decision, three are 
the judges Yushchenko dismissed, leaving only nine official 
judges supporting the ruling--one fewer than the ten required. 
 
13. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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