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07KYIV1340, UKRAINE: RADA WORKS FOR ANOTHER “ONE MORE DAY” –

June 1, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV1340 2007-06-01 14:02 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO2933
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #1340/01 1521402
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 011402Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2548
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 001340 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: RADA WORKS FOR ANOTHER "ONE MORE DAY" - 
WILL MORE DAYS BE NEEDED? 
 
 
KYIV 00001340  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: DCM Sheila Gwaltney for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 
 
1. (SBU) Summary. President Yushchenko relented again and 
extended authorization for the Rada to convene again June 1 
in the hope that it would finish all its election-related 
business.  Yushchenko, arriving back in Kyiv from his trip to 
Zagreb at 3 a.m., held morning meetings separately with PM 
Yanukovych and opposition leaders Tymoshenko and Kyrylenko. 
The Rada session opened late amidst recriminations.  The 
opposition registered 168 resignation letters late May 31, 
laying the groundwork for the legal rationale to disolve the 
Rada and hold new elections, but so far Speaker Moroz has 
been unwilling to announce them, the next step in the 
process.  As of 1800, the only real election-related action 
taken was approval in the first reading of amendments to the 
law on parliamentary elections.  The law, tabled by the 
coalition, includes provisions that would prohibit absentee 
voting for pre-term elections and require a 50 percent voter 
turnout for the elections to be valid.  Yanukovych and Moroz 
briefed the diplomatic corps in the afternoon in rather 
defensive tones, claiming that the laws on the MPs and budget 
amendments would be passed late June 1, but that another 50 
laws needed to be reviewed and 15 to be introduced.  A 
wholesale overhaul of the 15 member Central Election 
Commission (CEC), giving the current coalition and opposition 
each seven representatives, with the Chair to be agreed upon 
between Yushchenko and Yanukovych, is also in the works. 
 
2. (C) Comment. The slow-roll delaying tactics of Moroz in 
particular and the coalition in general in failing to close 
the deal on election-related legislation in the Rada 
continued for a fourth day.  Yushchenko's May 31 threat to 
suspend the process and call elections within 60 days was not 
realized, and it did not achieve its likely aim of spurring 
the coalition to quicker action.  The process sputters 
forward in the direction of early elections September 30, but 
hard-nosed, self-interested politicking on both sides in 
matters both directly related and unrelated to the elections 
is almost certain to continue.  As of 1800 hours, the Rada 
was on a short break before resuming work, but as the day 
goes on, it looks increasingly likely that more Rada sessions 
will be needed in order to pass all of the legislation 
included in the May 27 compromise leading to early elections. 
 What is less clear is how long Yushchenko will continue to 
issue the decrees required to permit the full Rada to work. 
End Summary and Comment. 
 
"Do Little" Rada does a little more, barely 
------------------------------------------- 
 
3. (SBU) First Deputy Speaker Martynyuk (Communist) opened 
the Rada session at 10 a.m., only to announce the Rada would 
immediately break because there were no opposition MPs in the 
hall.  At 10:45--with BYuT and OU still not in 
attendence--the Socialists began contesting those who 
dismissed (Socialist) Interior Minister Tsushko's alleged 
"poisoning," claiming they had information that it was true. 
(Note.  Tsushko flew to Germany late May 31, officially for 
medical treatment, amidst confusion about whether he had 
suffered a heart attack, been poisoned, or was using his 
"illness" to avoid arrest or other legal fallout from the use 
of MOI BERKUT riot police to break into the Prosecutor 
General's Office and spark a security standoff with State 
Protection Service on May 24.  End note.) 
 
4. (SBU) The President and PM held a brief morning 
meeting--but no details were released.  At 11:20 the two 
opposition factions returned to the chamber with Our Ukraine 
leader Kyrylenko stressing that the Rada had "today and only 
today" to pass all election-related bills, because opposition 
party congresses would approve the resignations on June 2, 
meaning that there could be no empowered Rada on Monday. 
There was a slight flurry of what a BYuT MP had predicted to 
us May 31 would be a manufactured scandal when one BYuT MP 
(Oliynyk) announced that he did not want to resign from the 
Rada, that many BYuT deputies had signed their resignation 
letters under pressure, and should not be considered valid 
due to technically format reasons.  The coalition greeted 
Oliynyk's statement with enthusiastic ovation; Moroz said he 
would not announce the resignations until all opposition MPs 
submit to him written requests to announce their 
resignations. (Note: opposition MPs have been telling us that 
the coalition has been using both bribe offers and threats to 
try to reduce the number of MPs willing to resign.  We have 
also heard that opposition leaders have also been active in 
offering payments to their deputies to resign.  End note.) 
 
5. (SBU) Finally turning to business, the Rada adopted in a 
first reading the coalition-penned amendments to the 
parliamentary election law.  The amendment bill, which 
 
KYIV 00001340  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
requires at least one more vote to come into force, contains 
several troubling clauses: it requires a 50 percent voter &
#x000A;turnout for the election to be valid and prohibits the use of 
absentee ballots in preterm elections.  The law also mandates 
the State Border Guard to provide election commissioners with 
the names of individuals who depart Ukraine within three days 
of the election and who have not returned before election 
day.  Deputy Speaker Martynyuk announced that BYuT had raised 
a question about the law, which meant that, under Rada rules 
of procedure, they could not hold the second vote on the law 
for two weeks. 
 
6. (C) Comment.  It is clear that the coalition, led by Moroz 
and both Socialist and Communist deputies, is dragging out 
this process out as long as possible.  It had been proposed 
earlier this week that the Rada fastrack all the votes on 
election laws, as they did with the 11 WTO laws on May 31, 
but the coalition, especially the Socialists and Communists, 
have blocked this tactic.  Regions does not appear to be 
putting much pressure on its junior partners to speed up the 
process.  The turnout requirement is a Soviet era legacy that 
has encouraged voter fraud in post-Soviet states; Ukraine had 
eliminated turnout requirements after the 1998 elections. 
 
CEC Machinations 
---------------- 
 
7. (SBU) OU MP and former CEC commissioner Ruslan Knyazevych 
told the press early June 1 that the opposition had prepared 
its seven nominees for the CEC, confirming rumors that 
replacing the current commission was part of the election 
agreement.  He said that Yushchenko and Yanukovych had 
floated ideas for the chairman--including current Chairman 
Davydovych, former Chairman Ryabets, and recently dismissed 
Deputy Prime Minister Radchenko--but he did not believe a new 
name could still appear.  He said that the opposition had 
agreed to renominate four current commissioners and would 
nominate three more--one from OU and two from BYuT.  The 
press later reported that Yushchenko's nominees for the 
opposition slots had been delivered to the Rada.  However, 
the legislation required to make the changes at the CEC has 
not yet been considered by the Rada. 
 
Yanukovych and Moroz Brief the Dip Corps Again 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
8. (SBU) Yanukovych and Moroz called the diplomatic corps 
together the afternoon of June 1, but had little real 
information to share.  Instead, they both took the 
opportunity to argue that they were adhering to all aspects 
of the May 27 agreement, but that the President was rushing 
the Rada unrealistically (note: the agreement called for 
legislation to be passed in a two day window May 29-30.  End 
note).  Moroz also claimed that there were 50 laws that 
should be amended and 15 new ones introduced if they wanted 
to do the elections right.  He also criticized the 
opposition,s resignation plans, saying that they had offered 
no clarity on when they would actually step down and claiming 
a number of the applications were "suspicious."  Yanukovych 
emphasized that the Cabinet had streamlined its work this 
week to get all needed bills to the Rada as fast as possible 
and that it was now the parliament,s turn to work.  However, 
he warned that the elections must be democratic and that 
democracy took time.  When pushed by the Ambassador during 
the question and answer session, Moroz finally conceded that 
he thought that the legislation on the election law and 
budget financing would be adopted by the end of June 1. 
 
9. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

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