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07KYIV1469, UKRAINE: RADA LOSES QUORUM, BUT HURDLES MAY REMAIN

June 15, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV1469 2007-06-15 12:33 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO6797
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #1469/01 1661233
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 151233Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2728
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 001469 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/15/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: RADA LOSES QUORUM, BUT HURDLES MAY REMAIN 
 
REF: KYIV 001458 
 
KYIV 00001469  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Sheila Gwaltney for reasons 1.4( 
a,b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  After weeks of stalling by the coalition, 
and especially by Speaker Moroz, Deputy Speaker Martynyuk on 
June 15 read aloud from the Rada rostrum the final group of 
names of opposition deputies who have resigned from their 
Rada factions, reaching the total of 156 and formally 
depriving the Rada of a quorum.  However, comments from Prime 
Minister Yanukovych and members of Party of Regions indicated 
that movement towards new elections will continue at a slow 
crawl.  The PM acknowledged the resignations to the press, 
but raised the issue that the CEC has not yet annulled Our 
Ukraine and BYuT's party lists, leaving the Rada's status in 
question.  The PM and Regions MPs have been attacking the CEC 
in the press all week for not taking up this issue, and 
Regions MP Vecherko told us privately that the Rada faction 
is still largely opposed to new elections.  Deputy Speaker 
Martynyuk announced that the Rada will be back in plenary 
session on Tuesday, June 19. 
 
2. (C) Comment.  Getting the 156 resignations announced was a 
milestone in fulfilling the conditions of the May 27 
agreement between Yanukovych, President Yushchenko, and 
Speaker Moroz, but the PM did not issue the subsequent 
statement that Regions considered the Rada closed, as he and 
faction leader Bohatyreva had told us he would (reftel).  The 
CEC did tell us that there were still legal hurdles to 
dissolving the OU list and the Kyiv appellate court has not 
yet ruled on this question, but comments by members of all 
three coalition factions indicate that there is still a lot 
of grumbling about early elections from within the Rada. 
Yushchenko cannot formally call elections until July 29 (to 
meet the 60-day clock set by the constitution), so there is 
time for politicians to slowroll this without derailing the 
campaign.  However, as both CEC Chairman Shapoval and 
opposition leader Tymoshenko told Ambassador--it may take an 
act of political will, especially on the part of the Prime 
Minister, to move definitively into the campaign process. 
End summary and comment. 
 
Rada Ending With a Whimper 
-------------------------- 
 
3. (C) The announcement of another 51 opposition resignations 
was not without some drama.  Socialist MP Mordovets told us 
that at a coalition meeting on June 14, Regions had announced 
that June 15 would be the last day of plenary session, but 
the Socialists had spoken out against the plan. The June 15 
morning Rada session started with BYuT and OU MPs milling 
around the parliament lobby and crowding into the offices of 
Moroz and of Rada Secretariat Head Zaichuk in an effort to 
force the readings of the rest of the opposition MPs who 
resigned.  BYuT MP Andriy Shevchenko told us that Tymoshenko 
had called him back from his vacation in Turkey so that he 
could be present to confirm that he had submitted a 
resignation letter.  Several MPs told us that Moroz held a 
meeting earlier that morning at which he said that the 
letters would be read, but that he personally would not do 
it.  Moroz then tried to open the plenary session with normal 
business on a draft law, prompting a press conference in the 
hall by Tymoshenko ally Oleksandr Turchynov condemning the 
stalling tactics.  After some vague comments about opposition 
MPs begging him not to read their letters, Moroz walked out 
of the session.  Martynyuk then began reading letters, 51 in 
all, for a total of 156 resignations.  (Note. 151 are needed 
to deprive the Rada of a quorum.  End note.) 
 
Is the Rada Closed for Business? 
-------------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Somewhat clouding the issue of whether this was really 
the Rada's last day, after reading the resignations, 
Martynyuk announced that the Rada would hold its next plenary 
session on Tuesday June 19.  Mordovets told us he thought the 
Rada would continue working, despite Regions statements that 
they would stop attending. Regions MP Vecherko told us that 
the faction was not yet agreed that new elections were the 
right thing and that he thought the Rada would keep working. 
He also said that Regions financier Akhmetov may tell the 
Ambassador one thing about early elections, but he had 
promised the faction that they would not happen. 
 
CEC: Under Siege 
---------------- 
 
5. (C)  Later on June 15 Yanukovych told the press that 
although the 151 MPs had resigned, the CEC had not dissolved 
the OU and BYuT party lists, so the Rada's status remained 
 
KYIV 00001469  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
unclear.  His was the latest in a series of attacks in the 
press this week by Regions members charging that the CEC was 
politicized and shirking its work.  The Socialists and 
Communists have bluntly stated that they believe the CEC 
should be moving people from the OU list into the Rada. 
Regions members have been more circumspect in the criticism 
of the CEC, but they seem to be implying the same thing, in 
contradiction to what Yanukovych, Bohatyreva, and 
Mir
oshnychenko told us about wanting to move forward with 
elections.  Regions deputy faction leader Chechetov also 
accused the SBU of staking out the CEC building and 
electronically eavesdropping on coalition-appointed CEC 
members. 
 
6. (C) Comment.  With only roughly 90 MPs showing up for the 
Rada session today--as opposed to the 270 officially 
registered--it seems that many MPs have de facto decided the 
Rada is closing up shop.  The newly-constituted CEC managed 
to get a quorum to hold its first meeting June 15. discussing 
with the State Border Guards the plan to update the voters 
registry.  However, for the most part, the CEC has remained 
mum on the issue of the OU's voter list.  Also on a rather 
unhelpful note, Regions MP Kiselyov suggested to journalists 
that now that Tymoshenko had lost her deputy's immunity, she 
should be investigated for unspecified crimes.  He said he 
would appeal to the Prosecutor General's Office in the near 
future. 
 
7. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

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