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07KYIV2202, UKRAINE: PORA CONTROVERSY ANOTHER TEST OF ELECTION

September 4, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV2202 2007-09-04 13:06 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO7631
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2202/01 2471306
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 041306Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3584
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 002202 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/31/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: PORA CONTROVERSY ANOTHER TEST OF ELECTION 
SITUATION 
 
REF: A. KYIV 001986 
 
     B. KYIV 02010 
 
KYIV 00002202  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4(b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  The sudden appearance of a "second" Pora 
political party, its quick registration by the Central 
Election Commission (CEC) and the CEC's deregistration of 
eight representatives of the "real" Pora on the OU-PSD list 
at worst raised questions about the use of dirty tricks, and 
at a minimum, confused Ukrainian voters.  The CEC on August 
28 announced that Pora -- one of the nine parties in OU-PSD 
-- had withdrawn from the megabloc and was registering as a 
separate party, but protests from Pora members revealed that 
it was a provocation, abetted by Justice Minister 
Lavrynovych, to make the orange camp look disorganized and to 
sow discord within the bloc.  According to Pora member Serhiy 
Taran, a rump Pora headed by a former party member had 
created fake party stamps to replicate official documents, 
and then registered the party under new leadership with the 
Ministry of Justice and then the CEC.  The eight coalition 
CEC members voted to register the new Pora and remove the 
real Pora members from the OU-PSD list (Pora had eight 
slots.)  President Yushchenko and Deputy Secretariat Head 
Stavnychuk strongly condemned the action.  The Kyiv District 
Administrative Court ruled on August 31 in favor of the real 
Pora and OU-PSD that the registration of the new Pora was 
illegal.  Lavrynovych then appealed the ruling, but lost in 
the Court of Appeals on September 4; the issue cannot be 
appealed further.  The ball is now in the CEC's court to take 
action and deregister the new Pora in compliance with the 
court ruling and reinstate the eight Pora party members on 
the OU-PSD list. 
 
2. (C) Comment.  Given that Pora had only eight candidates on 
the OU-PSD list and has low national ratings, the effort to 
deregister them seems to have little to do with Pora itself. 
In our view, the assistance of Justice Minister Lavrynovych, 
a Regions stalwart, in getting the alternative Pora 
registered lends credence to claims made by voter watchdog 
CVU to us that some in Regions were behind the gambit.  The 
effort appears to have been intended to tarnish the image of 
and sow discord within the OU-PSD megabloc; however, it also 
sought to test the limits of the possibility of manipulating 
the CEC, as occurred in a similar case when coalition parties 
used their CEC commissioners to delay BYuT's registration 
(reftels).  Even if Pora is reinstated on the OU-PSD list, 
the issue has been one more distraction for the unwieldy 
OU-PSD bloc to manage and may have exposed real fault lines 
inside the orange megabloc.  With the exception of Yushchenko 
and Stavnychuk's comments, OU-PSD leaders were strangely 
silent on the issue, suggesting that they were not altogether 
unhappy to see Pora leader Kaskiv and his party potentially 
leave the bloc.  End summary and comment. 
 
Pora Coup 
--------- 
 
3. (SBU) On August 28, the press reported that Pora -- one of 
the nine parties inside OU-PSD -- had held a new congress, 
ousted leader Vadim Kaskiv, decided to run independently, and 
presented the CEC with a new list of candidates.  With the 
now standard eight to seven vote, the CEC approved the new 
Pora list, registered the party, and deregistered eight Pora 
members from the OU-PSD list.  After a couple of days of 
confusion, Pora and OU-PSD took the CEC to court, arguing 
that they did not want to be deregistered from the megabloc 
and denying that Pora had new leadership.  In addition, 
President Yushchenko and Deputy Secretariat Head Stavnychuk 
sharply criticized the CEC and especially the Justice 
Ministry for their roles in supporting this effort by rushing 
the paperwork through the process and ensuring that the 
alternative Pora was immediately registered.  On August 31, 
the Kyiv Administrative Court agreed with Pora and OU-PSD's 
complaint, and reinstated the eight Pora members on the 
megabloc list.  Justice Minister Lavrynovych appealed the 
decision September 3, but lost the case on September 4; no 
further appeals are possible.  We would expect to see the CEC 
deregister the new Pora in the next few days, once Chairman 
Shapoval has a copy of the ruling in hand, and reinstate the 
deregistered Pora members on the OU-PSD list. 
 
4. (C) On August 31, Pora member and political analyst Serhiy 
Taran and head of election watchdog Committee of Voters of 
Ukraine Ihor Popov told us their story of what had really 
happened.  According to Taran, the rump Pora, led by Yarolsav 
Gudonyk, a former Pora member who had been thrown out of the 
party (and later out of PSD) gathered a few real Pora 
members, made his own fake Pora party stamp, and held his own 
party congress.  Gudonyk turned the fraudulent documents into 
 
KYIV 00002202  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
Justice Minister Lavrynovych, whose Ministry is responsible 
for registering parties, and got approval as the new 
"official" leadership of Pora.  According to Popov, Minister 
Lavrynovych him
self approved the documents.  The rump Pora 
then took these documents to the CEC and asked to be 
registered as its own party in the election.  The CEC voted 
8-7 down party lines to approve this, which automatically 
resulted in deregistering the Pora folks on the OU-PSD list. 
 
Not All in OU-PSD Sad to See Pora Go 
------------------------------------ 
 
5. (C) An interesting side note to this story may be that not 
all inside OU-PSD objected to Pora's removal.  Although Pora 
only received eight spots on the bloc's election list, party 
leader Kaskiv, like all constituent party leaders, was given 
a seat in the OU-PSD presidium.  Popov told us that Kaskiv is 
a Baloha ally, who serves as a proxy vote for the Secretariat 
Head in the OU-PSD presidium.  Popov took Lutsenko and 
Kyrylenko's silence as a sign that they were perhaps relieved 
to see Kaskiv taken down a peg or perhaps even removed from 
the bloc entirely. 
 
6. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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