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07KYIV2546, UKRAINE: PRESIDENT PUSHES FOR QUICK COALITION

October 9, 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07KYIV2546 2007-10-09 14:07 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO4709
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2546/01 2821407
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 091407Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4006
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 002546 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/09/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: PRESIDENT PUSHES FOR QUICK COALITION 
NEGOTIATIONS 
 
KYIV 00002546  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4(b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  President Yushchenko has tried to jump start 
negotiations on forming a new governing coalition by calling 
all five political forces represented in the new Rada to a 
meeting October 8 and instructing them to submit proposals on 
the prime minister and coalition within five days.  He has 
also suggested that before any candidate is confirmed, the 
Rada pass a number of pieces of legislation designed to show 
good will and to straighten out the power sharing between 
bodies of government, including eliminating immunity for 
parliamentary deputies, abolishing the controversial law on 
the Cabinet of Ministers, and giving the President more 
control over the power ministers.  Yushchenko's proposals 
have met with mixed results.  Bloc leader Tymoshenko 
immediately announced that she was willing to offer the 
opposition key positions, including a deputy prime minister 
slot, while Prime Minister Yanukovych underscored that 
Regions will not be in a coalition that does not have a 
Regions PM and that a new Rada could only amend the CabMin 
law rather than abolish it.  Defense Minister Hrytsenko told 
the Ambassador that some in Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense 
now wanted to avoid a vote on Tymoshenko as PM entirely if 
the orange forces did not have the votes, because the 
rejection of her nomination would empower Regions in further 
coalition talks. 
 
2. (C) Comment.  Yushchenko may still be hoping to find a 
compromise that gets both Regions and BYuT buy-in by 
demonstrating that he is willing to work with all sides. 
Moreover, his push to have initial talks over by the end of 
the week is a promising step towards a faster coalition 
process than 2006's four-month debacle.  However, with 
Yanukovych and Tymoshenko both still pushing their positions, 
and Yushchenko adding in his own demands for legislation and 
then departing the country for the week (on a trip to 
Lithuania and Slovakia), the negotiations promise to be 
difficult.  Our position -- we do not take sides in these 
negotiations and will work with any government that emerges 
from the recent election -- is well understood by all three 
major parties and Lytvyn.  End summary and comment. 
 
Election Count is In 
-------------------- 
 
3. (SBU) With no surprises in the results, the Central 
Election Commission (CEC) announced on October 9 that it had 
100-percent preliminary results in and had received all 
official protocols, which they were still reviewing.  Deputy 
CEC head Andriy Mahera told the press, however, that due to 
ongoing court disputes, the CEC would be unlikely to announce 
the results sooner than October 14.  (Note.  The results must 
be announced by October 15, according to the election law, 
and promulgated no later than October 20.  Once the final 
results are promulgated, by law, the Rada must be seated 
within 30 days.  End note.) 
 
Yushchenko Lays out his Demands 
------------------------------- 
 
4. (SBU) President Yushchenko October 8 held a meeting with 
representatives of the five parties/blocs that made it into 
the new Rada.  According to the press, in attendance were 
Presidential Chief of Staff Baloha, NSDC Secretary Plyushch, 
PM Yanukovych and Raisa Bohatyreva from Regions, Tymoshenko 
and Oleksandr Turchynov from BYuT, Yuriy Lutsenko and 
Vyacheslav Kyrylenko from OU-PSD, Oleh Zarubinskiy and Ihor 
Sharov from the Lytvyn Bloc, and Petro Symonenko and Valentyn 
Matveyev from the Communists.  Yushchenko also held a private 
meeting with Symonenko a half hour before the general 
meeting.  The President asked all parties to finish coalition 
negotiations within five days and submit to him suggestions 
for prime minister and coalition composition.  (Note. 
Interestingly, Yushchenko has announced plans to be in 
Vilnius and then Slovakia, taking him out of the country for 
most of the week and removing him from the negotiation 
process. End note.)  Yushchenko also suggested abolishing the 
Cabinet of Ministers law, which was passed when the Rada 
including BYuT voted to override Yushchenko's veto in 
January, and which contains some seemingly unconstitutional 
provisions, and putting the power ministers directly under 
control of the President. 
 
5. (SBU) The following day, First Deputy Head of the 
Presidential Secretariat Oleksandr Shlapak said in an 
interview that the President intends to insist that any vote 
on a prime minister be preceded by votes on six key bills. 
The first two would be a first vote on amending the 
constitution to eliminate parliamentary immunity and the 
second would be a law to remove other benefits for MPs. 
 
KYIV 00002546  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
(Note.  MPs currently get apartments in Kyiv and large 
allowances for things like "health" rests at Crimean resorts. 
 End note.)  Shlapak said the other four pieces of 
legislation, all of which touch on the powers of government 
organs, would be laid out in a formal presentation next week. 
 Initial comments from BYuT and Regions leaders showed 
opposition to sup
porting bills they had no role in creating 
or discussing. 
 
Other Camps Weigh In 
-------------------- 
 
6. (C) Tymoshenko announced that if an orange government was 
formed, they were ready to give the opposition one deputy 
prime minister position, head of the Rada's audit chamber 
(like our GAO), and a number of Rada committee chairmanships. 
 She added that they would consider also giving the 
opposition some deputy minister and deputy governor 
positions.  Tymoshenko also said that the proposal for 
forming an orange coalition had been sent to Lytvyn.  In an 
October 5 conversation, former BYuT deputy Yevzhen Kornychuk 
told us that the BYuT rank and file was increasingly worried 
that President Yushchenko would not live up to his commitment 
to support an orange coalition, noting that BYuT was ready to 
go into the opposition if need be.  He said that Yushchenko 
had been surprised by BYuT's strong showing and was still 
trying to figure out what to do and how to block Tymoshenko 
from becoming Prime Minister. 
 
7. (SBU) After the group meeting with Yushchenko, Yanukovych 
told the press that Regions would only be in a coalition if 
they got the premiership.  Otherwise, they would go into 
opposition.  This was, however, the first time he indicated 
that Regions will take its seats in the Rada if they are in 
the opposition.  Yanukovych and Tymoshenko also met 
separately on October 8, but no details have been made 
public. 
 
8. (SBU) Strangely, in an apparent effort to remain in the 
coalition game, Communist leader Symonenko also announced 
that the Communists would consider endorsing Tymoshenko as 
PM, if the CPU were given positions in the Interior Ministry, 
Prosecutor General's Office, Audit Chamber, and National Bank. 
 
Defense Minister Hrytsenko Gives his Perspective 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
9. (C) Defense Minister Hrytsenko, number 4 on the OU-PSD 
list, told the Ambassador October 8 that in spite of the 
existence of a theoretical majority vote for the orange 
parties, he did not believe that Tymoshenko would be able to 
convince all 228 BYuT and OU-PSD Rada members to vote for her 
to become Prime Minister.  Hrytsenko suggested that if orange 
did not have the necessary votes in hand, it would be far 
better not to let an actual vote take place.  If there was a 
vote on Tymoshenko as PM, and it failed, then Hrytsenko 
believed that it would allow Regions to emerge as the main 
player in negotiations.  Hrytsenko argued this was something 
OU should avoid; it was better to know up front whether or 
not orange could win.  Right now, according to Hrytsenko, 
Regions was offering everything and anything to everyone to 
form a coalition.  If a vote on orange was called and then 
lost, then Regions would stop bargaining.  In Hrytsenko's 
view, if an orange coalition could not succeed, then OU-PSD 
should work with Regions to form a broad coalition.  However, 
as far as Hrytsenko is concerned, in such a coalition, 
Yanukovych would not be acceptable as PM. 
 
10. (C) In fact, Yanukovych would not be acceptable as PM for 
either OU or BYuT in any scenario, according to Hrytsenko. 
He thought that Yushchenko would be willing to accept 
Yanukovych as Speaker, but Tymoshenko would not.  In general, 
Hrytsenko argued, both Tymoshenko and Yanukovych needed to 
understand that losing and ending up in opposition was not 
the end of the political world, and in fact, could be better 
for their presidential ambitions.  Hrytsenko thought that 
this was a useful message for the international community to 
convey to both.  In response to the Ambassador's question, 
Hrytsenko said that he did not believe that Yanukovych's 
threat that Regions would not take their seats in the Rada 
was serious. 
 
11. (C) With regard to the effort to form an orange 
coalition, Hrytsenko confirmed that discussions were ongoing. 
 Tymoshenko, Turchynov, and former Socialist Vinskiy were 
representing BYuT; Tarasyuk, Vasynyuk, Hrytsenko, and 
Lutsenko were representing OU-PSD.  (Note.  This may not be a 
complete list; for example, we understand that OU faction 
head Kyrylenko has been involved in most negotiations.  End 
note.)  Discussions were difficult, but there was hope that 
 
KYIV 00002546  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
compromise would be found.  The conversations about positions 
in the government were hard, but the biggest issue was a lack 
of trust.  According to Hrytsenko, Tymoshenko even thought 
that she might get the support of 40 Regions deputies and the 
20 deputies belonging to the Lytvyn bloc if there was a vote 
on orange.  (Note.  This seems unlikely to us. End note.) 
For himself, Hrytsenko said that after the new government was 
formed he wanted either to remain as Defense Minister or 
become a deputy prime minister in charge of security affairs, 
as Sergiy Ivanov did in Russia. 
 
12. (C) Hrytsenko raised the idea of a compromise 
"technocratic PM," an idea that had floated around during the 
final two weeks of the campaign.  The main problem was that 
neither Tymoshenko nor Yanukovych would agree to this if 
their party formed the coalition and the successful formation 
of such a technocratic government would require their buy-in. 
 Hrytsenko noted that Yushchenko wanted to find his "own 
Zubkov" - a reference to the newly-appointed Russian PM - but 
understood that Tymoshenko and OU leaders Lutsenko and 
Kyrylenko opposed this.  Hrytsenko told the Ambassador that 
he was not for now interested in the job; at this stage, it 
was "not an option" since he would not be able to affect 
either people or policies.  However, Tymoshenko had attacked 
him during the campaign because she saw him as an alternative 
PM. 
 
13. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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