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07KYIV2575, UKRAINE: COALITION SOUNDING ORANGE–FOR TODAY

October 12, 2007

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07KYIV2575 2007-10-12 12:53 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO8274
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2575/01 2851253
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 121253Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4055
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 002575 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/12/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: COALITION SOUNDING ORANGE--FOR TODAY 
 
REF: KYIV 002555 
 
KYIV 00002575  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4(b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary. As the five-day timeline President Yushchenko 
gave to the parties to submit coalition proposals draws to a 
close, BYuT and Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense took public 
steps intended to demonstrate that the orange coalition is 
close to becoming a reality.  Tymoshenko and three 
representatives from OU-PSD -- Lutsenko, Kyrylenko, and 
Tarasyuk -- separately announced that an agreement on the 
formation of a orange coalition was ready for signing. 
Yushchenko and Tymoshenko also made positive public 
statements regarding an orange coalition, although 
negotiations continue between all parties.  The President 
said in Slovakia on October 12 that he hoped the orange team 
had learned from its mistakes in 2005 and that this coalition 
was the only possible format, but he did not fully endorse 
that option.  For her part, Tymoshenko made some public 
concessions in line with several of the demands Baloha passed 
to her earlier in the week (reftel).  However, public 
back-and-forth between BYuT and OU-PSD about government posts 
suggests that not everything is agreed to.  Oleh Zarubynskiy, 
lead negotiator for the Lytvyn Bloc told us that he thought 
that Yushchenko would choose orange in the end; the Lytvyn 
Bloc would stay neutral for now, waiting for the big parties 
to solidify their positions.  Yuriy Miroshnychenko from Party 
of Regions told us that while they were still negotiating for 
a broad coalition, there was a sense within the leadership of 
the party that it was better to be in the opposition than to 
hold new elections.  Unfortunately, this view was not shared 
by all, leaving Regions divided for now. 
 
2. (C) Comment.  Time remains for further coalition 
negotiations.  The Central Election Commission has still not 
announced the official election results, and the Socialists 
have now filed an appeal against all the District Election 
Commission (DEC) protocols to the High Administrative Court, 
which will likely take at least an additional week. 
Yushchenko and Tymoshenko's public comments suggest they have 
moved forward in their talks, but the President still sounds 
hesitant to fully commit.  Miroshnychenko's comment that not 
all of the Regions faction was yet convinced to take their 
seats in the new Rada means that Yushchenko and Regions' 
leadership must still find a way to reach out and reconcile 
them.  Lytvyn Bloc's strategy may pay off in the end -- by 
not committing to an orange coalition now, their 20 votes may 
become very valuable later when it is clear that 228 MPs are 
not enough to get anything done.  End summary and comment. 
 
Yushchenko, Tymoshenko Make Conciliatory Public Remarks 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
3. (SBU) Yushchenko, speaking to the press on October 12 in 
Slovakia, made comments that suggest he is willing to back a 
BYuT-OU-PSD coalition.  He is quoted in one news website 
saying that an orange coalition is the only possible format. 
 He also says that this was agreed on as far back as 
February.  Yushchenko urged the parties not to bicker over 
positions and, in the case of on orange coalition, 
underscored his desire to keep talks going with the 
opposition.  He also said that he would like to see the 
Lytvyn Bloc in the coalition, although added that as head of 
state it was not his place to decide this. 
 
4. (SBU) Echoing this seemingly new-found air of cooperation, 
Tymoshenko held a press conference October 12, during which 
she said that BYuT and OU-PSD will have a formal coalition 
agreement on Yushchenko's desk on October 13. 
Representatives from both blocs later initialed the 
agreement.  Tymoshenko also said that they will let the 
President select the Interior Minister (MOI), a conciliatory 
gesture given that both blocs wanted to control the contested 
post. 
 
5. (SBU) Nevertheless, party representatives continue to 
publicly snipe.  BYuT deputy head Mykola Tomenko said at a 
press conference that BYuT wanted 16 governors in the regions 
where BYuT had the strongest support. (Note. An interesting 
comment, coming after BYuT MP Nemyria told us part of the 
deal put forward by Baloha was the acknowledgment that the 
president would nominate all governors.  End note.) Deputy 
Head of the Presidential Secretariat Bezsmertniy immediately 
replied that BYuT had no grounds to nominate governors. 
Tomenko also said that BYuT would not support Volodymyr 
Lytvyn as Rada Speaker. 
 
Zarubynskiy: Lytvyn Bloc Inclined to Stay On Sidelines 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
6. (C) MP Oleh Zarubynskiy, Lytvyn's designated negotiator in 
 
KYIV 00002575  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
coalition talks, told us October 12 that his bloc was 
currently inclined to join neither the coalition nor the 
opposition, but to try to play a constructive role in 
advancing parliamentary work.  He said that at a minimum, 
Lytvyn Bloc would not consider an offer to join an orange 
coalition unt
il it was clear that BYuT and OU-PSD had worked 
out all their issues and problems.  Right now, they were 
completely focused on claiming various posts from themselves, 
especially within OU-PSD.  This led to various leaders 
contradicting themselves and no one was talking about 
policies.  Zarubynskiy added, however, that a 228-seat 
majority was inherently unstable and that's where the Lytvyn 
Bloc might come in.  He said that they had not asked for any 
positions yet, although he confided that in a one-on-one 
meeting Tymoshenko had made an offer to Lytvyn.  Instead, 
they would remain neutral for now.  To associate themselves 
too closely with one side or the other would hurt them 
politically too.  (Note. He even hinted that Lytvyn might 
have presidential ambitions and, like the party, offer a 
"third force" to Ukrainian voters.  End note.) 
 
7. (C) In response to a question about the possibility of a 
broad coalition, Zarubynskiy said that right now it looked 
like there was only a 10 percent chance that this would 
happen.  He pointed to Tymoshenko's public statements in 
which she not only gave up the MOI, but also expressed her 
willingness to accept a new Law on the Cabinet of Ministers 
that stripped the PM's office of certain powers and to 
support a constitutional referendum in 2008 that could lead 
back to a presidential system of power as signs that she was 
willing to agree to anything to make the coalition work.  In 
addition, he said, Yushchenko still remembered the Universal 
and Regions' readiness to break promises.  Given this and the 
clear inclination of most of OU-PSD to be in an orange 
coalition, how could Yushchenko not choose this option? 
Zarubynskiy caveated this, however, by saying that there were 
a number of politicians and businessmen in OU-PSD -- such as 
Yekhanurov, Plyushch, Tretyakov, and Zhvaniya -- who were not 
eager for Tymoshenko to return to power. 
 
Miroshnychenko: We're in the Cabinet or Opposition, Not Both 
--------------------------------------------- --------------- 
 
8. (C) Regions MP Yuriy Miroshnychenko, who served as head of 
the campaign's legal department, told us October 11 that 
Regions was still conducting an internal debate about what to 
do.  The higher leadership -- Yanukovych, Akhmetov, 
Kolesnikov -- saw that they must take their Rada seats and 
were working on trying to get a broad coalition.  However, 
many of the mid-level MPs were unhappy with the election 
results and thought the party could do better in a second 
round of preterm elections.  They saw no benefit to being in 
the opposition and were afraid of political and economic 
persecution from Tymoshenko, as they "suffered" in 2005; 
these people would rather spend the money on another campaign 
and were not concerned how this would affect Ukraine's 
international reputation. 
 
9. (C) Miroshnychenko's personal opinion was that Regions 
must take their seats, but it was better to be fully in the 
opposition than to take a couple of posts in a Tymoshenko 
government.  Such an arrangement, in which the opposition had 
one deputy prime minister post was simply unnatural.  Regions 
had not yet had a party meeting to come to a formal decision 
and he could not say when this would happen.  However, he 
remained optimistic that the Rada would convene in late 
October or early November. 
 
10. (C) Regarding the elections, Miroshnychenko said the 
overall conduct had been free and fair and he credited 
Regions' Code of Conduct (which he co-authored) as a key 
reason for keeping the vote clean.  He also said Regions had 
conducted training for its commissioners and observers.  As 
far as he was concerned, there was no basis to challenge the 
overall results of the election.  He believed the CEC was 
dragging out the count on purpose to allow more time for 
negotiations.  Miroshnychenko did express regret that Regions 
had not done better getting voters into the polling stations, 
although he was proud that Regions had increased it support 
in central Ukraine -- a first step, he said, in becoming a 
national party. 
 
11. (C) In terms of legislative priorities, Miroshnychenko 
said that the most important issue to tackle was systematic 
economic reform, even before trying to address all the social 
promises made in the election.  For his part, he would be 
focused on judicial reform -- he was already working on a law 
on lawyers.  He might also work on amendments to the 
constitution.  He thought the correct path was to improve the 
political reforms already implemented.  He and his colleagues 
were consulting constitutional experts from Ukraine, the EU, 
 
KYIV 00002575  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
and the U.S., and were hearing that some form of 
parliamentary system was the best choice for Ukraine. 
 
12. (C) In response to a question about his opinion of 
Baloha, Miroshnychenko said the Presidential Chief of Staff 
was a strong player who had unified the presidential team and 
its message.  He wouldn't call Baloha a democrat, but he was 
pragmatic and effective and you always knew what to expect 
from him.  Miroshnychenko thought Yushchenko needs Baloha and 
that Baloha's chances were good of becoming even more 
influential. 
 
13. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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