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07KYIV2923, UKRAINE: ORANGE COALITION ANNOUNCED, BUT NO

November 29, 2007

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07KYIV2923 2007-11-29 14:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO9195
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #2923/01 3331400
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291400Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4450
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KYIV 002923 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/29/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: ORANGE COALITION ANNOUNCED, BUT NO 
AGREEMENT YET ON SPEAKER 
 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Kent Logsdon for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary:  Yuliya Tymoshenko's bloc (BYuT) and Our 
Ukraine-People's Self Defense (OU-PSD) announced the 
successful conclusion of a coalition agreement in the Rada 
November 29, bringing the renewed "orange" coalition one step 
closer to forming a government.  However, the new coalition 
was unable to bring a nomination forward for the next Rada 
Speaker due to disagreement and disarray within OU-PSD's 
ranks, leading the Rada to recess until Tuesday, December 4. 
The coalition agreement was signed by 227 BYuT and OU-PSD 
deputies, a two-vote majority, with only former NSDC 
Secretary Ivan Plyushch refusing to sign.  Many deputies were 
 
SIPDIS 
talking about Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk as a 
possible OU-PSD candidate for Speaker; Yatsenyuk, who was 
abroad leading Ukraine's delegation to the OSCE Ministerial 
in Madrid, was reportedly en route back to Kyiv, to attend a 
meeting scheduled between President Yushchenko and the OU-PSD 
faction with the goal of agreeing on a nominee for Speaker. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  The orange parties took a big step toward 
forming a government by getting 227 deputies to approve a 
coalition agreement, but this is only the first in a 
multi-step process.  Most see the vote for speaker as the 
critical next test in Yuliya Tymoshenko's quest to regain the 
premiership.  Many OU-PSD deputies were angry that their 
choice for Speaker, faction leader Kyrylenko, might be passed 
over again and pointed out that Yatsenyuk was only the 
President's nominee for the post right now, not the faction's 
choice yet.  BYuT deputies appeared relieved that the orange 
coalition was finally announced, but frustrated with OU-PSD's 
continuing internal disagreements, while Regions remained in 
a "wait and see" mode.  Although the new coalition could 
agree on a candidate for Speaker and forward the name of 
their PM nominee (presumably Yuliya Tymoshenko) to the 
President as early as December 4, Yushchenko has 15 days in 
which to consider the nomination, meaning that a Rada vote on 
the PM could come as late as December 19 -- but it could also 
be as early as December 4.  If a PM vote is successful, it is 
likely that an orange government slate would be quickly 
announced and confirmed.  If that is the case, Washington 
will need to be ready and among the first to make 
congratulatory calls to the new PM.  End comment. 
 
Orange Coalition Agreement Announced 
------------------------------------ 
 
3. (SBU)  The November 29 session of the Rada opened with 423 
of 450 deputies registered in the hall and OU-PSD's Roman 
Zvarych in charge as the temporary Chairman, but then 
recessed until 12 noon.  Zvarych announced that BYuT and 
OU-PSD were in the process of agreeing on the formation of a 
coalition, but first required extra time to gather the final 
signatures on a coalition agreement, and then later required 
additional time to register the agreement with the Rada 
Secretariat.  At noon, the Rada reconvened and Zvarych 
 
SIPDIS 
announced that BYuT and OU-PSD had successfully formed a 
coalition and registered the agreement, signed by 227 of 228 
BYuT and OU-PSD deputies, with the Rada Secretariat -- a 
two-vote majority.  BYuT head Tymoshenko was presented with 
an enormous basket of flowers, yellow and blue in the shape 
of Ukraine surrounded by red roses, on the Rada floor. 
Zvarych then said that the next item on the agenda was the 
election of a Speaker; however, because work was still 
ongoing regarding the final list and jurisdictions of the 
Rada committees, the session would be adjourned until 
Tuesday, December 4. 
 
4.  (C)  Once the session concluded, word quickly swept 
through the hall that the lone holdout refusing to sign the 
coalition agreement was former NSDC Secretary Plyushch, 
rumored the week before to be Yushchenko's top choice to be 
Speaker.  OU-PSD members appeared to know that Plyushch had 
decided not to sign -- Tatar leader Jemilev told polcouns 
that only 227 had signed the agreement before this fact was 
announced -- but most BYuT deputies we spoke to had believed 
that all OU-PSD deputies had signed.  Speaking to the press 
outside the Rada hall, OU-PSD's Zvarych said that Plyushch 
had exercised his democratic choice not to sign the coalition 
agreement and that as an experienced statesman, Plyushch was 
an asset to the OU-PSD faction and would continue to be 
involved in the faction's work.  BYuT's Eugene Korniychuk 
told polcouns that he fully expected Plyushch to be drummed 
out of the party, a sentiment matched by BYuT's Hrihoriy 
Nemiryia who argued that once a government was in place, 
OU-PSD would need to deal with Plyushch as well as the seven 
deputies who had reluctantly joined the majority of the bloc 
in supporting an orange coalition. 
 
But No Speaker Yet 
 
KYIV 00002923  002 OF 003 
 
 
------------------ 
 
5.  (C)  The other buzz in the hall came from the rumor that 
FM Yatsenyuk would be the new OU-PSD candidate for Spe
aker, 
once again dislodging faction leader Kyrylenko from his 
position as the faction's nominee.  Judging by reports from 
Madrid, Yatsenyuk, who was leading the Ukrainian delegation 
to the OSCE Ministerial, was surprised by the news and not 
necessarily happy to have been tossed into the political fray 
as he quickly boarded a flight en route back to Kyiv. 
Presidential Administration Deputy Head Chaliy confirmed the 
rumor that Yatsenyuk was in play, telling the Ambassador that 
Yatsenyuk and Rukh leader Yuriy Kostenko were Yushchenko's 
candidates for the Speaker's job.  BYuT's Nemiryia told 
polcouns that there were "bad feelings" within OU-PSD 
regarding Yatsenyuk's candidacy to be Speaker; the only way 
that some deputies would agree to the "destruction" of 
Kyrylenko would be if Yushchenko offered up the "destruction" 
of Presidential Administration head Baloha -- implying that 
they would only agree to support a candidate other than 
Kyrylenko only if Baloha lost his job. 
 
6.  (C)  Although noting that they would have preferred 
Kyrylenko as Speaker, most BYuT deputies seemed to believe 
that Yatsenyuk was a good compromise choice and far better 
than Plyushch would have been.  On the other hand, some 
OU-PSD deputies we spoke with, mostly allies of Kyrylenko, 
were angry, stressing like Pora's Kaskiv, that Yatsenyuk was 
only a suggestion made by the President, not yet the 
faction's choice.  Kaskiv confirmed that this decision would 
have to be made during an upcoming meeting with the 
President, to be scheduled as soon as Yatsenyuk returned to 
Kyiv.  Regions deputies like Yuriy Miroshnychenko told 
polcouns that they did not oppose Yatsenyuk, but that there 
had been no confirmation yet from OU-PSD that he was a 
candidate yet. 
 
Getting to Government 
--------------------- 
 
7.  (C)  If the new coalition succeeds in nominating and 
electing a speaker at the December 4 session -- or soon 
after, the next task will be to nominate the Prime Minister. 
The coalition should formally present the name of its 
candidate for the premiership, in this case Yuliya 
Tymoshenko, to the President and he will have 15 days to 
consider the nomination and to return it to the Rada for a 
formal vote.  Depending upon how quickly Yushchenko acts, we 
could have a vote for Prime Minister as early as the first 
week of December or as late as December 21.  According to the 
Rada rules, a government should be formed within 30 days of 
the convening of the Rada -- so no later than December 22. 
If the coalition successfully confirms Tymoshenko's candidacy 
as Prime Minister, we expect that the President will provide 
his nominations for Foreign and Defense Ministers, his 
prerogative under the Constitution, and then the Rada will 
vote on a slate of ministers.  Given its very small majority, 
possibly made even smaller by Plyushch's refusal to sign on 
to the coalition agreement, the orange parties will need 
nearly every vote to elect a PM and an orange government. 
 
8.  (C)  However, the Speaker's vote will be a critical first 
test for the new coalition -- and if the coalition nominates 
Yatsenyuk, Kyrylenko or anyone else and the vote fails, it 
will be difficult to see how it would be possible for the 
coalition to elect a Prime Minister and a government. 
Judging by the attitudes of BYuT deputies in the Rada, 
Tymoshenko and her party are still confident that they will 
succeed in forming a government.  Leading political analyst 
Ihor Kohut agreed, telling polcouns that the way looked clear 
for Tymoshenko to be elected; however, he predicted that she 
would end up leading an unstable and weak government that 
might last only a few months or until perhaps September at 
the latest.  BYuT deputies confided that they were nervous 
about their coalition partner, expressing concern that OU-PSD 
internal struggles had already cost the new coalition two 
weeks of time and this latest squabble over a candidate for 
speaker was eating up another week on the clock. 
 
9.  (C)  On OU-PSD's side, reports of tensions among the 
various factions within the bloc and difficult relations with 
the President and Presidential Administration head Baloha 
continue to surface in our conversations with individual 
deputies.  Many remain concerned that the bloc will have 
difficulty in remaining united over the next weeks or months 
-- or even long enough to elect a government.  A united front 
after the next meeting between Yushchenko and OU-PSD deputies 
will be critical if the orange coalition is to succeed in 
forming a government. 
 
 
KYIV 00002923  003 OF 003 
 
 
10  (C)  Meanwhile, Regions deputies appear to be relaxed 
about -- and even enjoying -- the turmoil in the orange 
ranks.  When Zvarych closed the Rada session after the 
coalition failed to come up with a nominee for Speaker, one 
Regions backbencher shouted out "Slava Coalitsiya - or Long 
Live the Coalition" to the amusement of his colleagues.  Many 
tell us that they are prepared for opposition, but that 
"everything will turn out fine."  If the orange forces 
succeed in forming a government, most Regions' deputies do 
not believe that it will last.  As for Volodymr Lytvyn and 
his small bloc, there is also no visible movement toward 
joining the orange camp.  Lytvyn Bloc members appear to be 
considering offering the orange forces what they call 
"situational support" on issues of interest to them -- but 
only if the orange team is able to form a government.  In the 
meantime, both groups appear content to wait and let the 
orange team either get it together or to self destruct. 
 
11. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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