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08KYIV1342, UKRAINE: LAST WEEK OF RADA STARTS OFF BADLY

July 8, 2008

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08KYIV1342 2008-07-08 16:17 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO1996
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHKV #1342/01 1901617
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 081617Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5988
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 001342 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/08/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: LAST WEEK OF RADA STARTS OFF BADLY 
 
Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4(b,d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  Party of Regions on July 8 shook up the 
planned agenda for the Rada's last week in plenary by moving 
forward with efforts to hold a no confidence vote on Prime 
Minister Tymoshenko.  In response, her BYuT faction blocked 
the Rada rostrum and Speaker Yatsenyuk was forced to close 
the Rada session for the day.  In the halls of the Rada, 
rumors swirled about the likelihood of the no confidence vote 
successfully passing.  Regions MP Miroshnychenko told us that 
his faction was unsure how many votes they had.  BYuT MP 
Kurpil told us he thought there might be as many as ten BYuT 
MPs who had been "persuaded" to support Regions in the vote, 
while a BYuT aide told us that she had heard Regions had 
bought sufficient coalition support for its no confidence 
resolution.  If the resolution is put on the agenda, 
Tymoshenko will have ten days to present a report to the Rada 
on her government's performance.  If the Rada then votes no 
confidence, her Cabinet goes into acting status.  The next 
steps would likely be subject to debate, with the viability 
of the current coalition in question, and the President's 
powers to dismiss the Rada constitutionally limited. 
 
2.(C) Comment.  What happens next?  Most people we talked to 
agreed that Yushchenko and Our Ukraine do not want to face 
early Rada elections -- neither OU nor United Center has a 
good shot at gaining seats, at minimum the faction will be 
much smaller, and Yushchenko cannot handle another electoral 
defeat ahead of the presidential elections.  That being said, 
he may be trying to discredit Tymoshenko, while stalling 
talks with Regions, and looking for an option that leaves him 
with a PM who is neither Tymoshenko nor Yanukovych.  For its 
part, Regions may be increasing the pressure on the President 
and his faction in hopes of getting the broad coalition they 
have long sought. It still remains very possible that the 
Rada will simply remain mired in fighting through the summer 
recess, delaying resolution of these political struggles 
until the fall.  End summary and comment. 
 
No-Confidence is the Goal 
------------------------- 
 
3. (SBU) Party of Regions announced the morning of July 8 
that it would insist Speaker Yatsenyuk consider their 
resolution to hold a no-confidence vote on Prime Minister 
Tymoshenko and threatened to block the Rada rostrum if 
Yatsenyuk did not comply.  Instead, BYuT MPs blocked the 
Rada, and after two and a half hours of recess, the Speaker 
closed the session for the day.  Kyrylenko told the press 
that BYuT MPs would block the session hall until the Rada 
considered budget amendments prepared by the Cabinet. 
Yatsenyuk called faction leaders to his office to try to find 
a compromise, but later told the press that although he 
thought there were enough votes to dismiss Tymoshenko 
(placing her in acting status), he did not believe there were 
enough to form a new coalition and that a resolution to the 
political stand-off would therefore be postponed until the 
fall. 
 
4. (C) Regions MP Miroshnychenko told us that his faction was 
indeed trying to push the no confidence vote forward.  He 
pointed to the copy of the constitution he was carrying and 
said he was putting together the constitutional argument for 
why Regions was justified in its demands.  However, he 
confided that no one really knew whether they had 226 votes 
to pass the no-confidence resolution.  There were official 
negotiations and negotiations being conducted in the hall, he 
said, but only when the vote was held would they see the 
level of support.  For example, the Communists were not 
cosponsoring Regions' resolution, so Regions did not know how 
they would vote.  (Note.  Several people told us that Regions 
had filled it seats today, a sign that they were preparing 
for an important vote.  End note.)  Regions MP Chechetov told 
the press that they had more than enough votes to dismiss 
Tymoshenko. 
 
Has the Coalition Lost its Votes? 
--------------------------------- 
 
5. (C) BYuT MP Kurpil confirmed to us that Regions was 
working hard on the no confidence motion and that he was 
worried that as many as ten BYuT MPs might have been 
"persuaded" to defect, although he was not sure about that. 
An aide from BYuT later told us that Regions had bought 
enough votes to secure the non confidence vote; it was just a 
question of when the vote would be held.  Kurpil said that 
although the government and BYuT had made getting budget 
amendments passed the top priority for the week, the 
amendments were not on the agenda because Yushchenko did not 
want them passed.  If the budget were amended, this would 
allow the government to keep working, and the President did 
 
KYIV 00001342  002 OF 002 
 
 
not want the PM to succeed.  Instead, he wanted a new 
coalition, but one without Yanukovych.  Kurpil thought 
Yushchenko would try to put forward Defense Minister 
Yekhanurov or Chief of Staff Baloha as nominee to be PM, 
although he thought Yatsenyuk might be offered up as a 
compromise.  If Yatsenyuk were made PM, this would clear the &
#x000A;path for Lytvyn to reclaim the Speaker's chair. 
 
6. (C) However, Kurpil said that Regions was pushing the no 
confidence vote now to pressure the President and OU.  If the 
government was dismissed, the 60-day clock would begin to 
tick on forming a new government.  Regions would then use 
this timeline to threaten undecided members of Our Ukraine -- 
either they could join a broad coalition or they would face 
new Rada elections, and would likely lose their seats. 
(Note.  This comment jives with what a lot of political 
contacts -- MPs, NSDC officials -- told us at the Embassy's 
Fourth of July reception.  They believed that there was a 
good possibility that neither Our Ukraine nor United Center 
could cross the three-percent threshold in pre-term 
elections, and Yushchenko was doing everything he could to 
avoid new elections.  End note.) 
 
What Might Happen Next 
---------------------- 
 
7. (SBU) On a procedural note, if the resolution to hold a no 
confidence vote passes, Tymoshenko has ten days in which to 
give a presentation on her government's work to the Rada, 
either in person or in writing.  If the Rada puts the 
resolution on the Rada's agenda on July 9, the PM should have 
until the end of the following week to respond -- July 18 is 
the last day of the Rada's spring session.  There has already 
been discussion by Rada members that the last week of the 
session should be plenary work, although that is not what is 
on the calendar.   Yatsenyuk told the press that he would 
support the Rada holding an extra week of plenary only if 
there was a concrete and widely-agreed upon agenda.  However, 
if the Rada remains logjammed and cannot hold the vote until 
after July 9, they would potentially have to vote to hold an 
extraordinary session to consider the no confidence motion. 
 
8. (SBU) The dismissal of Tymoshenko's government would 
affect only the status of the Cabinet, not the Rada 
coalition.  (Only the Speaker can declare the coalition 
terminated.)  The constitution says the coalition must form a 
new government within 60 days.  Such a scenario would 
undoubtedly bring up the debate again as to whether the 
coalition exists at that time, as well as expose the fact 
that even if it exists de jure, it is unlikely to have 226 
votes to confirm a new PM.  If the coalition is found 
declared terminated, the Rada has 30 days to form a new 
coalition.  The constitution says violation of these 
timelines is grounds for the President to disband the Rada, 
but his hands are tied by the constitutional provision that 
says he cannot disband the parliament for a year following 
pre-term elections (which were held September 30, 2007). 
Therefore, as Yatsenyuk says, there is a good chance that 
resolution of the political stalemate will be postponed until 
the fall. 
 
9. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
TAYLOR

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