Skip to content

08KYIV2024, PARTY OF REGIONS APPEARS UNITED FOR EARLY ELECTION

October 10, 2008

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #08KYIV2024.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV2024 2008-10-10 15:11 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXYZ0020
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #2024/01 2841511
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101511Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6524
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L KYIV 002024 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/09/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: PARTY OF REGIONS APPEARS UNITED FOR EARLY ELECTION 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William Taylor for reasons 1.4 (b,d). 
 
SUMMARY 
 
1. (C)  The Party of Regions appears united around the 
upcoming election challenge.  Fundraising and organizing for 
the pre-term election started in early September.  Deputies 
will soon start heading to the oblasts for campaigning. 
Regions expects to increase its share of Rada seats by 
focusing its campaign on pocketbook issues.  Regions remains 
open to a post-election coalition with Yushchenko's forces in 
the Rada, but not with Tymoshenko.  End Summary. 
 
UNITING FOR THE ELECTION 
 
2. (C) The Party of Regions appears united in the face of 
pre-term parliamentary elections scheduled for December 7th. 
Regions Deputy faction leader Hanna Herman told us that 
rumors of competing factions within the party are propaganda 
written by journalists close to Prime Minister Tymoshenko. 
She denied reports that Oligarch Rinat Akhmetov provides most 
of the funding for the party and said the party has many 
contributors, none of which provide a majority of funding. 
She said Regions has the most democratic internal structure 
of the major parties because it allows all members to voice 
their opinions and seeks consensus.  She noted that 
differences of opinion within a party are normal and not a 
sign that a break-up of Regions is likely.  Regions MP 
Volodimir Makiyenko agreed that the prospect of an election 
has brought people in the party closer together. 
 
 
ELECTION PLANNING AND FUNDRAISING STARTED WEEKS AGO 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
3. (C)  Regions began organizing and collecting funds for 
elections soon after the September 2nd vote by the Our 
Ukraine-People's Self Defense (OU-PSD) bloc to leave the 
governing Orange coalition.  After OU-PSD's announcement 
Regions started organizing their campaign team.  Herman said 
Regions is weeks ahead of other parties in getting people on 
the ground in oblasts outside of Kyiv.  She stressed that 
Regions is able to fund and run a high profile campaign 
throughout the country.  Regions is holding party meetings 
October 10 to assign MPs to specific oblasts, so that 
campaigning can begin in a few days.  Makiyenko said he 
expects this to be the last week for any substantial work to 
be done in the Rada because many Regions MPs will be out of 
Kyiv campaigning until the election. 
 
 
ELECTION MEANS MORE SEATS FOR REGIONS 
------------------------------------- 
 
4. (C)  Regions MPs tell us they are confident that the party 
can improve on its first place showing in last year's 
election.  Herman said the campaign would focus on pocketbook 
issues important to the average Ukrainian.  While support for 
making Russian an official language and opposition to NATO 
membership without a referendum are still part of Regions' 
election platform, these issues will not be a focus of the 
campaign.  Herman said Regions will do well at the polls 
because economic issues are most important to voters now and 
people trust Regions to run the economy.  Tymoshenko will 
take an electoral hit because of the downturn in the 
Ukrainian economy and she overestimates her popularity. 
Herman said that Regions plans to expand its campaign in 
Western Ukraine because it believes it can win new votes 
there by focusing on economic issues.  Herman dismissed the 
idea that Presidential Chief of Staff Victor Baloha's United 
Center party, or Kyiv Mayor Leonid Chernovyetsky's party 
would cross the 3 percent threshold.  The Rada would have the 
same parties represented as it does now, with the exception 
of Lytvyn who was too close to call, except that the balance 
of seats would be shifted in Regions' favor. 
 
 
POST-ELECTION COALITION WITH YUSHCHENKO DESIRABLE 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
 
5. (C)  Herman heaped praise on President Yushchenko and 
called him a "man of principle."  She said that while Regions 
and Yushchenko did not agree on everything, the differences 
could be worked out.  After the election Regions preference 
was for a coalition with Yushchenko because it is the only 
way to get past the regional divides in Ukraine and focus on 
making life better for the average Ukrainian.  What was most 
important is that Yushchenko is trustworthy.  Herman harshly 
criticized Tymoshenko calling her duplicitous, unstable, and 
power hungry.  She said that recent negotiations with 
Tymoshenko to form a governing coalition broke down quickly 
because minutes after Tymoshenko left cordial meetings with 
Regions leaders she appeared on television calling them 
bandits and outlaws.  Herman said that Regions would not make 
the mistake of trying to make a deal with "that devil" again. 
 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
6. (C)  While Party of Regions has differing factions, the 
snap election should keep the party together in the 
near-term.  The major players understand that they have more 
power together as a group than they would have apart.  If 
Regions is as prepared as they claim for the election, it 
would give them a significant advantage over Yushchenko's 
disintegrating bloc and Tymoshenko's forces.  It remains to &#
x000A;be seen if Regions really will focus on pocketbook issues 
instead of falling back on rhetoric about Russian language 
and campaigning against NATO membership.  Last year it broke 
its word to Yushchenko not to raise the issue when polls 
anticipated low turnout and they saw smaller parties, like 
the Vitrenko Bloc (a hard-core pro-Russia, anti-NATO group), 
gaining traction with a similar message.  Herman's praise for 
Yushchenko echoes that of both Party leader Yanukovych and 
Oligarch Akhmetov.  Regions hopes for a post-election deal 
with Yushchenko could also serve to moderate Regions' line on 
NATO accession. 
TAYLOR

Wikileaks

Advertisements

From → CONFIDENTIAL

Leave a Comment

Post tour comment here

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: