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08KYIV2106, TYMOSHENKO MEGA-COALITION PROPOSAL FALLS FLAT

October 20, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV2106 2008-10-20 15:33 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #2106/01 2941533
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 201533Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6576
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L KYIV 002106 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR UP
SUBJECT: TYMOSHENKO MEGA-COALITION PROPOSAL FALLS FLAT 
 
Classified By: DCM James Pettit for reasons 1.4(b,d). 
 
SUMMARY 
-------- 
 
1. (SBU) Prime Minister Tymoshenko on October 19 proposed 
creating a unity coalition of all parties in the parliament 
to address the effects of the international financial crisis. 
 She asked President Yushchenko to rescind his order for 
early parliamentary elections and support her proposal.  Most 
of the parties in the Rada dismissed her proposal as an 
attempt to escape blame for worsening economic conditions and 
to hold on to power prior to next year's presidential 
election. END SUMMARY. 
 
 
TYMOSHENKO'S MODEST PROPOSAL 
---------------------------- 
 
2. (U) In a televised address to the nation on October 19, 
Tymoshenko proposed the creation of a unity coalition of all 
parliamentary factions.  Under the new so-called 
"mega-coalition" the cabinet would be restructured to include 
the best and brightest from all parties, but Tymoshenko 
implied that she would retain the PM slot.  She also proposed 
incorporating representatives of the coalition into 
presidentially appointed positions, such as the National 
Security and Defense Council.  Tymoshenko also called on 
President Yushchenko to cancel his decree ordering pre-term 
parliamentary elections, thereby allowing the Rada to 
reconvene to pass legislation and revise the 2009 budget. 
She assured Ukrainians that even if other factions reject her 
proposal she will "never leave the battlefield" or "betray 
the country." 
 
 
MOSTLY ALLIES SHOW UP 
--------------------- 
 
3. (U) Tymoshenko called on all party leaders to gather at 
the Rada on October 20 to begin working on forming the 
mega-coalition.  In attendance at the meeting, besides 
Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) representatives, were leaders from the 
OU-PSD bloc component parties European Party, People's Self 
Defense, Defenders of the Motherland, and Rukh, as well as 
the Communist Party.  Excluding the Communists, all the 
parties that attended are considering joining BYuT to run in 
the upcoming Rada election.  The head of the Communist Party, 
Petro Symonenko, used the gathered media to call for exiting 
the WTO, joining Moscow's proposed Single Economic Space, and 
deepening energy cooperation with Russia.  The Party of 
Regions, the Lytvyn Bloc, and Our Ukraine refused to attend. 
 
 
THE DRUNK AND THE POLE 
---------------------- 
 
4. (C) Party of Regions heavily criticized the Prime 
Minister's proposal. Former Prime Minister and Party of 
Regions head Viktor Yanukovych publicly said that 
Tymoshenko's call for a mega-coalition was a desperate 
attempt to stay in power: "she clings to her job like a drunk 
clings to a pole."  Deputy Faction leader and unofficial 
Regions spokesperson Hanna Herman told us privately that a 
new coalition would allow Tymoshenko to spread the blame for 
her "ruinous" populist policies and that all Tymoshenko is 
interested in is retaining her position prior to next year's 
presidential election.  Volodomyr Lytvyn echoed Herman's 
criticism saying that Tymoshenko was attempting to shift 
blame for the economic situation to others. 
 
5. (U) Tymoshenko was also rebuffed by Yushchenko's Our 
Ukraine party and the Presidential Secretariat.  Outspoken 
Our Ukraine MP Ksenya Lyapina said that the logical response 
to the financial crisis would be to remove the government 
that is responsible.  She called for the elections to go 
forward so that not just a few members of the cabinet are 
swapped, but the Prime Minister too.  Lyapina said that 
Tymoshenko should be replaced by someone not involved in the 
upcoming Rada elections.  Presidential Chief of Staff Victor 
Baloha said that a new coalition would only serve the 
political interests of Tymoshenko and not the needs of 
Ukraine.  He predicted that an attempt to form a 
mega-coalition would be a failure; Tymoshenko was only 
interested in protecting her job, not the Ukrainian economy. 
 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
6. (C) Tymoshenko's call for a mega-coalition is unlikely to 
get much if any traction outside of her own camp.  Her appeal 
for unity in the face of crisis comes at a time when her 
opponents are so deeply dug in against her that they regard 
everything she proposes as self-serving.   Thus, they largely 
dismiss or ignore her point that now, on the cusp of a 
possible economic meltdown, is no time for another round of 
divisive elections. 
TAYLOR

Wikileaks

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