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08KYIV2138, THE RADA FIDDLES…

October 24, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV2138 2008-10-24 14:42 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #2138 2981442
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 241442Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6620
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L KYIV 002138 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/24/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL EFIN ECON ETRD UP
SUBJECT: THE RADA FIDDLES... 
 
REF: A. KYIV 2128 
     B. KYIV 2130 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William Taylor for reasons 1.4 (b,d). 
 
Summary 
-------- 
 
1. (C) On October 24, the Rada was again unable to reach 
consensus on legislation to address Ukraine's looming 
economic crisis.  Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) MPs once again 
blocked the rostrum to prevent voting on any anti-legislation 
tied to election funding -- and even allegedly disabled some 
Rada voting machines.  The Rada voted to hold plenary 
sessions next week to continue working toward compromise 
anti-crisis legislation.  Speaker Yatseniuk announced that a 
working group would meet throughout the weekend to try to 
hammer out a deal, adding that failure to find consensus next 
week could put ongoing IMF negotiations at risk.  End Summary. 
 
Blocked Rostrums and Vandalized Voting Machines 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
2. (C) The Rada had voted on October 23 to include three 
competing anti-crisis legislative packages on the agenda for 
the 24th, including a now-public Party of Regions (Regions) 
plan (reftel A).  BYuT MPs continued to block the Rada 
rostrum October 24 to prevent voting on any legislation that 
included funding for early elections.  BYuT MP Mikhaylo 
Volynets told us that BYuT would continue to block the Rada 
until anti-crisis legislation was separated from any 
election-related legislation or budget amendments.  BYuT MPs 
Yuriy Poluneev and Kostyantin Bondarev told us that their 
party is open to compromise on the final form of any 
anti-crisis legislation, but they would not compromise on 
election legislation.  Poluneev and Bondarev dismissed 
Regions' plan, calling it a "pamphlet" that was light on 
details, especially regarding how the government would fund 
its proposals. 
 
3. (U) Rada Speaker Yatseniuk announced that 46 chamber 
voting machines, primarily at Regions' and Our Ukraine's (OU) 
seats, had been tampered with prior to the morning session. 
The Speaker's office produced a box of coins and metal 
objects that had been fished out of voting machines.  The 
foreign objects had rendered the entire system inoperable, 
but it was repaired by the afternoon.  Yatseniuk's press 
secretary blamed "those that spent the night" in the Rada, 
referring to BYuT members who camped out in the Rada to 
ensure the faction's ability to block the rostrum in the 
morning. 
 
Afternoon Session: A Vote, But Not on Legislation 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
4. (U) Yatseniuk opened the afternoon session October 24 with 
a vote to extend the plenary session to next week.  386 MPs 
voted for the resolution, with the remainder abstaining. 
Yatseniuk announced that a working group of MPs from 
different factions would be formed by the end of the day. 
The group would meet throughout the weekend with Finance 
Ministry and other government officials to seek consensus on 
anti-crisis legislation.  They will report on progress on 
October 27 in a meeting with faction leaders and government 
officials in the Speaker's office.  The plenary week will 
begin October 28.  Yatseniuk warned that failure to adopt 
compromise anti-crisis legislation could put IMF negotiations 
at risk and would discredit the Rada as a legislative body. 
 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
5. (C) The Tymoshenko-Yushchenko battle over early elections 
continues to paralyze the Rada's ability to pass necessary 
anti-crisis legislation.  Failure to reach some form of 
compromise could, as Yatseniuk said, jeopardize IMF 
negotiations.  The recent steep drop (twenty percent) in the 
hryvna's rate versus the dollar reflects market unease in the 
face of Ukraine's dual economic and political crises. 
TAYLOR

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