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November 3, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV2191 2008-11-03 16:41 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv


DE RUEHKV #2191/01 3081641
P 031641Z NOV 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L KYIV 002191 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/03/2018 
REF: A. KYIV 2166 
     B. KYIV 1943 
Classified By: Ambassador William Taylor for reasons 1.4 (b,d). 
1. (C) On October 31 the Rada passed compromise anti-crisis 
legislation, a critical step towards Ukraine's receipt of a 
$16.5 billion IMF assistance package (Ref A).  PM Yuliya 
Tymoshenko's BYuT and Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense 
(OU-PSD) voted with a majority of Lytvyn Bloc MPs to pass the 
legislation with 248 votes.  Separate election-related 
legislation failed to muster the necessary 226 votes for 
passage.  Tymoshenko expressed hope that the successful vote 
could re-energize efforts to form a BYuT/OU-PSD/Lytvyn 
coalition.  Rada contacts said that Yushchenko's agreement on 
such a coalition remains highly unlikely, but other coalition 
options exist.  End Comment. 
Rada Passes Anti-Crisis Legislation 
2. (U)  The Rada remained in session late into the evening of 
October 31 to work through 165 amendments to President 
Yushchenko's anti-crisis legislation and passed the complete 
legislative package in its second reading with 248 votes. 
Yushchenko's compromise legislative package was initially 
submitted on October 28 and passed in first reading on 
October 29.  BYuT (154 of 156 MPs), OU-PSD (69 of 72 MPs) and 
Lytvyn Bloc (all 20 MPs) voted together to push through final 
passage on October 31.  The legislation was signed by Rada 
Speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk on November 3 and forwarded to 
President Yushchenko for his signature. 
3. (C)  The Rada rejected an OU-PSD sponsored election 
funding-related amendment, which garnered only 189 votes. 
Only 38 of 72 OU-PSD MPs voted for the amendment. They were 
joined by 150 of 172 Regions MPs and BYuT MP Igor Rybakov. 
Speaker Yatsenyuk told the Ambassador that he had worked out 
a compromise that allowed OU to bring their amendments to a 
floor vote without BYuT interference in exchange for a final 
agreement on the anti-crisis legislation.  He intimated that 
he anticipated failure of the election amendments prior to 
the vote.  Rada contacts told us that a number of Regions MPs 
aligned with Yuriy Tabachnyk and Andriy Kluyev turned against 
early elections when they found their names missing from a 
new draft Regions party election list. 
Renewed BYuT/OU-PSD/Lytvyn Coalition "Just Talk" 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
4. (C)  Since former Orange allies OU-PSD and BYuT voted 
together on the anti-crisis legislation, PM Tymoshenko has 
again raised the possibility of a new coalition comprised of 
BYuT, OU-PSD, and the Lytvyn Bloc.   She stated on November 2 
that this coalition could be created "if there is good will 
on the part of the President."  Privately, however, BYuT MP 
Valeriy Pisarenko told us that agreement with Yushchenko on 
this coalition option remained "almost impossible." 
Pisarenko stressed that any agreement from the Lytvyn Bloc 
was predicated on "Lytvyn in the Speaker's chair," a 
concession that OU-PSD would be unlikely to make.  PSD MP 
Kyrylo Kulikov told us that with the current faction 
leadership it was "pretty difficult" to see a BYuT/OU-PSD 
coalition with or without Lytvyn. 
5. (C) Pisarenko noted that BYuT continues to work towards 
finding a majority of OU-PSD MPs to sign a coalition 
agreement without Yushchenko's blessing (Ref B).  Claiming 
that Yushchenko continues to lose support within his own 
faction, Pisarenko said that BYuT currently had 35 OU-PSD MPs 
signed on -- just two more would give the insurgent MPs a 
majority vote to join BYuT in coalition over Yushchenko's 
objections.  Kulikov told us that supporters within OU-PSD 
are "working hard" to attract enough votes to their side. 
Pisarenko said that such a "coalition without a majority" is 
possible under the constitutional courts' September 2008 
decision that a coalition is made up of factions, not 
individuals, and BYuT and OU-PSD factions together total 228 
seats in the Rada.  In effect, a majority of OU-PSD MPs would 
commit their entire faction to the coalition agreement -- but 
the minority of OU-PSD members who maintained loyalty to 
Yushchenko could choose not to actively support the 
"The Next Election Will Be the Presidential Election" 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
6. (C) Pisarenko told us that, as of now, he expects there 
will be no early parliamentary elections.  He added that 
there is no funding for elections, the Central Election 
Commission (CEC) is not planning an election, and, because 
Yushchenko rescinded his decree, there is currently no "call" 
for elections.  BYuT had "hundreds" of ways to legally block 
any attempts to hold elections, saying that they had already 
shown that they can "stop any decree in three hours in 
court."  Pisarenko concluded that the President thinks he 
controls when elections are held, "but in reality we do". &#x0
00A;Igor Popov, head of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine 
agreed, telling us that BYuT could tie up elections in the 
courts "for years" if they wanted to.  He added that the CEC 
is loyal to BYuT, and that BYuT MP Andriy Portnov "basically 
runs" the commission. 
7. (C) The Rada's passage of the anti-crisis legislation will 
help Ukraine secure IMF funding and attend to its looming 
economic crisis.  BYuT is confident it can stop elections, 
and their plan to form a coalition with a majority of OU-PSD 
MPs could, if realized, further isolate Yushchenko. 
Tymoshenko said she would block elections, and so far she 
has, strengthening her position. 




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