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08KYIV2242, UKRAINIAN RADA SPEAKER YATSENYUK OUSTED

November 13, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV2242 2008-11-13 05:24 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #2242/01 3180524
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 130524Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6711
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L KYIV 002242 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINIAN RADA SPEAKER YATSENYUK OUSTED 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William Taylor for reasons 1.4 (b,d). 
 
SUMMARY 
-------- 
 
1. (C) Rada speaker Yatsenyuk was ousted during a fractious 
parliamentary session on November 12, which included two 
legally questionable votes and a physical confrontation 
between MPs.  The Party of Regions, Lytvyn Bloc, Communist 
party and a handful of Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense bloc 
MPs joined forces to alter Rada procedural rules and remove 
Yatsenyuk.  A scuffle occurred between Party of Regions and 
Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc MPs when the latter tried to shut down 
the Rada's electronic voting system to prevent the vote 
against Yatsenyuk.  Speculation in the Rada is rife over the 
end goal of removing Yatsenyuk, but it is clear that most MPs 
are not privy to the decisions being made by their party 
leaders.  END SUMMARY. 
 
 
QUESTIONABLE VOTES AND A SCUFFLE 
-------------------------------- 
 
2. (U) After a routine morning recess on November 12, Deputy 
Speaker and Party of Regions MP Oleksandr Lavrynovych called 
a snap vote on suspending Rada Speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk for 
two plenary sessions for alleged procedural violations during 
the October 31 vote on anti-crisis/IMF legislation.  The 
suspension resolution was not included on the Rada agenda as 
required by parliamentary rules.  231 MPs voted to suspend 
Yatsenyuk, including 175 from Party of Regions (Regions), 27 
from the Communist Party, 20 from the Lytvyn Bloc, 8 MPs from 
Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense (OU-PSD), and 1 from the 
Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT). 
 
3. (U) After Yatsenyuk's suspension, BYuT MPs tried to stop 
any further voting in the Rada by occupying and shutting down 
the electronic voting system.  Regions MPs, led by Nestor 
Shufrych, broke down two doors and pushed out the BYuT MPs 
occupying the voting control system.  After a short recess to 
reboot the voting system, MPs then voted to change the Rada's 
rules on removing Yatsenyuk.  The new procedure allowed a 
vote using electronic voting cards rather than secret paper 
ballots specified in Rada regulations that require deputies 
to be present to vote.  A vote the previous evening using the 
required paper ballots failed because while many Regions MPs 
voting cards were registered in the chamber, they were not 
personally present to pick up their ballots.  In the 
subsequent vote using the electronic voting cards, all of 
Regions, Communist, and Lytvyn Bloc MPs voted along with 10 
OU-PSD and 1 BYuT MP to remove Yatsenyuk as speaker.  The 
session ended without a vote on Yatsenyuk's replacement, 
although Regions told the press that they will nominate 
Lavrynovych to fill the Speaker's chair.  Former Rada Speaker 
and MP Volodomyr Lytvyn and OU-PSD MP Ivan Plyush are also 
being mentioned as possible successors. 
 
 
SPECULATION, BUT DEPUTIES IN THE DARK 
------------------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Rumors about the true reason for Yatsenyuk's ouster 
and what, if any, role President Yushchenko played are rife 
in the Rada corridors.  Many MPs were willing to share with 
us their theories of why Yatsenyuk was dismissed, but none 
claimed to know the definite reasons for his removal.  BYuT 
MPs Andrei Shkil and Valeri Pisarenko told us that they 
believe Yatsenyuk's removal had Yushchenko's blessing and is 
a prelude to either a new push for early elections or a 
legally questionable coalition between some part of OU-PSD, 
Regions and Lytvyn Bloc.  Regions MPs Yuriy Miroshnochenko 
and Volodomyr Makayenko told us that this is the beginning of 
an attempt to form a coalition between a Regions and OU-PSD. 
OU-PSD MP Kyrylo Kuliko and BYuT MP Konstantin Bondarayev 
speculated to us that Yushchenko pushed Yatsenyuk's dismissal 
in an attempt to weaken any authority not controlled by the 
President.  Regions MP Bondarenko countered the speculation 
over possible coalition building or early elections, telling 
us that Yatsenyuk's removal was because he altered an 
amendment to the anti-crisis/IMF legislation from the version 
voted on by the Rada.  Despite the willingness of MPs to 
share their theories, Makayenko told us that Regions MPs were 
not informed why they should vote for Yatsenyuk's ouster, but 
all fell in line because none wanted to jeopardize their 
chance of being included on the party list if a new election 
is called. 
 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
5. (C) While the end goal of Yatsenyuk's dismissal is 
unclear, his removal further destabilizes the political 
situation in Kyiv.  Yatsenyuk was an effective Speaker.  His 
absence will allow more maneuverability for those in the Rada 
wanting to either push through legislation facilitating early 
elections or the creation of a legally questionable coalition 
between some part of OU-PSD, Regions and Lytvyn. 
 
6. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
TAYLOR

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