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09KYIV258, TYMOSHENKO SURVIVES NO CONFIDENCE VOTE

February 6, 2009

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09KYIV258 2009-02-06 14:24 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #0258/01 0371424
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 061424Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7227
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L KYIV 000258 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/29/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL UP
SUBJECT: TYMOSHENKO SURVIVES NO CONFIDENCE VOTE 
 
Classified By: Ambassador William Taylor for reasons 1.4 (b,d). 
 
SUMMARY 
-------- 
 
1. (C) Prime Minister Tymoshenko on February 5 survived a 
no-confidence vote in parliament organized by the opposition 
Party of Regions.  Regions MPs said that they pushed for the 
vote despite knowing beforehand that it would not pass 
because the party had to demonstrate to its voters opposition 
to the PM's handling of economic policies.  The Rada cannot 
hold another no-confidence vote until its next session begins 
in September.  This increases the chances that the current 
coalition will survive through the presidential election 
expected in January 2010.  Regions MP's have also threatened 
to force new parliamentary elections through mass 
resignations.  This would be difficult to achieve. END 
SUMMARY. 
 
 
NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE FAILS 
------------------------ 
 
2. (C) The Party of Regions (Regions) February 5 mustered 
only 203 of the needed 226 votes in the Rada to remove Prime 
Minister Tymoshenko's government.  In addition to Regions' 
172 votes, the measure won the support of the majority of the 
Communist party with 20 votes, 10 votes from Presidential 
Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha's United Center faction within 
the Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense bloc (OU-PSD), and 1 
vote from PM Tymoshenko's bloc (BYuT).  (The one vote from 
BYuT was cast from MP Rybakov's electronic voting card 
despite Speaker Lytvyn's announcement that he was among the 
deputies absent from the session and therefore his vote would 
not be counted in the final total.) 
 
 
REGIONS LAYING DOWN A MARKER TO ITS CONSTITUENCY 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
3. (C) Regions MPs told us prior to the vote that they 
recognized Regions did not have the votes to win the 
no-confidence measure.  Regions Deputy Faction head Volodomyr 
Makeienko told us Regions needed to show its voters that it 
was challenging the government over Tymoshenko's handling of 
the economy.  OU-PSD MP and former Justice Minister Roman 
Zvarych told us that Regions had committed a strategic 
mistake by holding the vote now rather than using the threat 
of a no-confidence measure as leverage to gain concessions 
from the government.  (Note: only one no-confidence vote is 
allowed per Rada session.  The next Rada session begins on 
September 8.)  Pro-coalition OU-PSD MP Kyrylo Kulikov told us 
that Regions pushed for the no-confidence vote now knowing it 
would fail to remove the possibility that Regions would be 
called on to form a government and address the economic 
crisis prior to the presidential election. 
 
COALITION INCREASINGLY STABLE 
----------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Zvarych told us that with the threat of no-confidence 
removed, he expects the coalition to last well past the 
presidential election.  Kulikov told us that the 
no-confidence vote showed that the coalition would hold 
together for the longer-term.  The majority within the OU-PSD 
group which had broken with Yushchenko and supported the new 
Tymoshenko constitution had "burned their bridges" with 
Yushchenko.  There was no going back.  So they can be 
expected to stay with Tymoshenko.  BYuT MP Valeriy Pysarenko 
told us that he saw no internal or external threats on the 
horizon that could jeopardize the existence of the coalition. 
 
 
 
MASS RESIGNATION THREAT OVERSTATED 
---------------------------------- 
 
5. (C) After the no-confidence vote, senior Regions MP Borys 
Kolesnykov told assembled press that Regions could force 
early parliamentary elections by having 150 of its 176 
deputies resign, thus depriving the Rada of the 
constitutionally mandated quorum of 300 seated deputies.  OU 
Deputy Zvarych dismissed this to us as bluster.  He 
underlined that the rules regulating deputy resignations had 
changed after BYuT successfully used this tactic in 2007 to 
force early elections.  Either Kolesnykov had not read the 
rules or was bluffing.  Zvarych pointed out that article five 
of the law on MP status now included a provision that a 
majority Rada vote is required to accept each MP's 
resignation.  The law was also changed so that political 
parties could no longer vacate the party list filed with the 
Central Election Commission to prevent the vacant MP 
positions from being filled.  Zvarych explained that this 
means that even if Regions could get 150 deputies to resign 
and get them approved by the Rada, they would have to 
convince the next 150 people on the list to either refuse to 
accept their positions or be sworn in and resign, until they 
exhaust the party list of 450 names registered prior to the 
2007 parliamentary election. He said that even if Regions 
could successfully accomplish the task, it would take more 
than a year. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
6. (C) The failure of the no-confidence measure removes the 
major external threat to the stability of the parliamentary 
coalition.  Tymoshenko's hold on the premiership thus appears 
stronger now than at any time since she assumed the job.  A 
majority of the formerly pro-Presidential OU-PSD MPs have 
broken with Yushchenko, thus removing the Presid
ent's ability 
to take the coalition down at will.  Speaker Lytvyn and his 
bloc have been, thus far, faithful allies to Tymoshenko. 
Regions' use of the no-confidence measure February 5 means it 
cannot attempt it again until September at the earliest. 
Meanwhile Regions' threat of mass resignations from the Rada 
as a way to take the government down appears unlikely to 
work, if they even attempt it.  Thus, it appears likely that 
Tymoshenko (as long as she wants the job) will be able to 
remain as PM through 2009 - with the responsibility for 
management of the GOU response to the economic crisis resting 
squarely on her shoulders. 
TAYLOR

Wikileaks

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