"AFP PHOTO / PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / MYKOLA LAZARENKO"
Article by: Serhiy Shcherbyna
The possibility of early elections turned out to be more threatening than a shaky peace with the prime minister and the oligarchs.
The distribution of the factional voting (in the Verkhovna Rada, February 16) has led many observers to see a conspiracy by the oligarchs in favor of the Cabinet.
Indeed, the deputies close to Rinat Akhmetov and Ihor Kolomoisky did not support the dismissal of the government. Even the group RosUkrEnergo, where Yatseniuk is much disliked, was divided. Yuriy Boiko voted “for” and Yevhen Bakulin, for example, did not vote. Dismissal was not supported by the people around Serhiy Lyovochkin and most of the group of the late Ihor Yeremeyev, which, for some time, has not had very positive feelings for the government.
However, the voting of several influential deputies in the president’s faction was even less ambiguous. For example, the dismissal of the government was not supported by Oleksandr Tretiakov and Hlib Zahoriy. Hryhoriy Shverk, who is close to Borys Lozhkin, the head of the president’s administration, did not vote either.
In general, it was not only Kolomoisky. In Poroshenko’s immediate circle the idea of dismissing the government was treated no less skeptically. Why? Because no one wants a new “reallocation” (of government positions — Ed.) By the way, neither do our Western partners.
Did Poroshenko want Yatseniuk’s dismissal? Undoubtedly. He even tried to offer the General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin in exchange for the modification of the Cabinet. The same Shokin who wrote his resignation announcement in time and then suddenly ended up on leave.
But despite his wishes, Poroshenko cannot form a government himself under conditions of highly uneven support, pressure from the West, and the prospect of ending up one on one against Mikhail Saakashvili and company. A genie that he himself released from the bottle.
Yesterday in the Verkhovna Rada it was not a vote for Yatseniuk and it was not a vote against Poroshenko. It was a vote for checks and balances. No matter how faulty the system, no matter who is in it, this system is always better than the usurpation of power by one group. You don’t believe it? Just think of the Viktor Yanukovych “family.”
The financial-industrial groups want balance and stability. So does the West — in other words, the main creditors.
Instability, with the prospect of early elections, is convenient primarily for the conditional Georgian-anticorruption team, for Yulia Tymoshenko, and Samopomich (Selfreliance party). And the sooner the better.
Now is the golden era of populism, and what will happen in six months nobody knows. The so-called “anti-corruption movement” may very well disintegrate and Tymoshenko may hit the “electoral ceiling” and begin to fall.
This is exactly the reason for the violent reaction of Batkivshchyna (Tymoshenko’s party — Ed.), which left the coalition, and for the “anti-corruption movement” spokesmen, who threaten strikes and the plagues of Egypt. Time is against them.
And in the Verkhovna Rada, the oligarchs, the deputies, and the head of state have chosen a “bad peace.” A peace that is extremely fragile with a very unstable government structure and the continuation of public opposition by its branches.
But leaving behind the ambitions of Saakashvili, Tymoshenko and others, if early parliamentary elections do take place, it will only be next year. And then we will see.