“European Ukraine” Ceases to Exist


Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

18th February, 2016


The ruling coalition created in the Verkhovna Rada, “European Ukraine”, has ceased to exist. Included in the composition of the party, “Self-help”, announced on Thursday their exit from the alliance, which lasted just over a year,  thereby depriving it of a majority in Parliament. As was announced at a press conference in Kiev by the leader of the faction Oleh Berezyuk, all the representatives of the parties have also withdrawn from the coalition government and the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada.

The Revolt Of “Self-Help”

The reason for this manoeuvre by “Self-help” became a scandalous event when, in the Parliament on February 16th, deputies first found the work of the coalition government led by Arseniy Yatsenyuk unsatisfactory, but then refused to vote for his resignation.

“The Ukrainian people have witnessed an overt collusion between the leadership of the state, on the one hand, and the oligarchs and the forces in Parliament they control, on the other, Oleh Berezyuk said at a press conference. It was a final attempt at cementing the power of kleptocracy and oligarchy in Ukraine. It became obvious there was a powerful Alliance, which included part of the faction “Bloc of Petro Poroshenko”, “popular front” and the remnants of the Party of regions controlled by a number of oligarchs. Such actions to delegitimised the government of Ukraine are an attack on the state system and have completely destroyed the parliamentary coalition “European Ukraine”.

How it all began

Initially a majority coalition in the eighth convocation Verkhovna Rada was to be elected after the elections on October 26th, 2014, by forming five parties – “Bloc Poroshenko” (BPP), “Samopomich”, “Batkivschyna”, the Radical party and the popular front.

However, on 1st September 2015 the leader of Radical party, Oleh Lyashko, announced the exit of their political forces from the coalition and the transition into opposition after the adoption by the Verkhovna Rada, in the first reading, of amendments to the Constitution of the country in terms of decentralization.

After the Ukrainian Parliament on 16th February failed to remove the government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the faction “Batkivshchyna” and several deputies of the BPP also left the coalition.

As a result of the exit of the faction “Self-help”, the coalition lost its mandatory 226 Deputy seats. Now, according to the regulations, the current Parliament has a month to form a new coalition that will have the required minimum of votes. If this does not happen, Parliament will be dissolved and new elections be announced.

Yatsenyuk is stubborn

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Yatsenyuk himself has already made it clear that he is not going to leave his post after with the collapse of the ruling coalition, which at one time formed his Cabinet.

Commenting on “Samopomich’s” decision, he said, “forgetting about political blackmail and changing the rules of Ukrainian politics.” “I can only sympathize with them, but they need to be able to bear political responsibility, he said,  adding, “We don’t want to throw the country into a pool of instability and chaos.”

“My hand is stretched to the President and his faction,” the Prime Minister stressed. “And not only mine, but all of the faction “popular front” which, together with the presidential coalition, is the basis of a coalition and the basis for change in the country… It must become European”.

“I will hold consultations with the Radical party, and will once again talk to the President and leader of his faction,” said Yatsenyuk.

Possible “reset

Representatives of the “Bloc of Petro Poroshenko” also hope that they will be able to negotiate with other political forces in the Parliament, in particular to return the Radical party of Oleh Lyashko.

“If we are offered a clear plan and execute the plan, I do not exclude that the majority may include the Radical party”, – said the leader of the faction PPO, Yuriy Lutsenko.

The new format of the coalition was also declared by representatives of Radical party.

“Now they (the ruling party) agree on almost all of our conditions. First of all, to our program’s principles, which we have repeatedly stated,” the MP’s said.

The leader of the radicals Oleg Lyashko, on 18th February, from the rostrum of the Rada said that the Radical party is ready to participate in the formation of a new coalition. “If those who are in power are not able to find a common solution, are not able to build the country, we will offer a plan of action. We are ready to participate in the formation of a new coalition, in the new programme of action for the formation of a new government,” he said.

The Cabinet will have to change

But even if the three factions will again be able to agree on a coalition, the government, most likely, will have to change. As was stated by the leader of the faction PPO, Yuriy Lutsenko, they would not cooperate with the government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Lutsenko believes that Yatsenyuk should “reformat his government and present a concrete plan of action, or he must voluntarily resign”. “If this does not happen, the Verkhovna Rada may express no confidence in the Prime Minister. Not the government, namely the Prime Minister,” – said Lutsenko. “The ball is on the side of Yatsenyuk,” – said the leader of the faction.

However, a number of Ministers, according to Lutsenko, should continue working. “We respect roughly eight Ministers, and believe that they should remain in any case. We are satisfied with the work of the Ministers-technocrats, for example, the Minister of Finance, Minister of Infrastructure, Ministers of agriculture, social policy, energy,” he said.

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