On February 16, 2016, at 7:49pm, Ukraine’s Supreme Rada recognized the activity of Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s Cabinet as unsatisfactory with 247 votes. Just 15 minutes later, the Supreme Rada failed to dismiss the Cabinet, as deputies mustered only 194 of 226 votes needed. Under the current legislation, the next motion of no confidence is possible no sooner than at the next session of the Supreme Rada. Yet, Yatsenyuk’s Cabinet did not receive vote of confidence either, as the parliament is not satisfied with its work.
Actually, with its two votes Ukraine’s Supreme Rada demonstrated that it followed the suggestion Petro Poroshenko voiced earlier on the same day. In particular, President Poroshenko made a televised speech saying the country has faced a political crisis, as Yatsenyuk’s Cabinet has lost the support of the government coalition (read: all parties except People’s Front of Yatsenyuk), and according to public opinion polls, more than 70% of voters demand the Cabinet to resign. The president is sure that dissolution of the coalition will “inevitably lead the country into a deep and long-lasting political crisis.” In his speech, Poroshenko said he had suggested Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin to step down (yet last September, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt demanded firing Shokin due to corruption in the system).
Poroshenko offered a “full reload of the government” on condition that Prime Minister Yatsenyuk will decide how to implement that request. Poroshenko’s major demand is that the Cabinet should be reformatted on the basis of the existing government coalition i.e. the coalition will be kept and no snap elections will be required. Dismissal of Poroshenko’s man – the prosecutor general – was perceived as an exchange offer – Shokin for Yatsenyuk. Such an offer to exchange political figures explains the reason why Supreme Rada failed to muster enough votes to force out the Cabinet.
Consequently, the political crisis without government crisis in Kiev became President Poroshenko’s key response to the demands of Washington and Germany to keep the governmental coalition and avoid snap elections in Ukraine. IMF, in turn, warned to curb the financial assistance to Ukraine if the government resigns because of the parliament’s vote of no confidence. However, we would like to note that the International Monetary Fund would hardly refuse from cooperation with those who will come to replace Yatsenyuk and his team, the more so as the new ministers may be acceptable to U.S. and Germany or even may be chosen by them. U.S. and Germany try to make the proxy rule in Ukraine even more manageable and responsive to the external demands.
Actually, the responsibility for the most important political decision is now laid on Prime Minister Yatsenyuk. He must step down as prime minister voluntarily, but keep the governmental coalition as a basis for the activity of the “reformatted” government. The People’s Front Party faction that comprises 81 deputies now hints that it will be in the coalition as long as Arseniy Yatsenyuk is the prime minister. Otherwise, Yatsenyuk’s party faction will join the opposition. However, the People’s Front deputies personally no longer need snap parliamentary elections, as their party has no chances to win. Consequently, they have no chance to get a seat in the new parliament either. They would like to stay at the current Rada until the next parliamentary elections. Actually, Yatsenyuk’s resignation may settle the current political crisis in the country, on the one hand. In case he makes “the right” decision now, a new political crisis may be sparked in the near future. Yatsenyuk can step down as prime minister and take a seat in the parliament. Afterwards, he would be able to press Poroshenko threatening him with a crisis in the governmental coalition.
Anyway, within the current year, even in case of the needed outcome of the current political crisis, we will continue observing the fight between the team of Petro Poroshenko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk, no matter if the latter will keep his post or not. In fact, the ongoing acute political crisis in Ukraine may easily turn into a permanent crisis. Yatsenyuk’s personal decision depends on the will of U.S. Washington’s decision on its henchman Yatsenyuk will probably depend on whether the new prime minister and the “reformatted” government will be acceptable to it. Obviously, U.S. has already suggested the current formula of managing the political crisis. Their man in Yatsenyuk’s Cabinet – Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius –said after his recent resignation that Yatsenyuk’s replacement might help to restore the government’s reputation. Abromavicious believes that Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko – a citizen of U.S. – could be appointed as the new prime minister.
The Supreme Rada deputies have already voiced the issue of reformatting the government from the political body into a team of technocrats. Actually, now Washington has an opportunity to increase the control over the executive power in Ukraine through its people in the reformatted government. However, the currently suggested “cunning” management of the political crisis in Ukraine is a private tactical decision. Essentially, the current political pandemonium in Kiev is a result of the basic shortcomings of post-Soviet Ukraine’s government model. Its transformation into either presidential or parliamentary republic would be a fundamental decision for it. Meantime, any crisis sparks even more rivalry between the president and prime ministers, as both have enough resources to fight against each other.
A strategic solution to the government manageability in Ukraine is needed now. In the light of the current crisis, it was symptomatic that the ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and her Batkivshchyna Party and the anti-corruption movement of the former chief of Ukraine’s Security Service and once CIA agent in Ukraine’s Security Service Valentyn Nalyvaichenko have united. They announced their unity in a news conference last Friday. Nalyvaichenko and Tymoshenko came out for amending the Constitution of Ukraine through drafting and passing a new basic law at a certain constitutional assembly, a kind of non-parliamentary organization, not at the Supreme Rada. Such an unconstitutional path to the new constitution of Ukraine evidently implies a “revolution decision” for a “revolutionary dictatorship.” It is evident that Tymoshenko has again suggested Washington to promote her as the new dictator of Ukraine.
Earlier, Russia feared that radical nationalist organizations would demand dictatorship in Ukraine. However, the present-day Ukrainian “Nazi” did not claim the total order – Ordnung. However, the cultural, historical archetypes awakened by radicals started reviving the medieval Cossacks with their original unfailing attribute – robbery. They failed to create a single Nazi front in Ukraine, but radical nationalists broke up into many small groups and began creating problems to President Poroshenko with their illegal armed violence. Meantime, the protracted passive ATO has turned into a hotbed – a source of weapons for the criminals in the country. Here, we would like to emphasize the political responsiveness of the former prime minister of Ukraine and her companion from the security services. Public request for imposing elementary order in the country is growing. Tymoshenko and Nalyvaichenko offer a solution to the political crisis in Ukraine different from what President Poroshenko suggests.