Week’s milestones. President speaking of Donbas, MPs - of rating, Government - of reformatting
Poroshenko talked of his vision of the prospects for returning Donbas in his televised address to the nation. The Members of Parliament were much more concerned about their own rating than resolving the country's problems. The Government’s reformatting has been halted.
Last week has passed in an already traditional "Zrada - Peremoga" [Win-Fail] format, which regarded the Paris talks. The absence of formal documents signed or announced in the French capital did not prevent the Ukrainian officials from competing over the versions of how the Normandy Four had given up on Ukraine’s interests. The logic of the local elections is becoming clearer in this context: a number of political parties consider them as a springboard for snap parliamentary election campaign, as the conditions for their holding are steadily ripening.
Petro Poroshenko faces a potential threat of losing a loyal parliamentary majority in the ninth convocation of the Verkhovna Rada. The current European Ukraine Coalition is hardly effective, but it still listens to the President’s wishes. However, a conversation with the leaders of factions and groups on the outcome of the Paris talks was anything but easy. The head of state chose to address the nation last week, telling about his vision of today’s situation. Poroshenko believes that Ukraine must fight for the return of Donbas, while the situation will never be the same as before Crimea’s annexation. Return of the peninsula and the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which remain beyond government’s control, needs internal consolidation of the Ukrainian society, according to the President.
Apparently, it is worth noting that in his speeches before the troops, Poroshenko reminded that while a hybrid war against Ukraine continues, our country is actually engaged in a Patriotic War for its independence. But unlike the military, who crave for important messages of their Commander-in-Chief, the Ukrainian politicians do not always listen closely to presidential speeches. They seem much more interested in party ratings. A survey by Kyiv International Sociological Institute is not only representative in terms of giving the Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchina ["Fatherland"} the first place in the party rating, but in terms of decreasing the number of political forces expected to overcome the so-called 5% percent barrier. It seems that the further developments will work toward one goal – transforming snap parliamentary elections from a category of likely developments to objective reality.
Internal contradictions within the European Ukraine Coalition make it increasingly resemble a scarecrow. Of course, we can console ourselves with the move to permit foreigners serve in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, or the move to introduce budget funding of political parties, but still the Coalition just doesn’t become an effective voting machine. Volodymyr Groisman has declared readiness to fight for parliamentary discipline, but there are no provisions in the Ukrainian legislation for mechanisms of an actual implementation of these good intentions. Ironically enough, it’s the MPs who have to vote even for lifting their own parliamentary immunity.
Atrophy of Rada’s political will makes a swift reformatting of the Ukrainian government quite doubtful. Despite Vyacheslav Kyrylenko informing the Parliament’s conciliatory council of the Cabinet’s readiness to optimize its structure by filling vacancies and reformatting authority in key positions, there will be no opportunity to implement the changes until November. This means that qualitative changes in the Government’s work are postponed, to say the least. But the struggle for government posts will continue “under the counter” by gathering a required number of votes.