Queuing up to lead "Kamikaze" Cabinet

Nadia Pryshliak
10:00, 26 March 2016
Politics
396 0
Opinion

Rada Speaker Volodymyr Groysman named as primary nominee for a prime minister’s post. It was announced by the leader of Bloc of Petro Poroshenko faction, Yuriy Lutsenko, as if this particular candidate was put forward by the faction. But after a few minutes, Lutsenko stroke the reporters with frankness, saying that the nomination had yet to be discussed by the faction.

Such frankness is appealing, because it is clear anyway that the nomination was proposed on Bankova Street, at the Presidential Administration. Even more embarrassing is the fact that just a few days ago, this very BPP leader Lutsenko said the faction advocated a technocratic government, to be led by Natalie Jaresko [current Finance Minister]. In turn, Jaresko, naïve as she shouldn’t be, said she didn’t mind heading the government. But then there was a real bummer.

Groysman’s eyes also lit up upon seeing the prospects of Rada Speaker becoming PM. Filled with enthusiasm, he even started calling certain names he would like seeing in his team, said he was ready to present a government program. Although Jaresko is a character far from being convenient to Groysman, he would not dare make decisions regarding her. That’s because those who give Ukraine loans have their own vision of whom they trust more in the issue of allocating the issued funds.

However, there is too much time to go until Tuesday, that is until the plenary week starts. So, none of the nominees can be 100% positive in a positive outcome for themselves.

And all of this happens while Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is still “alive,” tightly gripping his chair which is furiously rocked by many.

And all of this happens while Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is still “alive,” tightly gripping his chair which is furiously rocked by many.

Too many people indeed were waiting for his resignation statement during his weekly “10 minutes with prime minister” televised address. But it was all in vain. For now. It’s not because he believes he would be prime minister forever, but because the bids on his political future are too high, and rising. Really, one thing is talking about "kamikaze" post and vowing to take a “bullet to the head,” but quite another thing is to have any prospects in this country. It is too far to wait for the retirement, while any talks of him considering moving to Canada are likely to be enemy gossip.

Another interesting fact is that most of BPP faction members heard about the allegedly endorsed nomination of Groysman from the media. They claim there were no actual discussions on the issue of nominating Jaresko or Groysman. So backroom negotiations between several close allies of the president shouldn’t be considered a position of the BPP faction.

The nominee for PM’s chair will also be discussed by factions that are not part of Coalition. Yes, that Coalition which seems to be still there, but it may as well not exist. The closer it gets to the issue of Coalition shape, the more opaque everything gets. For example, just recently, Radical Party leader Oleh Lyashko swore that his party had long quit Coalition. Then it turned out that only now did the members of this faction withdraw their signature from the coalition agreement. However, the exit of Samopomich and Batkivshchyna raise no such questions... All this reminds of a family who have split long ago, but keep marriage registration stamps in their passport, not to reminisce of the past, but basically, due to some practical reasons.

By the way, BPP leader Yuriy Lutsenko also threatened to quit coalition if the political crisis was not tackled.

By the way, BPP leader Yuriy Lutsenko also threatened to quit coalition if the political crisis was not tackled. Well, it truly is a "hard" call – without Lutsenko, there will be no coalition, which is in fact already extinct.

At present, Ukraine finds itself in a very bizarre situation: There is no coalition while PM Yatsenyuk remains in office, but a new coalition is sprouting which lauds Groysman as a prime minister. Moreover, there is yet another nominee for a top government post who emerged a bit earlier – Natalie Jaresko.

Absurdity lies in the fact that Ms Jaresko is one of the key ministers in the current government. That’s why she is responsible for economic failures of the Cabinet, almost to the same extent as Yatsenyuk. At the same time, Groysman is one of the key players in the current Ukrainian political elite, and he is also one of the culprits responsible for today’s parliamentary crisis. Remember, it is the Parliament that failed to dismiss the current government, while the Coalition collapsed.

That is, the country now has to be rescued by the people who were in the first ranks of those guiding it toward the abyss.

That is, the country now has to be rescued by the people who were in the first ranks of those guiding it toward the abyss.

In addition, Groysman’s independence in decision-making is also quite questionable. As Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, he clearly acted in the interests of the Presidential Administration. He also used to defy Rada regulations, zealously enough to make Yanukovych’s former allies in Rada bite their elbows.

Of course, Poroshenko would benefit from such government leader, as the cash flows would then concentrate in one pair of hands. Yanukovych was craving for more power, and now Poroshenko seems to have a similar craving. An attempt to carry out decentralization that would give the president more leverage, is delayed so far, as there are no prospects seen so far for the adoption of relevant constitutional amendments. That’s why there is an attempt to appoint a loyalist premier, although Yatsenyuk was not that much of a riot guy. However, the financial interests of the two teams varied, and that lies in the origin of the current crisis.

Indeed, Groysman might get Rada’s support during the vote. Although, the position of People’s Front is far from being certain. BPP faction itself might also face certain inner ambiguities, as evidenced by the past vote for Yatsenyuk’s dismissal. Batkivshchyna can vote for Groysman, as the bargaining is now focused on one single thing – amending the law on elections to the Verkhovna Rada (with proportional system). In this case, Tymoshenko’s party will have a chance to become the leader in the race for early parliamentary elections. The faction hasn’t even applied for any posts in the government, as it benefits more from remaining in opposition. Poroshenko’s team is well aware of all these circumstances. That is why nobody’s going to give up on a majority system of elections. Moreover, history shows that the election results somewhere in the regions can be actually bought with food and money.

... Appointing Groysman prime minister will foster no changes for the country. The Parliament will definitely not start working more smoothly, and the crisis won’t go – it may just become more veiled for a few months. And then, we’ll hear the same old song. It seems, only a miracle could avert early elections this autumn.

Nadia Pryshliak

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