Week’s milestones. Reform with trail, biennium without celebrations, and Nadia’s sharp start
The launch of a judicial reform could not do without a political trail. Poroshenko rather gracefully summed up the biennium of his presidency. Nadia Savchenko began her parliamentary career with the bat.
The Verkhovna Rada of trying to prove that its eighth convocation can actually be of some use for the society. At least, the positive vote for the reform of judiciary showed that the legislators are able to rise above partisan interests in order to solve broader national problems. Without effective judicial system, it would be naive to expect any increase of pubilc trust in the government, lest to say the improving the investment climate. That’s because it would be difficult to rely solely on inter-state financial aid and IMF lending in the medium term.
Although three-quarters of MPs people's supported the Constitutional amendments on judiciary, the vote involved certain political overtones. Several opposition politicians armed themselves with slogans on the inadmissibility of amendments to the Basic Law during war and saturated the information space with their assumptions on the president’s intentions to “usurp influence over the judiciary.” Only the real change in the quality of a judicial system can refute such speculation. It is interesting to note that the low amount of coalition deputies did not hinder the adoption of several important bills – on the simplification of import and registration of used cars, on the abolition of taxation of pensions and the refusal of the mandatory registration of foreign investments.
Poroshenko named macroeconomic stabilization in Ukraine his major achievement in the past year as the Head of State. It should be mentioned that the president was obviously more ready for his big presser than many of the present journalists. Besides, Mr Poroshenko had some extra motivation: to disavow as much as possible the diversity of sociological data that ascertain the fall of his ratings and generate skepticism over the prospects of continuation of his presidential career. Poroshenko not only refuted assumptions of the offshore scandal but he also spoke about the talks with the leaders of parliamentary factions and groups in order to achieve a positive result on judicial reform. He announced the development of Constitutional amendments regarding the right of Crimean Tatars to self-determination and admitted there was zero progress on Donbas settlement.
In his assessment of the situation in eastern Ukraine, NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov went even further, branding the past month’s escalation a "Black May" organized by Russia. There is no surprise that the regular meeting of the Trilateral contact group in Minsk saw almost no results. At the same time, Russia’s conditional agreement to arm the OSCE monitors in Donbas with handguns is rather a tactical move by the Kremlin, which is interested in demonstrating the West its negotiability in the context of the conflict in the east of Ukraine.
Yuriy Lutsenko surprised the public when introducing new members of his team. It is the young and ambitious lawyers, most of whom are well-known for their achievements before joining the PGO, who are now Lutsenko’s entourage. The most prominent freshman is Valentyna Telychenko, who was a lawyer in a notorious Gongadze case. Appointed as a "cleaner" of the prosecutor’s office, Petro Shkutyak has also managed to show his better skills. Actually, Lutsenko, himself, will have to persistently prove that he is not a random official in a top prosecutor’s chair. Judging by the high-profile arrest of a deputy head of Mykolaiv regional state administration, the Hero of Ukraine Mykola Romanchuk, the PGO decided to change the approach to their work quite dramatically. This is not surprising, as the stability of power in Ukraine depends largely on successful work of Lutsenko’s subordinates, as well as on the reality of the changes in the judicial system.
Results for party congresses of political forces show that they don’t consider interim parliamentary elections in seven single-mandate constituencies as the last and decisive battle for the strengthening of political influence. Rather, the election on July 17 will be the test of strength for the party activists and the general rehearsal of the future battle for seats in the new parliament.
Nadia Savchenko will most likely try to become another active political player. During her first week as an MP in the Rada, the former prisoner of war hopped from one TV show to another, remaining under tight media attention. She also publicly opposed the judicial reform and support the nominee from the Batkivshchyna party in the above-mentioned mid-term elections in Poltava region. Nadia's desire to plunge as soon as possible into the abyss of parliamentary work can be understood, but it is very important that she does not lose herself.