President´s Rewording Places at Risk Accord Whilst Undermining the Independence of Ukraine´s Judicary

May 30, 2007

Ukraine´s President, Viktor Yushenko, has unilaterally reworded the agreement, placing at risk the accord agreed to last week. Concern expúressed that the Presidnet continues to interfer with the independenace and activities of Ukraine´s Constitutuional Court


Party of Regions warns Yushchenko team it could kill deal

KYIV. May 30 (Interfax) – The Party of Regions of Ukraine may withdraw its signature from an agreement with the president, prime minister, and the parliamentary speaker if the president continues to interfere in the activity of courts and law enforcement authorities, the party warned in a statement circulated on Tuesday evening.

“We deem it necessary to point out that, if the president’s team continues revising the provisions of the ‘statement by the three’, the Party of Regions intends to insist that the party leader annul his signature on the common statement,” it said

In line with Clause 7 of the statement signed by the president, the Verkhovna Rada chairman, and the prime minister on May 27, “the sides commit themselves not to overstep their authority by interfering in the activity of the judicial bodies and law enforcement agencies.”

The Party of Regions said the State Security Guard Service put pressure on Constitutional Court justices and in fact paralyzed the court’s work. In particular, the party said that the chief of this service stayed at the acting Constitutional Court chairman’s consulting room and obstructed his work for more than two hours.

The Party of Regions also accused the presidential secretariat of attempts to revise the joint statement’s provisions by trying to pressure general jurisdiction courts to legitimize the president’s decrees dismissing Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun and a number of Constitutional Court justices and taking control of the Interior Forces. va md

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President´s Rewording Places at Risk Accord Whilst Undermining the Independence of Ukraine´s Judicary

May 30, 2007

Ukraine´s President, Viktor Yushenko, has unilaterally reworded the agreement, placing at risk the accord agreed to last week. Concern expúressed that the Presidnet continues to interfer with the independenace and activities of Ukraine´s Constitutuional Court


Party of Regions warns Yushchenko team it could kill deal

KYIV. May 30 (Interfax) – The Party of Regions of Ukraine may withdraw its signature from an agreement with the president, prime minister, and the parliamentary speaker if the president continues to interfere in the activity of courts and law enforcement authorities, the party warned in a statement circulated on Tuesday evening.

“We deem it necessary to point out that, if the president’s team continues revising the provisions of the ‘statement by the three’, the Party of Regions intends to insist that the party leader annul his signature on the common statement,” it said

In line with Clause 7 of the statement signed by the president, the Verkhovna Rada chairman, and the prime minister on May 27, “the sides commit themselves not to overstep their authority by interfering in the activity of the judicial bodies and law enforcement agencies.”

The Party of Regions said the State Security Guard Service put pressure on Constitutional Court justices and in fact paralyzed the court’s work. In particular, the party said that the chief of this service stayed at the acting Constitutional Court chairman’s consulting room and obstructed his work for more than two hours.

The Party of Regions also accused the presidential secretariat of attempts to revise the joint statement’s provisions by trying to pressure general jurisdiction courts to legitimize the president’s decrees dismissing Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun and a number of Constitutional Court justices and taking control of the Interior Forces. va md


Poll Notes Little Change in Voter Sentiment.

May 29, 2007

A recent public opinion poll published on May 29, 2007 (Source UkrNews) prior to the announcement of the October 30 Parliamentary election confirms little change in voter sentiment with Party of Regions securing over 51% of the parliamentary seats in their own right. The polls have been fairly consistent and the only party to experience a shift in fortune is the Socialist Party of Ukraine, headed by Olexander Moroz, who is currently on 2.8% (0.2% below the 3% parliamentary electoral threshold). If the polling results hold, and all indication is that they will, then the question must be asked – for what purpose has the president initiated his actions. The opportunity for the ppposition parties to strengthen the loyalty of their nominated representatives?


* Note adjustment made for comparison to People’s Self-Defence and Our Urkaine whose results have been combined in the published poll. The “split” is estimated based on previously published polls.

Party Poll% Seats% Seats
Party of Regions 35.6% 51.1% 230
Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko 16.8% 24.1% 109
Our Ukraine 9.0% 12.9% 58
Communist Party of Ukraine 4.6% 6.6% 30
People’s Self-Defence 3.6% 5.2% 23
Socialist Party Ukraine 2.8% 0.0% 0
Natali Vintrenko Bloc 1.8% 0.0% 0
Litvin’s Bloc 1.7% 0.0% 0
Ukrainska Pravyida 1.0% 0.0% 0


Poll Notes Little Change in Voter Sentiment.

May 29, 2007

A recent public opinion poll published on May 29, 2007 (Source UkrNews) prior to the announcement of the October 30 Parliamentary election confirms little change in voter sentiment with Party of Regions securing over 51% of the parliamentary seats in their own right. The polls have been fairly consistent and the only party to experience a shift in fortune is the Socialist Party of Ukraine, headed by Olexander Moroz, who is currently on 2.8% (0.2% below the 3% parliamentary electoral threshold). If the polling results hold, and all indication is that they will, then the question must be asked – for what purpose has the president initiated his actions. The opportunity for the ppposition parties to strengthen the loyalty of their nominated representatives?


* Note adjustment made for comparison to People’s Self-Defence and Our Urkaine whose results have been combined in the published poll. The “split” is estimated based on previously published polls.

Party Poll% Seats% Seats
Party of Regions 35.6% 51.1% 230
Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko 16.8% 24.1% 109
Our Ukraine 9.0% 12.9% 58
Communist Party of Ukraine 4.6% 6.6% 30
People’s Self-Defence 3.6% 5.2% 23
Socialist Party Ukraine 2.8% 0.0% 0
Natali Vintrenko Bloc 1.8% 0.0% 0
Litvin’s Bloc 1.7% 0.0% 0
Ukrainska Pravyida 1.0% 0.0% 0


Ukraine leaders sign joint statement on proposed resolution of current Crisis

May 29, 2007

President Victor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and Speaker Oleksandr Moroz on Sunday morning signed a joint statement to defuse Ukraine’s political crisis.

Joint Statement by the President of Ukraine, the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Prime Minister of Ukraine on Urgent Measures Aimed at Resolving the Political Crisis Through Early Parliamentary Elections

May 27, 2007

Being fully aware of the responsibility for the country’s social, political and economic situation, guaranteeing that there will be no escalation of the political crisis, seeking to resolve it as quickly as possible through exceptionally peaceful means on the basis of talks involving the leading political forces, guided by the Constitution of Ukraine and wishing to uphold the nation’s interests and preserve the country’s unity, the sides have agreed to:

1. for the purpose of creating proper conditions enabling the citizens to exercise their constitutional rights, ensure that there are no attempts to aggravate the conflict in society and prevent all possible actions provoking the use of force;

2. hold an early parliamentary election on September 30, 2007;

3. accept that this election will be held to implement the President’s decree based on paragraph 2 of article 82 of the Constitution of Ukraine;

4. hold plenary sessions of the Verkhovna Rada on May 29-30 to adopt and enact the bills for conducting fair, transparent and democratic elections, particularly:

pass and enact the draft laws worked out by the authorized representatives of the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers, the parliamentary coalition and the parliamentary opposition;
readopt the laws passed between April 2 and May 29, 2007;
pass and enact the necessary WTO laws and other legal acts on economic issues.
5. ensure that the Cabinet of Ministers and the Central Election Commission oversee the implementation of the Law on the State Voting Register;

6. appoint new members of the Central Election Commission to fulfill the agreements reached by the authorized representatives of the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers, the parliamentary coalition and the parliamentary opposition for the purpose of holding fair, transparent and democratic elections;

7. pledge not to abuse their authority to interfere with the work of the judicial branch of government and law enforcement bodies.

President of Ukraine V.A. Yushchenko

Verkhovna Rada Speaker O.O. Moroz

Prime Minister of Ukraine V.F. Yanukovych


Ukraine leaders sign joint statement on proposed resolution of current Crisis

May 29, 2007

President Victor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and Speaker Oleksandr Moroz on Sunday morning signed a joint statement to defuse Ukraine’s political crisis.

Joint Statement by the President of Ukraine, the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Prime Minister of Ukraine on Urgent Measures Aimed at Resolving the Political Crisis Through Early Parliamentary Elections

May 27, 2007

Being fully aware of the responsibility for the country’s social, political and economic situation, guaranteeing that there will be no escalation of the political crisis, seeking to resolve it as quickly as possible through exceptionally peaceful means on the basis of talks involving the leading political forces, guided by the Constitution of Ukraine and wishing to uphold the nation’s interests and preserve the country’s unity, the sides have agreed to:

1. for the purpose of creating proper conditions enabling the citizens to exercise their constitutional rights, ensure that there are no attempts to aggravate the conflict in society and prevent all possible actions provoking the use of force;

2. hold an early parliamentary election on September 30, 2007;

3. accept that this election will be held to implement the President’s decree based on paragraph 2 of article 82 of the Constitution of Ukraine;

4. hold plenary sessions of the Verkhovna Rada on May 29-30 to adopt and enact the bills for conducting fair, transparent and democratic elections, particularly:

pass and enact the draft laws worked out by the authorized representatives of the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers, the parliamentary coalition and the parliamentary opposition;
readopt the laws passed between April 2 and May 29, 2007;
pass and enact the necessary WTO laws and other legal acts on economic issues.
5. ensure that the Cabinet of Ministers and the Central Election Commission oversee the implementation of the Law on the State Voting Register;

6. appoint new members of the Central Election Commission to fulfill the agreements reached by the authorized representatives of the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers, the parliamentary coalition and the parliamentary opposition for the purpose of holding fair, transparent and democratic elections;

7. pledge not to abuse their authority to interfere with the work of the judicial branch of government and law enforcement bodies.

President of Ukraine V.A. Yushchenko

Verkhovna Rada Speaker O.O. Moroz

Prime Minister of Ukraine V.F. Yanukovych


New Elections Not Enough to Ease Underlying Ukranian Tensions

May 28, 2007

Key parliamentary votes are due in Ukraine this week to finally resolve a long-running political crisis by setting the groundwork for early elections. But some fear even these steps won’t heal the ex-Soviet republic.

Source dw-world

The two rivals in the power struggle, President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, agreed on Sunday to hold elections on September 30 but their deal hinges on parliamentary votes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Once the votes are passed, Yushchenko is to formally set the election date.

“Agreement on the date is only the beginning of the end of the crisis and the vote in parliament will be its final point,” Vadim Karasyov, head of the Institute for Global Strategies in Kiev, told reporters.

An earlier agreement to resolve the crisis fell through last month.

The votes include parliamentary approval of financing for the elections and changes in the make-up of the central elections commission to allow greater representation for members of Yanukovych’s ruling Regions party.

Under the deal hammered out between the president and the prime minister, parliament is also due to approve a series of bills easing Ukraine’s bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Sharp differences may hinder elections

The two Viktors are still poles apart on many issues

The two Viktors are still poles apart on many issues

Political analyst Kost Bondarenko said he did not expect the parliamentary to pass off smoothly as there are sharp differences between Yushchenko supporters and Yanukovych loyalists in the legislature.

Yushchenko has set WTO membership as a key goal for Ukraine but has faced opposition among Yanukovych allies in parliament on measures aimed at liberalising the economy.

Despite the show of unity by Yushchenko and Yanukovych on Sunday — the two even attended the Ukrainian Cup final together later in the day — tensions were barely below the surface.

“If the opposition fulfils all the conditions to allow the president to sign the order, then there will be early elections and as lawful citizens we will take part in them,” Yanukovych said in lukewarm comments about the deal.

His Regions party took the lion’s share of the vote in parliamentary elections last year and is expected to do well again in any upcoming elections.

President seen as a failure by many

Yushchenko has failed on his promises, some say

Yushchenko has failed on his promises, some say

In the eyes of many Ukrainians, pro-Western Yushchenko has failed to live up to his promises of a bright economic future and international integration made during the Orange Revolution in 2004.

A poll by the Sofia research centre earlier this month gave the Regions party 41 percent of voting intentions. Another poll by the International Sociology Institute in Kiev gave it 35.5 percent. Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party scored just 15.9 percent and 12.9 percent.

But, despite Yanukovych’s power, his coalition with the Socialist and Communist parties is fragile and faces a challenge from Yushchenko ally Yulia Tymoshenko, whose party is expected to come second.

In the Orange Revolution, mass street protests helped bring Yushchenko to the presidency and Tymoshenko to the prime minister’s post, overturning a flawed vote initially granted to his Moscow-backed rival Yanukovych.

Dissoultion of parliament led to troop build-up

Troops loyal to the president massed at the weekend

Troops loyal to the president massed at the weekend

The latest political crisis between Yushchenko and Yanukovych began on April 2, when the prime minister defied orders from the president to dissolve parliament and hold early elections.

As the power struggle escalated, thousands of protestors held rival rallies in the capital Kiev and, last week, Yushchenko and Yanukovych ratcheted up the tension still further by sparring for control of security forces.

International powers, including Ukraine’s giant neighbours Russia and the European Union, have expressed concern at the crisis and urged both sides to refrain from any use of violence.