Akhmetov's lackeys took the Party of Regions under control

Although the Party of Regions (PoR) faction decided to let Oleksandr Yefremov remain its leader, it stripped him of his powers. For this purpose the MPs created a collective authority. Just as after the spring reform of the PoR, the majority of MPs in the new leadership of its parliamentary faction are led by business tycoon Rinat Akhmetov.

Good advice

The faction of the Party of Regions changed the form of management creating a special managing board - the faction council. “We created a council, which from now on will lead the faction, its decisions will be principal,” MP of the PoR Hanna Herman said in a conversation with Capital.

Capital’s source in the PoR faction said that its leader Oleksandr Yefremov would still serve as its head, but his decisions will be negotiated with the council. “Members of the faction unanimously agreed that all important decisions will be made by the council. The council will consist of seven members,” said the source. He said the leadership of the faction will consist of people called the Rinat Akhmetov’s group – among them Yuriy Voropayev, Borys Kolesnykov, Yevhen Heller, Tetyana Bakhteyeva, Vadym Novynskiy, Hanna Herman and Valeriy Pysarenko.

However, Voropayev, who previously headed the legal department of System Capital Management, says the council will be extended. “At first it was decided that the council will consist of ten people, and then the number was increased. I do not know the exact number of its members,” said Voropayev. He also added that two weeks ago the faction decided to dismiss Yefremov’s deputies.

The official website of the Verkhovna Rada reports that as of June 18 the PoR had the second largest faction in the parliament (80 members). The faction was managed by its chairman, his first deputy and seven regular deputies. The concept of seven deputies was introduced immediately after the parliamentary elections in October 2012. At that time, the faction, which consisted of more than 200 members, was divided into seven groups for more effective functioning. Former First Deputy Chairman of the Party of Regions Mykhailo Chechetov coordinated the process of voting in the parliament, but had no group of his own.

Ceremonial bystander

For the last month the PoR faction has been discussing the possible replacement of its leader. Former member of the PoR Vladyslav Lukyanov said in an interview to Capital that politicians considered an option of giving the chairman’s seat to Akhmetov’s business partner Vadym Novynskiy. At that time, the MPs explained the need to replace Yefremov saying he had paid little attention to the faction and could not arrange talks with the new government on future cooperation.

But after several unsuccessful attempts to dismiss Yefremov a decision was made to develop a different scenario. “All members of the faction must be present in order to its leader to be replaced. There were certain issues with that. So, the MPs decided to go the same path they took when they changed the party leadership, specifically by weakening the role of the faction’s leader. From now on Yefremov is a mere figurehead,” he said.

As a reminder, the PoR amended its statute and changed its form of governance at the party congress in late March. It eliminated the positions of its chairman, honorary chairman, first deputy chairman, deputies and chairman of its political council. A decision was made that the party will be led by an expanded presidium consisting of 11 members. Kolesnykov was elected the secretary of the council and in fact the actual leader of the party. Capital’s sources in the PoR described such management shuffles as “retention of power in the hands of old-timers guided by Rinat Akhmetov”.


Comments (0)
In order to post comments, you must login.