Patriot games. Yatsenyuk may remain the head of the Cabinet of Ministers until the next parliamentary elections

Yatsenyuk may remain the head of the Cabinet of Ministers until the next parliamentary elections
President Poroshenko still does not take seriously the statement of the resignation of his “Maidan brother-in-arms”
Photo: Konstantin Melnitsky

The government crisis could bring the highest dividends to its main player – Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Despite the vote of confidence to the Premier scheduled for July 31, Yatsenyuk has all the chances of remaining in office until the next parliamentary elections. At this point, the parliament does not have enough votes for his resignation. The indispensability of the premier gives him the opportunity to use the situation as a springboard to launch a personal campaign for the upcoming early elections to the Verkhovna Rada.

Poroshenko will not let Yatsenyuk go

Last Friday, the president met with the leaders of parliamentary factions, VR Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk. At the meeting, inter alia, it was agreed to hold a meeting of the parliament on July 31 and consider a vote of confidence in the prime minister after he tendered his resignation. “The president looks forward to further cooperation with Yatsenyuk and all the staff of the Cabinet, which does not rule out strengthening of the government team,” Poroshenko’s press service stated after the meeting.

The Presidential Administration (PA) still insists that Yatsenyuk should continue to lead the Cabinet, despite the fact that last Friday the government announced a resolution according to which Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman will serve as the Prime Minister. “The Prime Minister is the highest political office and officials should not frivolously relinquish their authority for the long term,” said Representative of the President in the Cabinet Oleksandr Danylyuk.

The government assures that expansion of Groysman’s powers is due to Yatsenyuk’s statement of resignation. However, expert of constitutional law Viktor Musiyaka also doubts the legality of such an argument. “Under the law, the duties of the head of the government are transferred to the First Deputy Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister only in case of the death of the Prime Minister. All our officials are alive and well,” explained Musiyaka.

Noteworthy, according to the Law On the Cabinet of Ministers, the Prime Minister has the right to tender his resignation to the VR. If such a resignation was received during the regular session, the parliament should consider it within ten days. According to information that Capital possesses, there are not enough votes for the acceptance of Yatsenyuk’s resignation in the parliament. “The country is at war and we do not need paralysis of the executive power. The government should continue to work,” said MP Yuriy Syrotyuk (Svoboda), whose faction initiated the collapse of the coalition in collaboration with the UDAR party last Thursday. Capital’s source in UDAR said the faction also did not intend to vote for Yatsenyuk’s resignation. “It looks as though there will be no resignation after all,” he said.

Lawmaker Mykhailo Chechetov (Party of Regions) believes that today the UDAR and Svoboda factions are interested in Yatsenyuk remaining in office. “They want the head of the Cabinet to bear the main weight for the complicated situation in the country. Yatsenyuk decided to jump off the derailed train and announced his resignation. Now UDAR and Svoboda will try to hold him back. They will blame and accuse one other of the future events in Ukraine and Yatsenyuk will say that the VR is not allowing him to work and the partners of the former coalition will accuse him of shirking his responsibility,” said Chechetov.

Yatsenyuk’s Solidarity

A source close to Yatsenyuk told Capital that the prime minister is now considering two options for his future political career, both of which are related to early parliamentary elections. According to the publication’s interlocutor, Yatsenyuk is inclined to participate in the elections outside of the Batkivshchyna party, which Yulia Tymoshenko is currently trying to reform for the needs of her leadership. “Here there are two options: either join the team of Poroshenko or revive his own political project Front for Change (Front Zmin), which has not been completely closed,” said the source.

Lawmaker Volodymyr Polochaninov (Batkivshchyna), former head of the Kyiv oblast organization of the Front for Change, feels that the alliance of Yatsenyuk and Tymoshenko is highly improbable. “Before the elections Batkivshchyna will offer him the second spot on the list and the opportunity to add some of his colleagues to the list. But it is unlikely that he will manage to bring in as many colleagues as he could in 2012 when Tymoshenko was behind bars. Nevertheless, he is still a stranger in this party in which everything is done by the will of Tymoshenko,” said Polochaninov.

The MP does not rule out that Yatsenyuk may attempt to revive the Front for Change. Polochaninov says this would explain the fact that the party appeared in the latest opinion polls again. “I think this is Yatsenyuk’s initiative who is trying to find out whether people still remember his party,” said the MP.

Head of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine Oleksandr Chernenko does not rule out that Yatsenyuk may join Poroshenko’s team. “Poroshenko has a problem with the first place on the list of Solidarity during the elections. Yuriy Lutsenko’s candidacy is not final and if Yatsenyuk manages to overstep his grievances, he could lead the list of the president's party – there are reasons for this,” said Chernenko. He predicts that the premier’s rating will largely influence his participation in the president’s electoral project.

Capital’s source in the PA confirmed that such an option was considered, but no final agreements were reached. He added that it will be possible to judge on the approximation of the president and the prime minister by the results of voting for the government bills that the parliament will consider again on Thursday.

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