Lyashko and Tymoshenko join the coalition talks

Lyashko and Tymoshenko join the coalition talks
Photo: Konstantin Melnitskiy

Tomorrow the Petro Poroshenko Bloc (PPB), People’s Front (PF) and Samopomich will hold the next round talks on forming a coalition. According to information that Capital possesses, representatives of the Batkivshchyna and Radical parties are planning to join them in the talks for the first time. The latter already have demands regarding the posts in the government.

Seven roads

Yesterday seven groups began working on developing new directions of reforms that should become the basis of the agreement of the future coalition in the Verkhovna Rada. As head of the election headquarters of the PPB Vitaliy Kovalchuk told Capital, the groups are formed of representatives of the president’s political force, the PF and Samopomich, as well as experts.

The parties decided to divide amongst themselves responsibility for organizing the work of these groups. As such, the PPB will manage the sphere of constitutional and political and legal reforms (i.e. anti-corruption, judicial reforms, decentralization of public administration and reform of the law enforcement system). The pro-presidential union also will assume responsibility for the work of the group on reform of the budget and finances, the residential housing authority and the infrastructure. The PF will focus on the national defense and social-humanitarian spheres, while Samopomich will work on energy independence and reform of the agro-industrial complex.

“According to the results of the groups’ work a framework document will be drafted in which the directions and content of each of the reforms and terms of their implementation will be delineated,” Kovalchuk specified. He said most likely the document will be divided into two sections: the first will be the agreement on positions and the second will contain issues for debate that will be raised and discussed on Thursday at the third meeting of the negotiating group on forming the coalition. “So far, we are finding common grounds, though disputes on certain points should be expected,” he said.
Members of the People’s Front have their own vision of what is transpiring. “On Thursday the final version of the reform project will be presented in the coalition agreement. The working groups are coordinating the participation of three authorized representatives from each of the political forces, which means that nothing sensational should be foreseen,” Vyacheslav Kyrylenko told Capital. Also, member of the working group representing Samopomich Oleh Berezyuk said the list of reforms and their plan of implementation will be made public on Friday or Saturday.

However, a source of the publication close to the parties engaged in talks said that today the main conflict between the negotiators is not associated with the list of reforms, rather the composite of the government and the accountability of the president and the coalition for these reforms. “So far, the process of approval of the text of the coalition agreement is public, while the decisions on staffing issues are non-public. There are also disputes as to the decentralization of the powers that be and the management of local finances,” the source said.

Lyashko power hungry for authoritative posts

On Monday the working group on the coalition agreement once again proposed to the Radical Party (RP) and Batkivshchyna to join in on common work, says Berezyuk. Deputy Dmytro Shlemko, who won a seat in the VR on the Batkivshchyna list, told Capital that the party is ready to join in on the talks. In particular, a decision was made to delegate Andriy Kozhemyakin, Serhiy Vlasenko and Ivan Kyrylenko for the consultations on Thursday. Shlemko said the party was waiting for the winners of the elections to define the format of the future coalition.

“The PPB and the PF as winners tried to reach an agreement on the sidelines, but they failed to form a majority required for the approval of amendments to the Constitution. The president’s team did not expect that it would lose and now it is guided by the European principle of “who has the majority in parliament will form the government,” a representative of Batkivshchyna noted.

Member of the election list of the RP Ihor Popov informed Capital that his political force has not received an official invitation to join the aforementioned talks, though it is ready to participate in them. In particular, colleagues of Lyashko support the proposal on cancellation of deputy immunity, a transition to a proportional electoral system and a package of laws necessary for European integration. Moreover, Popov said the RP will insist on a ban of the sale of agricultural land and an increase in the lease payment for the use of subsoils. “If our positions are heard, we are ready to join the coalition. We have no other staff ambitions, but there is a list of individuals that are ready to take up certain posts,” the deputy added, though he refused to provie their surnames. Shlemko, on the contrary, says that Batkivshchyna is not contending for posts for participating in the coalition, though it will insist on a proportional electoral system and review of the issue of Ukraine’s neutral status outside of the NATO bloc.

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