The struggle for influence on law enforcers lead coalition talks into a deadlock

The struggle for influence on law enforcers lead coalition talks into a deadlock
Photo: Ivan Chernichkin

The Petro Poroshenko Bloc (PPB) and the People’s Front promise to agree on the composition of the future government next week. But it will be difficult for them to find common ground — for now the allies have major disagreements regarding the names of future ministers and their duties.

«Stumbling minister»

The coalition talks between the PPB and the PF are producing no results due to disagreement over the post of the Interior Minister. «The Interior Minister is the most debatable office seeing as at the moment the candidates for this position are essentially a political issue,» said lawmaker Volodymyr Kurinniy (UDAR). But two sources in the Presidential Administration said that it is not so much about the candidacy of the future Minister of Internal Affairs, as about the distribution of the balance of power in the entire law enforcement block. «Coalition talks came to a deadlock because of Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s demand to give Oleksandr Turchynov the post of First Deputy Premier in combination with the position of Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council. At the same time, Yatsenyuk wants Turchynov to supervise all law enforcement agencies,» said Capital’s source in the PA.

The source added that in this way the premier’s team is trying to compensate for the possible loss of the position of the Interior Minister. Member of the Political Council of the People’s Front Viktoria Syumar assured Capital that this information is false. However, a source of the publication close to Turchynov confirmed that such a proposal was made, though «it was only one of the options».

Sore spot

Kurinniy says that the post of the Interior Minister is not the only controversial issue. «There is a struggle regarding the Minister of Finance and the State Fiscal Service. The negotiation process is moving forward, though it cannot be called smooth sailing,» he stressed.

Syumar said that the party insists on preserving the positions of Arsen Avakov as Interior Minister, Pavlo Petrenko as Minister of Justice and Ostap Semerak as Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers. «But we are ready to negotiate the latter,» she specified.

Our source in the AP says that most complaints from the president’s team were raised by Yatsenyuk’s candidate for the office of the Minister of Infrastructure. «Yatsenyuk wants the Ministry of Infrastructure. His candidate is Serhiy Fayermark. Virtually he is the „wallet“ for the Front for Change, i.e. Yatsenyuk. The Ministry of Infrastructure, being the heir to the Ministry of Transport, is the wealthiest ministry in the country,» said the source. Syumar assures that «there is no final decision on the matter».

As a reminder, Fayermark was elected to the VR from the list of the People’s Front. He is the co-owner of Stalkanat-Silur, the largest Ukrainian enterprise producing metal goods. In 2011–2012 the company has repeatedly reported about political pressure of the authorities. In the past Yatsenyuk himself confirmed that Stalkanat-Silur was one the sponsors of the Front for Change on air of the TVi channel.

Our sources say the president plans to appoint Vitaliy Kovalchuk, who led the parliamentary election campaign of the PPB, for the post of First Vice Premier.

Personnel quarrels

Capital’s source in the PF says that at the beginning of the week there was a quarrel between Yatsenyuk and Head of the PA Borys Lozhkin during the new round of coalition talks. «They did not agree on personnel matters. They made some suggestions which were totally out of reason. Their dispute has not given any results,» said the source.

Syumar says relations between Yatsenyuk and Lozhkin are formal, which is evidenced by their frequent meetings, the last of which was held on Wednesday evening. Our source close to Turchynov said at the meeting that the parties agreed on the distribution of parliamentary committees between the factions. «They made a special table of quotas for representations of factions. Quotas included not only the position of the head of the committee, but also first deputies and secretaries. Distribution was based on the size of the factions. In general they distributed 117 positions,» said the source.

The PPB receives almost half of the administrative positions — 49, the PF got 30, and Samopomіch — 12, according to the document on distribution of committees, a copy of which is available to Capital.

The list also includes the Opposition Bloc (OB), Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party and Batkivshchyna. For example, the OB faction was given two posts of heads of committees. The committees will be chosen at a later date. Interestingly enough, for now there are no quotas for groups of MPs, which are quickly being formed in the parliament today. Syumar says the negotiators plan to agree on the future composite of the government by the end of next week.

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