Power games

Ihor Kolomoiskiy and Petro Poroshenko renew the fight for control over Odesa

Ihor Kolomoiskiy and Petro Poroshenko renew the fight for control over Odesa
Photo: omr.gov.ua

The Odesa Oblast Council scuppered the election of its chair. Deputies refused to support the representative of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc (PPB). The president’s team blames the oblast administration influenced by Ihor Kolomoiskiy for this.

Broken balance

On Friday the Odesa Oblast Council was left without its chairman. Oleksiy Honcharenko, who was elected to this post in mid-August, tendered his resignation as he was elected a people’s deputy on the list of the PPB. While in August the candidacy of Honcharenko was confirmed immediately by a large reserve of votes, this time attempts to elect his successor failed.

Only two candidates were put up for vote — Deputy Chair of the Oblast Council Petro Khlytsov and First Deputy Chair of the Oblast Council Mykhailo Shmushkovych. Honcharenko called on voting for the latter as he represents of president’s team. However, not one of the contenders garnered the necessary support: Shmushkovych gained 62 votes and Khlytsov — 44.

«All anti-Ukrainian forces with the support of local oligarchs rallied around Khlytsov. Strange as it may seem, they were supported by certain officials of the oblast administration. But this should come as no surprise as those officials that were subject to lustration in the Odesa oblast instead of being dismissed from office are appointed advisors of the governor and basically continue to manage affairs in the region,» Honcharenko wrote on his Facebook after the meeting, saying that the «attempt of the anti-Ukrainian insurrection» failed.

Khlytsov denies all such accusations. «A powerful financial resource was used against me. There is a plan to turn the oblast council into a private enterprise in order to be able to control it from a distance,» Khlytsov told Capital.

Leader of the regional division of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU) Anatoliy Boyko suspects that the Odesa Oblast State Administration is indeed complicit in the scandal that former members of the Party of Regions voted for Khlytsov or did not give additional votes in support of the representative of the PPB. «They did not vote for the henchman of Ihor Palytsia, rather against the protégé of Honcharenko. After all, today the power structure of Kolomoiskiy in the oblast is depending on former members of the PoR, who support him out of their personal interests,» Boyko told Capital.

According to a source of Capital in the PPB, Honcharenko’s candidacy for the post of Head of the Odesa Oblast State Administration was seriously considered. However, the president decided not to enter into a conflict with the head of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast State Administration Ihor Kolomoiskiy, who recommended that Palytsia should hold this post. «In this way a semblance of a balance of power was preserved in region and now attempts are being made to sway the balance,» Palytsia pointed out.

Palytsia and Honcharenko were elected on the list of the PPB in the early parliamentary elections. A source of Capital in the presidential party says Palytsia already announced that he will join the PPB, though the fact that he will leave the post of chairman of the Oblast State Administration was not officially announced.

Tension rising

People’s deputy Volodymyr Kurenniy (UDAR) says the voting in the oblast council proves the failure of the policy of Kyiv concerning the regions. «Everything that is happening in Odesa is a result of the experiment conducted with the people — namely, implantation of the Dnipropetrovsk model of administration. In my opinion, this model did not work and the government does not have a concrete strategy,» he stressed, adding that as of late the oblast council did not play a major role in the life of the region, while local elite was scattered. Boyko believes that the oblast administration tried to exploit this factor. He interprets the latest events as an exacerbation of the conflict between Kolomoiskiy and Poroshenko and predicts further complication of the situation.

«The Odesa oblast controlled by Kolomoiskiy poses a threat to the status of Poroshenko as the leader of the country. While the head of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast State Administration retains control over Odesa and the entire region, he also preserves his influence on the neighboring Kherson and Mykolayiv oblasts. I believe this situation won’t be left at that. This means the conflict will flare up,» Boyko assures.

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