Resolving Ukraine crisis

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

An agreement to hold early parliamentary elections may be the compromise that resolves Ukraine’s ongoing political crisis, writes Anna Górska in EastWeek newsletter.

However, the compromise – reached between President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych on 4 May – will not resolve the wider struggle for power between the president and the government that is currently taking place against a background of an unstable political system and ambiguous legal provisions, Górska argues. 

Although the decision to hold early elections has been taken, the parties cannot agree on a date, with the Party of the Regions calling for an Autumn election and the president insisting that it should take place by 8 July at the latest, according to the newsletter. Progress on this is being hampered by the Communist and Socialist parties, both of whom oppose the idea of early elections. 

For Górska, the crisis has revealed deficiencies in the country’s political system following the amendment of the Constitution – chiefly the incoherence of legal solutions, the weakness of the judiciary and the Constitutional Court, and the tendency of the senior authorities of the state to manipulate the Constitution and the law according to their current needs. 

According the latest polls, the elections will not bring about any major changes to the current composition of the Ukrainian parliament, with 35.5% of voters expected to support the Party of the Regions, and 19.6% and 12.9% opting for the Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine respectively. The other parties expected to pass the 3% threshold required to enter parliament are the Communist Party and the People’s Self-Defence party, predicts the author. 

Górska believes that the only likely legal changes will be those that enable the elections to be held, thus meaning that the real causes of the conflict – originating from the solutions inherent to the system – will not be eliminated. She argues that without further legal amendments and regulations concerning the system itself, the rivalry between the two centres of authority will continue to cause further crises. 

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