Wednesday, December 08, 2004

End to the revolution: its victory or defeat?

Today Ukrainian parliament has approved the 'package', the amendments to the Ukrainian constitution that will effectively turn Ukraine into parlilamentary-presidential republic.
The package of measures include:

Reforming the Central Election Commission, dismissing the chairman and some other members

Changes designed to reduce possibility of ballot fraud, such as limiting the use of absentee ballots and home voting

Reduced powers for the president who may now only appoint the prime minister, defence and foreign minister, subject to legislators' approval

New functions for the regions, designed to ease tensions between the pro-Yushchenko west and pro-Yanukovych east.

No, as it seems now Ukraine has not yet adopted the German model wherein the president is a purely ceremonial figure (who's currently Germany's president anyway?). But Yushcennko who poised to win "the third round", a new run off between him and Yanukovych, scheduled on December 26, will have the full presidential powers only until September 2005 or the latest until January 2006.

Ultimatley, it's a compromise. Kuchma and Co. now have at least a theoretical chance that they will be able to keep their political influence even after Yushchenko becomes president.
Obviously, there are some who are deeply disappointed in this outcome. They would prefer to get Kuchma in jail rather to make any compromises with him. Although I have no sympathy to Kuchma that doesn't bother me. Politics is the art of the possible.
But what really bothers me is now the game just begins. Whether Yushchenko and his team will be able to outplay Kuchma (I have little doubt that he's up for more dirty tricks) remains to be seen. But now although Yushchenko has got a lot of 'formal' power and has been able to push through some important legislation the power of the mass disconent behind him may now fade away.
The revolution is over politics is back to normal.


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