President Zelensky's opponents thirst for revenge: Are they ready for it?

Author : Gurgen Grygoryan

Source : 112 Ukraine

Many experts and citizens believe that the fifth president of Ukraine when trying to stay in his office, conducted the dirtiest election campaign in the entire history of the country
12:30, 28 May 2019


Many experts and citizens believe that the fifth president of Ukraine when trying to stay in his office, conducted the dirtiest election campaign in the entire history of the country. Mud-slinging and indiscriminate demagogy, the purchase of Tomos for Ukrainian church and the introduction of martial law, however, did not help him. And then he put into effect the “plan B” developed by his team, which included obvious “sabotage actions” aimed at the new president. For 28 days from the date of the second round of elections, Poroshenko made two hundred personnel appointments, distributed to the right and mostly left state awards and titles. Poroshenko things that this should complicate the work of his successor. And moreover, he announced his intention to return to the president’s office in a year or in some five years.

Most of the 37% in the first round and 73% in the second, who voted for Zelensky, actually protested against Poroshenko’s government. And the new president inherited huge Augean stables, for clearing of which both a powerful team and a considerable time would be needed. However, the resistance of the former politicians is still great, and they are clearly not going to surrender without a fight. When voting for Zelensky, we had no idea how he could defeat this fire-breathing dragon, fighting against its people with tariffs and prices, bans, and blockades. However, the multi-headed dragon is still powerful, and he desperately snaps and resists. His special forces, the National Front, even made a formal attempt to thwart the early parliamentary elections by announcing their withdrawal from the non-existent parliamentary coalition. However, on May 21, President Zelensky issued a decree on holding elections on July 21.

Related: Ukraine's early parliamentary elections: Who might enter Verkhovna Rada this summer?

The president’s decision to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada will be appealed to the Constitutional Court, Speaker Andriy Parubiy wrote on Facebook, because, in his opinion, “it’s sad and alarming that the guarantor of the Ukrainian Constitution begins his activity in office with a gross violation of the Constitution. A bad sign.” And here I want to draw attention to two points:

1) Presidential Decree No. 309 speaks of the termination of the activities of the 8th Verkhovna Rada and the appointment of early elections. The term "dissolution" is not even used there;

2) Over the past 5 years, the post-Maidan authority has systematically violated so many laws and articles of the Constitution, why Parubiy kept silence then?

Judging by the development of events, Poroshenko will not so much directly target Zelensky, but rely on revenge. However, agreement on early elections and the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers suggests that there would be no tough confrontation.

Ukrainian MP Tetiana Chornovol scares the newly elected president with a tragic perspective: “Why am I against the dissolution of the parliament? Because I have participated in three Maidan revolutions (Ukraine had only two Maidan revolutions in 2004 and 2013, - ed.) and I don’t want to go to the Maidan against Zelensky. I want him to serve his term in full. But if he starts by dissolving, he will dig a hole for himself. He needs to appoint hundreds and hundreds of people in the presidential vertical. After the elections, nothing will prevent Ze!Team from forming a coalition with Yanukovych’s former allies from Party of Regions. It will not only the most anti-Ukrainian parliament, but also oligarchic one. Coalition for two: Ihor Kolomoysky with Dmytro Firtash. Or for three – plus Rinat Akhmetov."

Related: Oligarch Kolomoysky: I'll support anyone but Poroshenko in parliamentary election

The head of the District Administrative Court of Kyiv, Pavlo Vovk, explains that the president has the right to call early elections even after the parties leave the coalition. In addition, the District Administrative Court already has a lawsuit banning 180 officials from leaving Ukraine, including former president Petro Poroshenko, parliamentary speaker Andriy Parubiy, and PM Volodymyr Groysman. And the court accepted it for consideration.

Former Justice Minister Olena Lukash is also confident that the sabotage of the “war party” just has no chance: “Something tells me that the District Court is awaiting a lawsuit declaring Parubiy’s actions (declaring about the absence of coalition) unlawful. And the suit will be extremely promising.” In her opinion, there has been no coalition since February 2016, and since 2010, the head of parliament has been denied the right to declare the absence of a coalition. “This is a chess check, dear National Front!” Lukash comments.

The announcement of early elections right during Zelensky’s inauguration was an unpleasant surprise for many people. Immediately after the ceremonial meeting, speaker Parubiy, ex-president Poroshenko, PM Groysman, and former PM, National Front leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk, confined to the “last supper”.

Related: Groysman to run for snap elections to Verkhovna Rada with his own Ukrainian strategy party

Oleg Lyashko believes that unpopular MPs should not argue with the president: "There are no constitutional grounds for the dissolution of the Rada. This is a purely political decision. But we are going to early elections, because society expects it." In fact, MPs have already “surrendered” to Zelensky, having agreed to early elections and even to adopt a new electoral code, Danyil Bogatyriov, Ukrainian Institute for Policy Analysis and Management expert, states.

An ardent supporter of both presidents (Viktor Yushchenko and Petro Poroshenko) and vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Iryna Gerashchenko, very emotionally commented on the inauguration of Volodymyr Zelensky. "I’ve heard about the release of political prisoners and territories. For me, this is very important..." she wrote on Facebook.

May 15, the authorized representative of the President of Ukraine for the peaceful settlement of the situation in the Donbas resigned as the representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup of the Tripartite Contact Group in Minsk. At the same time, Gerashchenko added that she was ready to help the new president with the negotiations in Minsk. This, to put it mildly, is puzzling: Gerashchenko is famous for her unconstructive and even scandalous position at these negotiations in the Belarusian capital. So the new president should refrain from such "help."

Related: Zelensky not to file bills until election of new parliament

Gerashchenko continues to criticize Zelensky: “I did not hear about the Revolution of Dignity, the aggression of the Russian Federation, the EU, NATO, the Victory.” I don’t know what victory she had in mind, but the President began his speech mentioning of pleasant election results. And, yes, the North Atlantic Alliance was mentioned in its inaugural speech.

Political expert Yulia Piletska comments on the situation with the confrontation of the new president. "If the political establishment (including ex-president Poroshenko) attacks Zelensky in his attempts to implement initiatives that represent a massive popular request (such as dissolving parliament, for example), then all these politicians will go to margins as representatives of the old epoch and, accordingly, will inevitably lose their rating. We see that now Ukrainians have a very tough mass request for decisive optimistic actions by those in power. Whiners and critics will be sent to political oblivion," Piletska predicts.

Washington cartel has supported Zelensky in his decisive actions. US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry voiced the "blessing" of President Donald Trump: "The message from America is quite clear: we look forward to working with the new president, I hope, with the new parliament."

It is very symptomatic that after the words of US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry that American President Donald Trump is looking forward to working with the new parliament, Ukraine’s main political players have sharply agreed to the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada and early elections, Serhiy Slobodchuk, political strategist, explains.


Related: 2019 European Parliament elections: Ukraine's European intergration under question?

It is very difficult to quickly fulfill all election statements and promises (Poroshenko did not fulfill them at all). And Zelensky’s credit of trust is not endless, Igor Guzhva, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, believes. MP Vadym Rabinovich urged to abolish the majority system so that it would not allow “buyers of mandates” to go to parliament: “Majoritarian MPs are killing Ukraine year after year, this is what causes colossal corruption. If we reelect half of the parliament by the party lists again, and a half - by majority electoral system, then any next government would buy majoritarian MPs to gain the missing percentage."

It would be strange if Poroshenko’s entourage, having lost the election campaign with a crash, would simply give up power and go into oblivion, Oleksandr Golub, politician, suggests. “They understand the objective weaknesses of the new president: inexperience, lack of a clear program of action, vagueness, and inconsistency of his ideological position, lack of personnel and an organized political force on which the newly elected president could rely. In my opinion, Zelensky has only one real chance: to stop flirting with the losing opponents, to begin to fulfill his promises, to conduct a public audit of the country, to maximally publicly investigate all corruption frauds and to punish the guilty persons meaningfully, whatever posts they occupy, to really stop military operations in Donbas, to appeal directly to their voters by making them members of their team," Golub concludes.

Related: Ukraine's Foreign Minister to run in parliamentary elections

Lawyer Andriy Portnov, who returned to Ukraine, took up the business of Poroshenko and his friends: "Our large legal team started filing complaints about Poroshenko’s crimes on the very first day after the inauguration. We systematized the main crimes of his organized criminal group." Given the already high anti-rating of the former president and, accordingly, his entourage, their chances of passing into the future parliament will melt. "All this activity should turn Poroshenko’s parliamentary faction into an insignificant political force so that they could not win the next parliamentary elections. And so Poroshenko’s supporters could not influence public life and state policy in our country," Portnov stated.

Most observers were convinced that Petro Poroshenko and the MPs would resist, political consultant Vasyl Stoyakin noted. “The parliament unexpectedly quickly capitulated. Most likely, it was a categorical imperative of the Washington cartel, to create the impression of a peaceful and democratic transition of power. Therefore, resistance to the new president would be sluggish, and this would not lead to the disruption of the elections,” Stoyakin concludes.

The former authorities also hate Zelensky’s initiative to hold a referendum on the format of the negotiation process with Russia, as reported by Andriy Bogdan, the head of the Presidential Administration: "We are considering submitting to a people's referendum so that not only the MPs vote but the people of Ukraine could make this decision. " And it will be impossible to object to the opinion of the people.

Related: Implacable Adversity: Moscow’s Response to Zelensky’s Election in Ukraine (Part Two)

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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 112.International and its owners. 

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