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One-party parliamentary majority: Would Zelensky's Servant of the People share and share alike?

Author : Yaroslav Konoshchuk

The one-party majority in the Verkhovna Rada of the ninth convocation was a surprise for President Zelensky’s team
11:20, 1 August 2019

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Would the Servant of the People share and share alike?

The one-party majority in the Verkhovna Rada of the ninth convocation was a surprise for President Zelensky’s team. On the election day, its members even crossed their fingers so that Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s Holos party would go to parliament, which should become a junior partner in the coalition because no one believed in a one-party coalition.

"Our team was shocked by the election results. Of course, everyone expected that the faction would include about 160 MPs. At the same time, we expected to win in about 40-45 majority districts. We thought that we would have to give up the majority, and here we suddenly get such a victory,” 112.ua sources in the Servant of the People party say.

In addition, the winner of the election race is fighting in the courts for another 5 mandates in majority districts, in particular, for the district in Zakarpattia region, where former head of the Presidential Administration Viktor Baloga has been a deputy for many years. Despite the fact that the Servant of the People will have a record parliamentary representation in the history of independent Ukraine, the faction is ready to cooperate with another parliamentary novice - the Holos party.

Related: Nine criminal cases against Ukraine's ex-president Poroshenko: Would he go into slammer?

"Zelensky needs Vakarchuk's international communications," Servant of the People representatives explain the logic of inviting the smallest faction to the coalition.

They don’t want to be friends with Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivschyna party. Dmytro Razumkov, the leader of the pro-presidential political force, said that the Servant of the People would like to see new parties in the power majority. Servant of the People members say Zelensky was convinced of the riskiness of the alliance with Tymoshenko. The point is that Tymoshenko has a lot of political experience, and there is a risk that with such PM, President Zelensky will remain a “ceremonial bystander.”

It is not surprising that the winning party of parliamentary elections has serious personnel ambitions in parliament. Razumkov has very high chances to transfer to become the Speaker of the Parliament. According to 112.ua sources in the party, he is the undisputed favorite.

"He has all the necessary qualities for working as a speaker," our sources in the party assured. In case Razumkov does become the speaker, the faction might be headed by the second number of the list of the party Ruslan Stefanchuk or the future MP David Arakhamia.

The place of current vice-speaker Oksana Syroyid would almost certainly be the representative of the opposition. According to sources 112.ua in Ze!Team, most likely, European Solidarity or Batkivshchyna would chair it.

Cabinet of Ministers would also be subjected to changes soon. The candidatures of Vladyslav Rashkovan, the ex-deputy chairman of the National Bank, and Oleksiy Goncharuk, the deputy chairman of the Presidential Office, are being discussed to hold this position. But National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Danyliuk, who was previously called among the applicants, made it clear that he refuses. The chances of ex-Minister of Economic Development Aivaras Abromavicius are low too.

“Now I have a task to develop the National Security and Defense Council. This was the purpose to appoint me to this position. The field of national security and defense is very important for the president, and this is what I’m working on," Danyliuk said.

Related: Razumkov: Too early to speak of coalition before official results come out

"Batkivshchyna" wants to join the coalition

Unlike the Servant of the People, the election results for Batkivshchyna turned out to be somewhat worse than expected. According to sources 112.ua in Batkivshchyna party office, Tymoshenko expected to get more than 30 mandates. According to preliminary data of the Central Election Commission, they would get some o 26 seats. Even during the parliamentary campaign, one of the most influential MPs from her faction did not deny that Yulia Tymoshenko had nothing against becoming PM for the third time and joining the coalition.

During the parliamentary election campaign, Tymoshenko’s supporters tried to spread a message: you have chosen the people's president, so now a professional prime minister should be chosen. It was rumored on the sidelines of the parliament that Tymoshenko’s premiership was almost a decided fact. However, the results of the parliamentary elections and the one-party majority of the Servant of the People party buried these hopes.

The leader of Batkivshchyna continues to publicly demonstrate that “I go hand in hand with Zelensky.”

“We will do everything to tell the authorities how to change the current economic policy of a raw and backward country to an innovation one,” the former prime minister said on election day, congratulating Zelensky’s party on the victory.

Related: Coalition deal: Who to unite with Zelensky's party in Ukraine's new parliament?

Within a few days, their coalition was seriously questioned. “The head of state does not need a coalition, political allies, because he feels the power to make decisions within his team,” said one of the perennial associates of Tymoshenko, Sergei Vlasenko.

European Solidarity and  Opposition Platform - For Life as an opposition

The results of the parliamentary elections were not a surprise for the rebranded party of Petro Poroshenko. In general, the Poroshenko party, having lost more than 110 MPs’ seats compared to 2014, is preparing for being an opposition.

"Too much dirt was poured on each other," said David Arakhamia, the future MP from the Servant of the People party, explaining the impossibility of a coalition with Poroshenko’s party.

According to our sources, European Solidarity has a chance to get the post of vice speaker in the future parliament.

The party of Yuriy Boyko, Vadym Rabinovych, and Viktor Medvedchuk, as predicted before the start of the election campaign, will have a second faction in the Rada of the ninth convocation. The Opposition Platform - For Life party, consisting of 43 MPs, as well as the European Solidarity, are not wanted to be the winners of the parliamentary coalition. Bogdan Yaremenko, a future Servant of the People’s MP, has already made a proposal to introduce criminal liability “for negotiations with the aggressor state in the absence of appropriate authority” after the visits of representatives of the Opposition Platform - For Life party Yuriy Boyko and Viktor Medvedchuk to gas negotiations with leaders Government of the Russian Federation and Gazprom.

Related: I don't see possible coalition with anyone from previous governments, - Zelensky

And the slightest hint of public cooperation with the Opposition Platform - For Life will hit the popularity of Zelensky’s party. Consequently, they might cooperate on some tactical issues, in particular, regarding the adoption of the legislation necessary for the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Viktor Medvedchuk, chairman of the political council of the Opposition Platform - For Life, has already stated that his political force was ready to support the necessary bills regarding a peaceful settlement in Donbas.

Servant of the People assures it does not see a place for the representative of the Opposition Platform - For Life on the presidium of the parliament.

Read the original text at 112.ua

 

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