Single-party coalition: Seven risks for Zelensky's Servant of the People party

Author : Natalia Lebed

Source : 112 Ukraine

The presidential party breaks the entire bank. It takes all the ministerial portfolios, including the post of head of government, and it also claims to chair the majority of parliamentary committees
09:29, 5 August 2019

Open source

"The coalition already exists, the “mono legislative majority” is real... the coalition will take away all ministerial seats, there would not be opposition in the government. In the parliament, I think some committees will be given to the opposition so that no one doubts the democratic nature of the new government,” says Andriy Gerus, the representative of the president in the government, said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

The presidential party breaks the entire bank. It takes all the ministerial portfolios, including the post of head of government, and it also claims to chair the majority of parliamentary committees.

A narrow gap of possibilities remains only for the Holos party of Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, however, Gerus shies away from a direct answer, saying “ we’ll see.” Meanwhile, Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna, ex-president Poroshenko’s European Solidarity, and Opposition Platform - For Life would have nothing. And the only question is how long the listed political forces inclusive with their ambitious leaders will stay on a starvation diet.

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

Undoubtedly, Zelensky and his circle of associates have their own reasons in order to cut off all potential partners from the government. And these reasons are too obvious. Therefore, let us think about what the monopoly on power can lead to.

  1. Loss of control over parliament

Everything is clear here. When taking power only on itself, the Servant of the People loses its understanding of what is happening outside this magic circle. And completely unties the hands of the factions that did not get a single portfolio. And no one knows on what insidiousness the politicians, who went to parliament for power and got seats in the press box, are capable of. “Allies are needed in a state of political turbulence,” notes Andriy Zolotariov, the head of the Third Sector Center. But Zelensky does not seem to understand this.

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

  1. Loss of control over the coalition, that is, over its own faction

This second point is to some extent derived from the first. Feeling the sweet taste of triumph and being in euphoria from an unexpectedly easy victory, the Zelensky faction (so-called "mono-coalition") might get out of the control of his leader. It would seem that this is unprofitable for the members of the faction themselves. But, as international political analyst Anton Kuchukhidze notes, "today, some political newcomers are starting to share stories about how someone came to them and suggested something." In other words, the work to identify potential "party-hoppers" began.

“To prevent MPs from joining rival forces, they started talking about an imperative mandate. I also heard about the development of a provision according to which the MP can be held accountable for violation of internal party discipline - I have no idea how this can be done in a democratic parliament,” Bohdan Petrenko, Deputy Director of the Ukrainian Institute of Research of Extremism, notes. "Because representatives of big business are far from all delighted with the results of the Servant of the People," Kuchukhidze adds.

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

“There might be a situation when a group of 35-40 MPs from the Servant of the People would act in unison with the“ strangers,” and not with their own faction. The voices can be dragged, and the coalition would have to look for additional people,” Petrenko says.

  1. Endless coalitions

The fate of the law on the imperative mandate is in the hands of the “mono-coalition.” Understanding how such a law threatens their well-being, MPs from the Servant of the People might easily fail it. And there is no law - there is no responsibility for the “party-hoppers” or for situational betrayal during the voting. Thus, there is no parliamentary majority. What will happen next? Endless coalitions. Parliament will be subjected to upheavals all the time, as political analyst Ruslan Bortnyk suggests; this convocation would survive more than one parliamentary majority.

Related: Would Vakarchuk become Zelensky's 'little Poroshenko?'

  1. Revenge from the “offended forces”

This item is also derived from those previously mentioned. Those who have been bypassed by the authorities are unlikely to reconcile with their secondary status. Andriy Zolotariov predicts that in the fall, the forces that stand behind Vakarchuk and are associated with George Soros and the US Democratic Party will launch their first campaigns to discredit Zelensky. Of course, in the event that the Holos does not receive a single piece of a powerful pie.

  1. Inevitable drop in rating

Sole power is always risky. After all, then everything will fall on Zelensky’s shoulders, including payment of external debts. That is why responsibility with coalition partners meets the president’s interests.

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

"The team is very presumptuous, so the Servant of the People reflects on the fact that they would bear absolutely all responsibility for the events in the country. They still don’t dream of failure," Kuchukhidze explains.

  1. Lack of constitutional majority

Anton Kuchukhidze points to this consequence of the mono-coalition. If relations with potential partners are spoiled, how will the “Servant of the People” collect a constitutional majority when voting for key bills for the faction? The presidential party needs 300 votes, otherwise, their entire campaign program, inclusive with Zelensky’s personal promises, can be thrown into the trash.

"Mr. Zelensky made many promises regarding changes to the Constitution, but he doesn’t have a constitutional majority. How is he going to solve this? Is it necessary to collectively collect a constitutional majority for separate votes? It’s unknown. Despite the carte blanche that Servant of the People has now, radical changes such as the removal of parliamentary immunity, this party will not be able to provide a new impeachment procedure or something else. Even the implementation of certain paragraphs of the Minsk agreements provides for constitutional changes, but how will they be achieved? " Kuchukhidze reasonably asks.

  1. Strengthening of oligarchization

Monopoly on anything sooner or later turns into permissiveness and negligent performance of their duties. The Ukrainian voter knows this by the example of his own relations with companies providing utility services. If a conditional “pipe”, water supply or power line is in the hands of a monopolist, it does not mean anything well, the quality of the services would not be good too. In politics, the same thing happens. One political force in power means fertilizing "their own" oligarchs. Or even creating new ones. An imbalance in favor of one alone contributes to its increase and strengthening of positions - up to complete inviolability.

Related: Ukraine's anti-corruption campaign targets Klitschko and Poroshenko

This is how it works today when the Servant of the People makes a historical decision for itself regarding the formation of a coalition. But let us think about its interaction with other factions outside the context of the coalition. Anton Kuchukhidze hopes that at least some kind of joint work of the ninth convocation parliament will come out.

For example, he says, reducing tariffs for the population would be a go-between Servant of the People and Fatherland. But the opening of the land market - on the contrary, will sow the seeds of discord, because Yulia Tymoshenko strongly opposes this. The paths of the factions will not finally diverge if there are a certain circulation and "borrowing" of ideas and work on their implementation. Otherwise, no cooperation will fail – within a coalition or outside of it.

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