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Who is who in Ukraine's For the Future parliamentary group

Author : Natalia Lebed

Verkhovna Rada of the ninth convocation is not only five factions with loud names
20:40, 10 September 2019

Verkhovna Rada
Reuters

The Verkhovna Rada of the ninth convocation is not only five factions with loud names. These are also 56 MPs who were not included in any of them. The mentioned 56 parliamentarians, in turn, are divided into those who created the group of the For the Future (22 people), and those who did not join anyone (34 people). According to the rules of the Verkhovna Rada, to create a deputy group, the number of applicants is required, no less than the composition of the smallest faction. The smallest faction is Holos of Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, which has 20 places. Immediately after the parliamentary elections, insider sources claimed that there would be two MPs’ groups in the Rada: one would belong to oligarch Igor Kolomoysky, and the other group would belong to Minister of the Interior Arsen Avakov. They even voiced the name of the Avakov group - Order. However, for some reason, the Order did not work out, but For the Future was created.

Group as a combat unit

In order to understand the importance of the MPs’ group, we should recall the parliament of the previous convocation. There were two MPs’ groups in it - the Renaissance and the Will of the People, who were engaged in active mutual struggle. More precisely, the Renaissance deliberately "bit off" the MPs from the Will of the People, until it completely bled the rival and questioned its existence.

Related: One hundred happy days of Ukraine's oligarch Kolomoysky

In 2015, interesting records appeared on Youtube, where a voice similar to the voice of Kolomoysky (who is also one of the main shareholders of Renaissance) confirms a monthly salary of 50,000 USD for the person with the voice of Viktor Bondar (chairman of the Renaissance group). There is also a record of a conversation allegedly by Kolomoysky with a voice similar to that of Vitaliy Khomutynnyk (co-chairman of Renaissance), from which it becomes clear that you the latter also gets money for the Will of the People. Apparently, they seduced the members of the Will of the People to join the ranks of the Renaissance.

Now the situation is reminiscent of the one that prevailed in the parliament of the previous convocation. The mono-party coalition formed by the Servant of the People has enough votes to pass ordinary bills. But it does not have enough votes to amend the Constitution, widely announced by Zelensky. Ironically, the For the Future group and the remaining 34 non-factional MPs have exactly the same 50 votes (and even more) that the Servant of the People lacks to redraw the Constitution.

Related: Verkhovna Rada sends bill on people’s legislative initiative to Constitutional Court

So far, the entire Rada (with the exception of the Opposition Platform - For Life faction) has voted in synergy, supporting the initiatives of President Zelensky. But, as the experts rightly point out any pleasure should be remunerated, and the situation with the representatives of For the Future and independent representatives (elected by the first-past-the-post system) has not been settled yet.

No life without Kolomoysky

Former representatives of both the Renaissance group and the Will of the People group are among the current MPs, who did not belong to any faction, there. For example, ex-members of the Renaissance Viktor Bondar, Anton Kisse, Yuriy Shapovalov, Viktor Baloga, Oleksandr Gerega, Yaroslav Dubnevych, Igor Palytsia found places in the For the Future. On the other hand, the non-factional MPs were former “immigrants” from the Will of the People Oles Dovgy, Serhiy Labazyuk, Igor Molotok, Vasyl Petevka, Serhiy Shakhov, as well as Andriy Derkach, Andriy Ivanchuk, Vadym Novinsky, Anton Yatsenko and other respected people.

Will these two clusters (non-factional MPs and members of the For the Future group) - be at enmity with each other just?

On May 20 of this year, Trust the Deeds party of Hennadiy Trukhanov (mayor of Odesa), Renaissance, a part of representatives of the Our Land party and MPs from the Will of the People group united into a single political force to participate in the elections.

Related: Five enterprises of Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky make monopoly in ferroalloy market, - media

“We already have more than 50 candidates elected by the first-past-the-post system that will be presented as majority leaders from the party,” Khomutynnyk noted. The Trust the Deeds party did run for a first-past-the-post system. It did not take part in the struggle for a multi-mandate constituency. And those 50 candidates mentioned by Khomutynnyk partially got into the Rada and reincarnated in the new For the Future group and among non-factional groups. Interestingly, Kolomoysky was a person that “blessed” Trust the Deeds party to participate in the elections.

For the Future group and the rest of the MPs elected by the first-past-the-post system will stick together. Of course, for the time being, while the interests of these MPs coincide. A group of 50 people will be important, and so together they will receive much more than each on their own. And when the Servant of the People needs a constitutional majority, this group of 50 people will come in handy.

Related: Poroshenko saved Ukraine from Russia, - Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoysky

No time for squabbling

However, Kolomoysky gathered his group not only to insure President Zelensky against all his potential failures during the voting on important issues.

Our insiders say that Kolomoisky’s goal might be destroying the Servant of the People, not Zelensky’s support as it might be seen. It is enough to entice 30 MPs from the Servant of the People, as the famous mono-party coalition will be over.

As political analyst Yevhen Bulavka says, For the Future group is a kind of a “reserve regiment. In fact, this is Kolomoysky’s reserve for Servant of the People. But the problem is that the group includes the majoritarian MPs, and these are the people who, when the political situation changes, are the first to remember their independence from the party dictatorship,” the expert says.

Related: Zelensky instructs Verkhovna Rada to lift moratorium on land sale by December 2019

People from the sidelines of the Verkhovna Rada say that some of them are already discussing the creation of the group. We will see later whether it is true or not. In the meantime, according to Ruslan Bortnyk, the director of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Policy Management, the number of non-factional MPs "can grow or fall depending on the situation. This is a temporary group of MPs, aimed at cooperation with the government. But cooperation is still one-way, and the group’s willingness to vote in unison with the mono-party coalition is not rewarded by any actions of Zelensky and his team."

In other words, we have returned to our starting point: to money, offices or business preferences, which play the role of the mover of any processes in Ukrainian politics. The interest of non-factional MPs is, of course, is getting all the benefits, while the interest of the authorities is to save the resources. The trouble is when the partners are "multidimensional." In this case, the friendship quickly ends, and alliances break up.

Related: Verkhovna Rada recommended adopting amendments to Constitution on parliamentary immunity

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