KIEV, Nov. 15 – Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych’s Regions Party Thursday accepted a compromise over a key organizational issue, ending a three-day deadlock and opening the way for Parliament’s first session to be held on Nov. 23.
Raisa Bohatyriova, a senior member of the Regions Party, will now supervise main organizational issues, including the opening of the first session, after her appointment to the post of interim chairperson.
“By meeting our opponents half way, and by accepting a compromise again, we have agreed to hold the session on Nov. 23,” Viacheslav Kyrylenko, the leader of Our Ukraine, said.
The breakthrough is a relief for political groups that feared further delays with setting the first session would have provoked an escalation of tensions.
A Constitutional crisis was also feared. Following the Sept. 30 snap election, Parliament must hold the first session no later then Nov. 26 to prevent major political complications, analysts said.
Roman Zvarych, a member of Our Ukraine, was appointed as deputy chairman, while Ihor Sharov, a member of the centrist group led by former Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, was appointed the secretary.
The Regions Party nominated Bohatyriova as a compromise and bowing to pressure from President Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense to drop support for two previous nominations representing the Communist Party.
The holding of the first session is important as this is the earliest point at which political groups can create a coalition that will vote to approve the speaker of Parliament and will later form the government.
Two pro-Western groups, including Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense and the group led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, pledged to form a coalition at the first session.
The two groups control a total of 228 seats in the 450-seat Parliament, a slim majority.
“On Nov. 23 we will sign an agreement to form a coalition between democratic forces,” Kyrylenko said.
But the Regions Party, which will control 175 seats, making it the biggest single group in Parliament, on Thursday insisted that it will seek to create its own coalition.
“The Regions Party is the winner of the election,” First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, a senior member of the party, said. “That’s why we do not hope, we are working on creating an effective coalition.”
By making such statement, the Regions Party is probably seeking to win support from several individual lawmakers from the 72-strong group of Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense.
But any plans to create the coalition by including individual lawmakers - as opposed to entire groups - could trigger a crisis within Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense and is not likely to win support from Yushchenko, analysts said. (tl/ez)