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Ukrainian expert: Yatsenyuk’s resignation obviously approved by West

April 11, 8:06 UTC+3 KIEV
It may mean that the Verkhovna Rada has reached an agreement on a new parliamentary majority, a political analyst told TASS
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Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Arseniy Yatsenyuk

© Zurab Javakhadze/TASS Archive

KIEV, April 10. /TASS/. Resignation of Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has been obviously approved by the West and may mean that the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has reached an agreement on a new parliamentary majority, a Ukrainian political analyst told TASS on Sunday.

What Yatsenyuk’s resignation may mean

"His resignation may mean several things. First, there is a new coalition in the Verkhovna Rada of about 230-240 votes which includes (Yatsenyuk’s) People’s Front and most likely it will keep and even expand its quotas in the government," Ruslan Bortnik, the director of the Ukrainian Institute of Political Analysis and Management, said. "Apart from that, Western partners are likely to have approved this resignation."

He said the West’s consent may indicate that it wants to "preserve Ukraine’s entire political system" on the backdrop of offshore scandals and dropping ratings of President Petro Poroshenko and the coalition parties after their failure to send Yatsenyuk to resignation.

What will be further

Following Yatsenyuk’s resignation, the Verkhovna Rada is likely to finally form a new constitutional majority which however will be far from ideal. "We will have a coalition of two forces (People’s Front led by Yatsenyuk and pro-presidential Petro Poroshenko Bloc) with pary switchers from other political forces," Bortnik said.

He said the majority will be "very formal and unstable," even if it has 230-240 votes when 226 votes are needed to pass resolutions. In his words, the reason for that is the fact that lawmakers are ignoring sessions. Moreover, he noted, the Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction has a considerable internal opposition of at least 20-40 lawmakers who don’t vote with the rest of the faction. The People’s Front will start to collapse as it has only pressure groups but no leader without Yatsenyuk, the expert noted.

Such a formal coalition, in his words, will only create problems in lawmaking activities, hence "there will be another coalition - a market, minute-serving one which will be formed ahead of voting these of those issues." "The parliament is going to turn into a kind of a marketplace," Bortnik said.

Temporary respite

In any case, a new prime minister and his cabinet will be only a temporary solution to the political crisis in Ukraine, the expert noted. "The new government, and even [parliament speaker Vladimir] Groisman [a key candidate for prime minister] will not be able to resolve the problem of the conflict over liquid economic resources and remedy the confidence crisis of pro-Western parties. So, the new cabinet will give the authorities only a temporary respite," he said.

As a result, according to Bortnik, will have to face early parliamentary elections. "It will take about six months for the people to get to know the new prime minister better but in any case only early parliamentary elections will be able to undo this knot," he stressed.

Legal immunity

The expert noted that Yarsenyuk is likely to enjoy legal immunity until the early elections to the Verkhovna Rada. "Yatsenyuk is sure to be the one to blame in rhetoric. As for legal liability (for his economic mistakes over the period of his premiership), this subject is obviously part of the agreement on his resignation," Bortnik noted, adding he means "Yatsenyuk’s and his team’s legal liability."

He said Yatsenyuk has been granted such immunity by President Petro Poroshenko but "after early parliamentary elections, after the change of power, criminal cases will evidently be opened over many actions of the former prime minister and attempts will be taken to bring him to responsibility."

Will he flee or not?

It is not ruled out that Yatsenyuk might flee the country out of fear of criminal prosecution. "He will not flee under the current coalition, but he will eventually do it under the next coalition," the political analyst said. "As long as the People’s Front is member of the coalition, as long as the system is controlled by President Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk will stay in Ukraine. And later on, he is likely to share something in between the fate of Pavel Lazarenko (Ukraine’s former prime minister convicted in the United States for financial fraud) and the fate of former President Viktor Yanukovich," he said.

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