U.S. Diplomat Foresees Political Strife In Ukraine

MOSCOW, Russia -- The U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine said he doubts Ukraine will not experience further political turmoil, Interfax news agency reports.

Ambassador William B. Taylor

William Taylor stressed that it was quite democratic that people in Ukraine believe it is necessary to call fresh elections in Ukraine’s parliament.

The ambassador’s statement came shortly after the recent end of the four-month political crisis prompted by the parliamentary elections, which brought victory neither to the pro-Russian coalition nor to the pro-Western one. The crisis seemed to be solved after Ukraine’s president avoided parliament dissolution and new elections by naming the pro-Kremlin leader prime-minister.

Taylor said he had spoken to people who say they are convinced in the need for fresh elections. He said there were even people who believe elections are needed right now. He said such people tried hard to convince him that they would act in line with the Constitution in pushing for new elections. The ambassador said he considered such views legal, that they were part of political activity, and part of democracy.

A political crisis in Ukraine burst out after the parliamentary elections on March 26 in which pro-Kremlin Victor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions won the most votes but lacked an overall majority.

Pro-Russian and “orange revolution” parliament coalitions were fighting for the most essential posts in the government for about four months, lacking political weight to get the prime-minister post. Yushchenko’s ally in the “orange revolution” Yulia Timoshenko and pro-Kremlin Victor Yanukovych were the two main candidates for the most important post in the government.

Due to the impasse, Ukraine’s President Victor Yushchenko according to the Constitution had two choices — to dissolve the parliament, which failed to form a government, or to name the at the time more influential pro-Russian leader prime-minister. Timoshenko’s party insisted on the dissolution of the parliament and urged new elections to be held in hopes that they would win a majority this time.

But the president made the second choice. On August 3 Yushchenko signed a “national unity pact” with Yanukovych, putting aside their political differences.

Ukraine’s parliament confirmed pro-Russian politician Viktor Yanukovych as prime minister on August 5, 2006.

Now Yanukovich will share power with the “orange revolution” president, who defeated him in 2004. The president said he had cast-iron guarantees from Yanukovich that he would not try to reverse the revolution’s pro-Western principles.

The main loser appeared to be Yushchenko’s glamorous ex-ally Yulia Tymoshenko, who stood by him during the 2004 pro-democracy demonstrations, rallying the crowds that flooded onto Kiev’s streets and camped out in freezing conditions.

On the eve of Yanukovich’s appointment the U.S. officially pledged to work with him and his government despite perceptions his comeback will slow his country’s march to the West. “Yanukovych has come to the prime ministership in the old-fashioned, democratic way. He worked hard for votes, he campaigned, he politicked,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on August 3.

Source: MosNews