Last Chance

KIEV, Ukraine -- Members of the majority coalition from the Party of Regions, the Socialists and Communists are already toying with the idea of backing out of the Sept. 30 elections.

Party of Regions, Communist and Socialist coalition

In doing so they are effectively backing out of the compromise deal inked by Premier Yanukovych and President Yushchenko late last month.

Few believe that the Socialists and Communists have a long-term future in Ukrainian politics.

But many in the business community in Ukraine and abroad, particularly investors with interests in Ukraine, consider the Regions to be a pragmatic party backed by big business and one with a future.

Ukraine’s political arena is without a doubt cutthroat.

Yushchenko has recently taken a much harder line and has tested the resolve of Regions.

But the Regions do not have a reputation for playing soft.

In fact, they may be too reliant on hardball tactics, which has caused people to question the party’s reliability.

The party’s leaders also have a reputation of backing out of agreements when it is politically expedient.

And for those who may have forgotten, some Regions members have been associated with election falsification in the past.

If the Party of the Regions is interested in a long-term future in Ukrainian politics and salvaging its reputation among leaders of democratic Western countries, then the party must differentiate itself from the smaller coalition fish, namely the Socialists and Communists.

Regions’ leaders must honor the early election agreement even if there are legal loopholes and nuances that question their legal basis.

As it stands, Ukraine’s laws are mangled and malleable in any direction.

But this is not an excuse for backing out of the compromise deal signed by Yushchenko and Yanukovych.

The Party of Regions should honor this agreement or risk loosing the trust of Ukrainians, potential political allies and the West once and for all.

Source: Kyiv Post