Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

Two days in Kiev

Yesterday’s voting in the Vekhovna Rada was an important message about what is going on in Ukraine. Since the beginning of the demonstration in Majdan, there have been signs that so far united Party of the Regions got disintegrated. A few deputies announced their planned withdrawal from the party and it was also said that Serhii Lovochkin, Head of Presidential Administration, submitted his resignation.

This impression died out yesterday at 2 p.m. when, apart from one deputy, the whole Party of the Regions firmly supported the government. Speculations that several deputies from the governing party may be ‘taken in’ by the opposition turned out to be completely untrue.

We have, therefore, a consolidated Party of the Region, whose members defended the Prime Minister, which does not have to mean that all members support him fully. There are lots of businesses in the Party of the Regions, many of them divergent, thus, not everybody can be satisfied. Those who do not have enough were trying to use this occasion to obtain something for themselves.

THe discusion over reconstruction of the government will last. Sooner or later smaller of bigger changes will appear. The former could be a change of the Prime Minister, the latter would be removal of those who manage “energetic complex” and cannot share profits with their colleagues from the party.

Throughout these two days of my stay in Kiev I was asking myself a question whether democracy which survived a few elections approved by the international observers for being compliant with the standards, is strong enough to “consume” the conflict that has spread in the streets of Kiev. Normally if people go out on the streets, they soon come back home and those who have a political mandate on their behalf take their demands to public and political institutions, mainly to the Parliament. It has been a week since the Vilnius Summit and there still has not been a debate over the authorities’ decision on not signing the Association Agreement with the European Union. The Prime Minister did not even mention the issue, although he was in the Parliament during a debate on his possible dismissal. It is definitely not a good practice, since the Verkhovna Rada should be a natural place for presenting the arguments and settling up disputes also by the authorities who took this decision.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the opposition are busy with a popular but not that significant activity. They are leading marches to block other buildings. They sometime behave as if they were guerrilla and not the opposition leaders. That is the story of yesterday when after a lost voting on the government dismissal, Arseniy Yatsenyuk with his new image (wearing a turtleneck and stubble) led demonstrators to Bankova street to disrupt the President. It did not matter so much for him that the President was in China at that time. Apparently, the pictures shown on the TV were attractive enough.

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