Unraveling before it’s begun?
The United Opposition has been trying desperately to get UDAR, as of 18th October polling ahead of them, to sign a coalition agreement of opposition forces prior to the elections. It has now officially failed to do so.
To be fair to UDAR, there really is no rush to sign coalition agreements with anybody. They have already stated they won’t sign one with Party of Regions, but as I have previously written, there is no need for them to do so with the United Opposition either.
Many Ukrainians want a 3rd choice that is far removed from both Ms Tymoshenko and President Yanukovych. UDAR is their only option. Everybody else who will enter the RADA this time around is in a coalition with one or the other of those two.
It may be that UDAR will form an official coalition with the United Opposition after the election – something that may well disappoint many of their voters that will have voted for them because of the reason I give above.
Such is the support for UDAR it can stand on its own two feet, remain independent in the RADA regardless of who wins, and vote for or against a law proposed by either Party of Regions or the United Opposition based solely on the merits of that particular law – without being beholding to a previously signed coalition agreement.
Something once know as integrity.
Ukrainian politics could certainly do with a party with integrity – and one that will not compromise that integrity.
Certainly neither the Party of Regions nor the composite parts that make up the United Opposition have many within their ranks who would recognise the word, let alone act within its definition.
It may well be that this action by UDAR will seal the fate of both itself and the United Opposition as far as remaining in official opposition is concerned. A short term loss, but should they remain independent and removed from the shenanigans of Tymoshenko and Yanukovych, in the medium and long term it would only do them good – something unfortunately both Tigipko and Yatseniuk failed to do – but somebody has to in order to break the cycle, so why not UDAR, especially when it is polling second?
Naturally, as you would expect, the United Opposition are pointing fingers at UDAR for pulling out of their strategy of one opposition candidate (from whatever opposition party) per each constituency seat to take on Party of Regions and the Communists, stating they are gifting Party of Regions several dozen seats.
In short, when the Party of Regions win the elections, and the United Opposition lose, it will be UDARs fault and nothing to do with the United Opposition’s campaign strategy having been absolutely uninspiring, dire and weak.
Maybe so, but my information has it that the United Opposition wanted UDAR to withdraw from 46 seats and in return they would withdraw from 24. At this point I would question why UDAR, polling second behind Party of Regions and in front of the United Opposition, would give up the chance to win twice as many seats to a party polling behind them in popularity? Granted many of the constituency seat candidates are weak – but so are many of the United Opposition.
Naturally, whilst I understand the reasoning behind this strategy of single opposition candidate per seat regardless of party from where they originate, I remain against it as regular readers will know, for it simply reduces democratic choice – and Ukraine desperately needs a legitimate third choice – even if it won’t win this time standing alone.
Unfortunately we will not know how this affects any polls in the 8 days running up to the elections as polls are not to be published in the media within 10 days of election date as is the law.
The far right Svoboda Party and the United Opposition are expected to sign an agreement immanently over contested seats and formal coalition – an interesting combination of far right nationalism and the populist socialist instincts of Ms Tymoshenko. Areas of common policy must be few and far between.