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"Blood transfusions" in the Verkhovna Rada: risks to statehood

Immediately after the parliamentary elections, a new term, “mono-coalition,” appeared in the political vocabulary of Ukrainians. Neologism describes an anomalous phenomenon for the Verkhovna Rada - a single majority in the hands of one political force. In itself, the concept is quite contradictory, because the "coalition" a priori involves the union of several factions, and therefore can not be accompanied by the prefix singular "mono". The terminological confusion voices the fundamental nature of changes in the parliamentary landscape in their Council convening. But there is some positive in this, too, because the mention of the “coalition” has a calming effect in the conditions when the intense minds of Ukrainians, ignited by the three intense electoral campaigns, can absorb large volumes of “betrayal”. In fact, the cacophony of interpretations of the consequences of choosing 21 July captures a wide variety of emotionally colored evaluations - from enthusiasm to almost eschatological expectations. So it's time to consider the parliamentary choice of Ukrainians under the optics of national security.

Risk #1. The parliamentary majority of the "Servant of the People" opens the way to usurpation of power.

Obviously, the result of Servant exceeded the most optimistic expectations of political project technologists. The presidential force has beaten many electoral records, receiving 254 chairs from 424. The only bar that has not submitted to the green is the constitutional majority (300 votes). However, the leader of political preferences of Ukrainians can easily overcome it by attracting the resources of "Voice", "Motherland" and non-factional deputies. This opens up the prospect of widespread constitutional reform, openly announced by representatives of the new government.

It is worth noting that the vector of the discussed amendments to the Basic Law was inherited by the new team from its predecessors. Priority areas remain: judicial reform, decentralization, and defining the limits of competencies and powers of public authoritiesthat eliminates the long-standing illness of the country's governance system - the dualism of the executive. At the same time, the tone of the statements of the president's entourage indicates that he did not intend to step on Viktor Yanukovych's rake (the constitutional revolution of 2010, when the runaway president actually broke the spine of parliamentarism with the hands of the Constitutional Court). So you can draw a preliminary conclusion - the issue of increasing the scope of presidential powers of Vladimir Zelensky now lies outside the context of the constitutional process.

The global challenge can be formulated as follows: Will a player (personally president or "collective ZE"), who thwarted the largest in the history of independent Ukraine "bank" with a powerful resource, have the political will to adhere to the transparent rules of the long-distance game? At first glance, the ease with which the new team has established itself in the Pechersk hills is at odds with the assumption of a similarly forced departure from the political scene. Moreover, in the expert environment, one can assume that this will happen before five years of Zelensky's cadence have elapsed. The point of bifurcation is seen as constitutional reform, which will culminate in a deep reboot of the political system and early elections. However, such futurology is not objectively supported by concrete steps, on the basis of which reliable forecasts should be made. Obviously, in the context of the "honeymoon" of Zelensky and much of society, it is too early to talk about the side effects of the drug's influence on the government. He is now open to all possible options: to retain the glory of good Samaritan reformers or another yoke of politicians who did not live up to the aspirations of the voter and took the time to develop the country.

At the same time it is necessary to pay attention to the important political-technological "collision" created by the choice of Ukrainians of 21 in July.

Let's recall the presidential campaign. Volodymyr Oleksandrovych came to power under the slogans of clearing the post of head of state from scum of uncharacteristic functional, which was formed during the last two owners of Bankova (We mentioned the unceremonious seizure of new powers by Yanukovych. In return, at the doorstep of the Office, the voter presented the Zelensky mace, decorated with opportunities that his predecessors could only dream of. For the first time in the history of Ukrainian parliamentarism, a coalition is not required to form a government, and the very figure of the president radiates an unprecedented level of confidence. Even potential allies turn into mere extras. It might seem that the Ukrainians dug their own pit and provided the president with all the necessary building materials to build an authoritarian, authoritative style.

Experiencing a lack of experience in the mirror of Ukrainian politics, Zelensky successfully compensates for his "flaw" developed through years of working on stage with an intuition, whose point is aimed at engaging with the viewer. In his new role, he reads no longer the reaction of the hall, but the demands of the whole society. Therefore, if Zelensky managed to satisfy the demand for out-of-state politicians at the distance of the presidential campaign, then on the eve of the parliamentary elections, he effectively and efficiently (and effectively) embodied the image of a "strong hand" by mocking unscrupulous officials in the regions.

Now that the major election campaigns are behind (the 2020 local elections will no longer have a strong attachment to the head of state), Zelensky's positive media effect will begin to diminish in direct proportion to the growing socio-economic demands of society. Despite the popularity of the image of “young Lukashenko”, Ukrainians will react painfully to restrictions on civil liberties. Also, the "average temperature in the ward" is closely monitored by the West, which with the change of government in Kyiv only strengthens the financial and diplomatic levers of influence on Ukraine.

Therefore, the concentration of power by one political force creates potential conditions for regression of democracy. However, the current risk assessment gives reason to consider them more of a visual effect than the real intentions of the new authorities to break the resistance of internal and external fuses.

Risk #2 Erosion of Parliament's Subjectivity

The "servant of the people" basically avoided the inclusion in the list of former people's deputies. This tendency was picked up in the Voice and partly in European Solidarity and Motherland. As a result, the MP Corps upgrade will be over 80%. However, the practice of previous convocations shows that a radical restart of the deputy corps does not automatically improve the quality of its work. For example, you do not need to go far. Thus, the people's deputies of the post-Maidan Five-Year Plan have made many fateful decisions in the context of association with the EU, visa waiver, defense sector reforms, consolidation of the country's European integration course and so on. However, the actual collapse of the coalition, button law and other violations of the rules laid the foundation for a significant drop in confidence in the Council.

In the new parliament, such problems will be in short supply. Treasured 226 votes already in the pocket of "Servants". The absolute majority of deputies from this party a few months ago did not even suspect that at the next turn fate would throw them at Hrushevsky 5. They owe their political capital to one person - President Zelensky. Accordingly, even in spite of the number (which implies a high likelihood of getting into the lists of random characters) and the inevitable fragmentation by area of ​​interest, The Servants of the People faction will discipline the President's Office and the Cabinet. Therefore, even the collapse of a hypothetical coalition with the Voice or Motherland will not cause a serious parliamentary crisis.

Therefore, the result of the current election can be seen as a modernization of relations in the President-Government-Parliament triangle. In theory, these changes will accelerate the pace of reform, as political actors will not waste time and resources to build consensus permanently. (In a recent interview with Ukrainian Pravda, Petro complained that the agreements with his colleagues mostly ate a third of the undertakings). Soon let's see how this concept works in the field.

However monopoly of presidential power in parliament causes public outrage, skeptical of Zelensky's presidential potential. Indeed, the one-party majority is an integral attribute of authoritarian regimes in the post-Soviet space. But at the same time, the participants in lively discussions tend to forget that, except for Viktor Yushchenko's term, Bankova had a controlling stake in parliament (by the way, Zelensky involuntarily confirmed that the main mistake of the “orange” president was the dissolution of the Council after of the first Maidan: at that moment Our Ukraine could have encroached on a result close to the indicators of the Servant of the People). Often, the pro-presidential majority within the walls of parliament was provided by corrupt networks (whether in the form of barter "services" or by direct vote-buying).

One can also cite examples from European practice. According to experts, many similarities with the success story of Zelensky had a descent on the powerful Olympus of France's leader Emmanuel Macron. The 21 parliamentary elections in July further extended this parallel. In France, the pro-presidential Forward, Republic! Party, knitted from the wreckage of Republicans and Socialists, won 60% of seats in the National Assembly a month after Victoria Macron (interestingly, the Servants have a similar proportion of Council presence) . In Italy and Greece, an electoral system of a "majority bonus" is in place, which provides for the allocation of additional seats of the party / bloc. In this way, the legislation stimulates the formation of a one-party government in order to stabilize the mechanism of public administration.

Of course, in the EU countries, public institutions have a higher level of independence than in Ukraine, which practically makes it impossible to reject democratic principles. In response, we note that in order to implement the “contraction” scenario of parliamentarism, our country lacks other important components. For example, the party of power.

Paradoxically, the greatest danger to presidential positions within the walls of parliament lies precisely in the depths of the "Servant of the People." The winning format for the mobilization of the supporters was due to the protest against the old executives. However, now that the "predecessors" have been sent to the dustbin of history, the situation is changing. The project, headed by Dmitry Razumkov, has evolved into a universalist-type party. The Servant still does not have a solid financial and ideological foundation, and the high election result is achieved almost exclusively due to the pegging to the popularity of the president. It is no secret that in a turbulent Ukrainian policy to rely solely on the personality of the leader - the strategy is extremely risky.

Therefore, the next stage of development is the search for one's identity and the acquisition of an electoral nucleus that will anchor the party in Ukrainian politics, even if the ship's captain, Vladimir Zelensky, comes off the boat. From the height of 43%, this process looks painful and unnecessary. But if the party servants of the Servant avoid it, the fate of the Popular Front, Self-help, or Impact may await the next elections of the political force.

Risk No.3 Opposition delegated by the Kremlin

After all, a few words are worth mentioning about those whom the Servant of the People does not plan to "brandish" in their convening of the Council under any circumstances.

The example of the work of the US Congress shows how important the role of the opposition in the system of checks and balances can be. This is especially true for Ukraine, given that we are very close to the de facto presidential republic. However Against the background of popularity of “national servants”, the opposition in the Ukrainian Parliament has shrunk in size, like Shagrene skin.

However, on the eve of voting day, there were fears of a different nature. The massive information campaign and considerable financial resources secured the second electoral seat for the Russian-oriented Opposition Platform - For Life political project. But the main secret of the pro-Russian party's successful performance is the overflow of the electorate from the pro-Akhmetov wing of the white-blue forces. By the way, competition between the Platform and the Block in majoritarian districts in a number of southern oblasts and Kharkiv has helped the Servant nominees to choose Putin's friends from a dozen or two terms in the Verkhovna Rada.

Now Kremlin's main lobbyist in Ukraine - Viktor Medvedchuk - has every chance to secure the number one opposition status (it is significant that he has already supported the adoption of the law on opposition). The shadow leader of the Opposition Platform returns to parliament after a break of 18 to legitimize Putin's positions in Ukrainian politics on resolving the issue of Donbass and Crimea.

Of course, the total 43 bayonet now available to Moscow warriors is not enough to block parliament. But with an adjustment to the Zee phenomenon, Medvedchuk may consider the task at least as fulfilling. In the future, the Opoplatformi faction will play a prominent role in information campaigns aimed at influencing the new leadership of the state regarding the implementation of Minsk agreements on favorable terms for Russia. Moreover, in the event of a political crisis and re-election, the Platform may become the collector of a dissatisfied voter of Zelensky in the South and East. In this way, it will finally establish itself as a political force that claims the distribution of ministerial portfolios.

Volodymyr Solovyan
Head of Foreign Policy Projects of the Army Conversion Research Center
and Disarmament (CDAC)