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June 15 will be remembered for a number of reasons. First of all, after 14 years of existence, the title of All-Ukrainian Union Batkivshchyna has finally paid off 100%. The acronym BYT, has finally become history, obviously on the initiative of Yulia Tymoshenko. Secondly, the formation of a new conglomerate with a clear-cut organizational vertical can be interpreted not only as a chance for a deep restructuring and renovation of several powerful oppositional party structures under a single principle, but, figuratively speaking, as a shot from the starting pistol in the process of consolidation of these structures before the upcoming presidential election. So, in the nearest future we can expect an upgrade in the use of the United Opposition brand name, which in the public perception has become synonymous with the Batkivshchyna party
Thirdly, Tymoshenko has proven to the world that it is possible to set the tone and manage complex political processes even behind bars, meaning that her neutralization from the political arena has failed once again.
Finally, the main effects of the unification congress of Batkivshchyna are the removal of the former prime minister from the shadows artificially created by ill-wishers and the huge momentum of her return to politics. In the meantime, the “prisoner of conscience” balloting in 2015 as a presidential candidate from the united opposition looks quite fantastic, just as Tymoshenko’s imprisonment seemed fictional two years ago.
Also, the possibility of incorporation under the same party roof of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who competed with Tymoshenko on the same electoral field in 2011, many people interpreted as a false project. Be that as it may, the official appointment of Yatsenyuk as the second person in the party will become a historical fact.
To prevent the opposition party from gaining ground, the current ruling power chose Yatsenyuk as its primary target, counting on his weak nerves and excessive ambitions. The fire was aimed from a number of barrels using primitive teasers and reputable polls, allegedly fixing the catastrophic decline in Yatsenyuk’s personal ratings. The tricky investigations into Yatsenyuk’s malicious intent to conduct a “raider seizure” of Tymoshenko’s party were unnaturally interspersed with the usual derision of a “non-charismatic nerd”. They were intended to highlight the weak spots, such as Yatsenyuk’s responsibilities during the 2012 parliamentary campaign to attract sponsors with the help of his right hand man Mykola Martynenko, through the application of serious pressure.
The eternal search for fresh “dummies of the front of origin” will go on for some time, but after June 15 it will be outshined by the parallel intelligence activities among the old members of the Batkivshchyna party disgruntled with the current processes of party-building. It is difficult to say how many of them would agree to undergo “dummyfication”, but most likely only a few politicians will undergo recruiting and there will certainly not be any big names among them. 2015 is around the corner and does not appear to be some kind of an amorphous prospect.
The tactic of direct neutralization of the oppositionists chosen by the Presidential Administration definitely had a certain effect, though it did not last for long. Such direct actions of the authorities allow Batkivshchyna to make strategic decisions that would be extremely difficult without outside interference. First of all, this is about the basics of the basics – namely, quality cells in the regions and districts. Many activists of different levels undergo pressure inspections, casual companions disappear and true fighters come to replace them in the front rows. The government dealt a blow to important electoral territories, such as the Kirovohrad, Kharkiv and Kyiv oblasts, as well as Prykarpattya. Lviv, Khmelnytskiy, Transcarpathia, and, of course, Kyiv remain the future targets. Those regions had a fierce competition between the ByUT and the Front of Changes.
Now there is great potential for improving organization under a single party brand without traitors. However, the possible cloning of structures under the names of Batkivshchyna, the Front for Changes, Rukh and the PRP has not yet been stricken from the agenda yet. The existence of the parallel Rukh party under the leadership of Vasyl Kuybida from Tymoshenko’s Cabinet, who was not included in 2012 to the list of the united opposition, is clear confirmation of this fact.
In this respect, much depends on the legal registration of a perfect merger of the parties at all levels to not allow any counter-attacks by the Ministry of Justice, which is highly experienced in such matters. By the way, applying such a practice Yatsenyuk will be able to confirm his qualification as an upscale lawyer.
Yatsenyuk has to test his quality of a speaker and a public party functionary. But now he is saddled with the official title of the chief commissioner of Tymoshenko and at the same time try to preserve his presidential ambitions, which are being closely monitored by Oleksandr Turchynov. It is one thing to take over such personalities as Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, Anatoliy Hrytsenko and Mykola Katerynchuk for the sake of unifying party development. Commanding the main ship of the oppositional fleet is a different matter altogether. Yatsenyuk’s destiny is to serve as a backup in case of Tymoshenko’s inability to run in the next presidential elections and do everything possible to release her from prison and help her run for the presidential office. The situation is complicated by the fact that mimicry and cunning in such a delicate issue can be detected quite easily and change personal ratings.
Another strategy is no less important – piling the party’s moneybags in the hold of the ship. By the way, without a targeted attack on Martynenko by the Presidential Administration implementation of this strategy would be virtually impossible, but now, Katerenchuk, in fact, has no choice: either to abandon the ship or accept the collapse of the party shares and settle for any job.
Other current sponsors of the party, both visible and invisible, will then have to work on the same terms of the contract. It should also be noted that business owners secretly sympathetic with the Batkivshchyna party face a dilemma: either they join the party in public or start a single-hand voyage. For example, Petro Poroshenko may announce his new party affiliation at the party’s next joint session. But Kostyantyn Zhevago’s distance from once kindred political powers creates an increasing threat of his shiny expensive yacht being flooded by the “white-and-blue” ice breaker.
After all, the Batkivshchyna party simply has to change not only in form, but in content. Otherwise, this will create confusion, especially among its voters, who may interpret the radical party merger as another change of labels. Metamorphoses should be applied not to some abstract party positions and statute documents, but to the specific behavior of party members and their global campaign towards the people.
The event Rise, Ukraine! confirmed serious public demand for such a political style and at the same time showed that the humdrum protest meetings are no longer sufficient – the country is fed up with all sorts of talk shows. Ukrainians want their own Robin Hood, who can protect their rights in real time. And most importantly, people everywhere are tired of waiting for major victories in the global war for justice. Therefore, they believe it is worth fighting for.Printable version