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Viktor Jusenko. Two years from the Orange Revolution

by Alessandro Savaris

This paper was written in March 2006.

After the outbreak of the Orange Revolution and the win of the third ballot of the Ukrainian presidential elections in december 2004, the candidate near the West side Viktor Jusenko, for a long time the governor of the Central Bank of Ukraine and ex- Prime Minister, was elected in January 2005 as President of Ukraine. The election of Jusenko and the consequent nomination of Julia Timosenko, considered the heroine of the Orange Revolution, as Prime Minister, permitted to glimpse the possibility of a democratic evolution of the country and the progressive approach of Ukraine to the west influence sphere. So the future of the country was much positive, outlining the possibility of a rapid democratic and economic development. What happened, however, didn't reflect the expectation.

In distance of few months, the economic situation of the country and the relations between the President and different members of the Presidential Administration, particularly those between the President and the Prime Minister Timosenko, got progressively worse. The final break between Jusenko and Timosenko, that happened in September 2005 with the dissolution of the government by the President and the parliament elections in March 2006, in which Nasha Ukraina, the party guided by Jusenko, underwent in a strong defeat, contributed to worsen the situation.

The nomination of the ex rival of Jusenko, Viktor Janukovic, as Prime minister and the continuous and systematic attacks perpetrated by the majority of the parliament controlled by Janukovic to Jusenko, entailed a progressive loss of decisional power by the President, now hostage, from fewer than two years of distance by his nomination, of the decisions of Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament. The "betrayal" of some deputies of the opposition in the end, that decided to abandon the opposition to line up with Yukanovic, constrained Jusenko to do an extreme step: the dissolution of Rada and the indiction of new elections. This provoked a strong reaction by the majority, that called its supporters , which gathered in Kiev in Maidan Nezalezhnosti square, the same one where the Orange Revolution took place, giving birth to what was then called by the analysts the "Ukrainian Counter-Revolution".

In order to fully understand the reasons why the decisional power of Jusenko got progressively reduced in these last two years and the reason why the political situation has come in a such deadlock, it's necessary to analyze briefly the principal facts that happened in this period.

Paper's framework

  • Introduction
  • The first steps of Jusenko
  • The re-privatization and the emerging of the divisions
  • The break between Jusenko and Timosenko and the dissolution of the government
  • The parliamentary elections of march 2006
  • The institutional paralysis and the birth of a Coalition of National Unity
  • The constitutional reform of 12 january
  • The birth of a new alliance
  • The dissolution of the Parliament and the burst of the Counter-Revolution
  • The reasons of the failure
  • Ambiguity and uncertainty
  • Disinterest of public opinion
  • Nasha Ukraina and the Party of Regions
  • Perspectives of development
  • Conclusion

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