Ukraine Expects “Explosive” Autumn

By Oleg Gorbunov

Ukrainian opposition is getting ready to a series of protests against unpopular social-economic reforms of the power. Authorities yet limit with only “decorative” reshuffle in the government. Which shall be the result of such situation? How probable is “Ukrainian spring” under Arab scenario? These and other questions “Politkom.ru” asked Ukrainian political analyst, Director of Applied Political Studies Center “Penta” (Kiev) Vladimir Fesenko. 

How is the team of the President of Ukraine going to justify itself in the eyes of people for unpopular reforms before elections?

- The Party of Regions is not the one to justify itself. Another thing is, which shall be their strategy during elections, how shall they persuade their disappointed voters to vote for them one more time. There are ways for example to show that one should vote for them as the less evil (even PR disappointed voters in their majority are not going to vote for post-orange opposition); as they can’t allow the revanche of nationalists (before the elections the representatives of “Svoboda” (freedom) shall be depicted as nationalistic chiller); to show adjustment of the course, having withdrawn some unpopular leaders; to launch before the elections at least limited social programs, etc. By this in their regions and outside them administrative resource shall work intensively. Half of deputies shall be elected within one-mandate territorial constituencies. And as a rule in these constituencies shall win reach people mainly loyal to the authorities (business can’t oppose). But even considering these factors it shall be quite difficult for the Party of Regions to get its Parliamentary majority. But also opposition will hardly gain majority in the Upper Chamber.

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How probable is “Ukrainian spring” – the wave of protests all over the country?

- In Ukraine autumn is dangerous for the power rather then spring. Our political experience proves this. These are our national peculiarities and political traditions. This year, the given thesis is also confirmed by that Parliamentary elections are planned for autumn. Concentration of dissatisfaction and protest spirits is pretty high in the country. But this dissatisfaction yet is mainly passive. They need accelerators. There will be no new unpopular resonance decisions before the elections. That is why as accelerators of mass protests we may observe new economic crisis or the elections, particularly, mass displeasure with official results of the elections. Arrangements before the elections shall promote reduction of political and social tension. And the authorities and candidates-majority shall feed the voters gradually. Political expectations of the opposition and its supporters shall be postponed till the elections. But if the results of the elections are roughly adjusted in benefit of the authorities, then explosion shall be possible. However, if there are no rough manipulations and the power recognizes formal, but quite relative defeat of its party, then everything may end more or less peacefully.
What results may be protests fir the political system and the authority of the ruling team?

- If mass protests take place with participation of not less then half a million people in the capital, then a deep political crisis shall occur, which may lead to the change of power. I won’t describe possible scenarios, as there are plenty of them, including not that good from the point of view of public interests. Protests with participation of several dozens of people shall become a serious challenge for the authorities and may lead to a partial correction of the power. But this correction the power may perform on its own initiative considering the results of the elections.
Translated by EuroDialogueXXI from politcom.ru