Ukraine's Political Crisis, Explained
27 February, 2016

What You Need To Know:

✓ Ukraine’s parliament voted the government’s work in 2015 unsatisfactory;
✓ However, the parliament failed to pass a no-confidence vote to oust PM Yatsenyuk’s cabinet;
✓ Parliamentary opposition did not vote for the government to resign;
✓ The parliament’s governing coalition has broke up, snap elections may follow.

"Most of our MPs were in total shock after the results of no-confidence vote against Yatsenyuk’s cabinet," says member of the Ukrainian parliament Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze from the President’s Petro Poroshenko Bloc. Alyona Shkrum of another coalition-member party Batkivschyna admits that the shock was predicted: "The official opposition, represented by The Opposition Bloc and some other groups, has been quite pro-Russian for a while, financed by the same forces as former president Yanukovych, close to Rinat Akhmetov and other oligarchs. Although they criticised the government for the whole past year, they did not vote for it to resign." "Separate MPs and groups controlled by oligarch Kolomoisky, Vidrodzhennia party for example, also did not give their votes," adds Klympush-Tsintsadze.

According to Shkrum, the unsuccessful vote orchestrated by the oligarchs not only allowed prime-minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s cabinet to stay, but also caused a break-up in the parliament’s governing coalition. Batkivschyna and Samopomich parties have left the coalition, Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko announced the same intentions. Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze stresses the importance of restoring the coalition agreement: "We have to refocus our goals, set additional timetables for the targets agreed, continue to pressure the government. Otherwise we will definitely be heading to early parliamentary elections."

Under the Ukrainian constitution if the Parliament doesn’t form a new government coalition within 30 days the President could either dissolve the Parliament and call for snap elections. Shkrum doesn’t see this as something unwelcomed: "If early elections will happen, there could be a possibility for a lot of new people to enter: more people from civil society, people who speak English." Klympush-Tsintsadze disagrees: "If the snap elections would happen right now they would bring much more of the populistic forces that are feeding on very difficult economic situation of Ukraine’s citizens. We will see a serious revanche of the Opposition bloc, which is basically the old Party of Regions. The new parliament would be much more fragmented and much more compromises will have to be made."

Hromadske’s Josh Kovensky and Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke to Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, MP of Petro Poroshenko Bloc, and Alyona Shkrum, MP of Batkivschyna party, during a live broadcast of The Sunday Show on February 21st, 2016 in Kyiv.