|Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
Блок Юлії Тимошенко
|Founded||February 9, 2001|
|Ideology||Social liberalism, pro-Europeanism, solidarism,|
|European affiliation||European People's Party (observer status)|
|Politics of Ukraine
Founded for the 2002 parliamentary elections the party always has attracted most of its voters from Western Ukrainian, Ukrainian speaking provinces (Oblasts). It has also recruited several politicians from mostly Russian speaking provinces like Crimea (Lyudmyla Denisova) and Luhansk Oblast (Natalia Korolevska). The party is often associated with the 2004 Orange Revolution (the party's leader Yulia Tymoshenko was one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution) and thus named a Orange Party in media publications. The party also has some prominent members who used to be associated with the opponents of the Orange Revolutions (the Blue camp) like the current faction leader of the Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) faction in the Ukrainian Parliament Ivan Kyrylenko. Other noticeable (former) BYuT deputies are Soviet dissident Levko Lukyanenko and former UNA-UNSO leader Andriy Shkil.
BYuT is intending to include more representatives from the education sector into voting it's lists. According to the party's leader Tymoshenko: "Certain branches and sectors have powerful lobbies. And there are only three to four lobbyists who represent the spheres of education and health care in parliament. Therefore some sectors lack financing, while others have excessive funding".
According to party-leader Tymoshenko representatives of business have no dominant influence on decision making in her political force. "Business is represented in the parliament, but it doesn't shape politics this is what distinguishes my political force from the Party of Regions for instance."
Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko has endorsed Yulia Tymoshenko, incumbent prime minister as their candidate for the next Presidential election, first-round ballot scheduled to be held on January 17, 2010.
Public Opinion Polls have consistently rated Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko and its leader Yulia Tymoschenko as the second highest polling party/candidate in Ukraine with most analysts predicting that Yulia Tymoshenko will face Viktor Yanukovych in a second-round presidential ballot, expected to be held in February 2010.
After her dismissal by President Leonid Kuchma in January 2001 as Deputy Prime Minister for fuel and energy sector in the cabinet of Viktor Yushchenko and during the Ukraine without Kuchma-protests Yulia Tymoshenko initiated the loose organization the National Salvation Committee on February 9, 2001. This organisation latter merged into the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc in November 2001.
The alliance supported Viktor Yushchenko during the Ukrainian presidential election of 2004, and played an active role in the widespread acts of civil non-violent protest that became known as the Ukrainian Orange Revolution.
The parliamentary elections on 26 March 2006 saw BYuT move into second place with 22,27% of the vote behind Party of Regions which had 33% and ahead of Our Ukraine which received less than 14% support. They won 129 seats out of 450.
It was widely expected that a coalition between supporters of the orange movement would form Ukraine's next government, but after 3 months of negotiations and a failure to reach an agreement the proposed coalition collapsed following the decision of the Socialist Party of Ukraine to support the formation of the "anti-crisis coalition" with Party of Regions and the Communist Party of Ukraine.
For the 2007 elections, the bloc consists of:
In the parliamentary elections on 30 September 2007, the bloc won 156 out of 450 seats, securing an additional 1.5 million votes (8.24%) in comparison with the 2006 election. In 2007 Yulia Tymoshenko received a swing of 8.24% in comparison their 2006 vote. Most of the swing came as a result of consolidation of the vote in regions in which BYuT already was the leading party. Statistics published by Ukraine's Central Electoral Commission indicate that most of the swing came from minor parties and a swing away from the Socialist Party and to a lesser extent Our Ukraine.
On October 15, 2007, Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc agreed to form a majority coalition in the new parliament of the 6th convocation. On November 29, a coalition was signed between the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (representing 45% of the national vote). On 18 December 2007 Yulia Tymoshenko, with a margin of two votes, was elected Prime Minister.
During the 2008 Ukrainian political crisis the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) and Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (OU-PSD) coalition was haltered and among the negations with a.o. OU-PSD there were negotiations between BYuT and Party of Regions to form a coalition but after Volodymyr Lytvyn was elected Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament of Ukraine) December 9, 2008 he announced the creation of a coalition between his Lytvyn Bloc, BYuT and OU-PSD. After negotiations the three party's officially signed the coalition agreement on December 16. It is unsure if this coalition will stop the snap election although Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn predicts the Verkhovna Rada will work until 2012.
In September 2008 the governing coalition collapsed when representatives of Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc withdraw from the coalition less than a year into the new Parliament's term of office. On October 8, 2008, the President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko, tried to dismiss the government and call fresh parliamentary elections. The dismissal of the government was not supported by the Parliament. The President soon after faced rebellion within his own party with a majority of deputies associated with Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc agreeing to reform a governing coalition this time with the added support of Lytvyn Bloc, giving the revised coalition an additional 20 members majority. Volodymyr Lytvyn in return was elected on December 16, 2008 as Parliamentary speaker replacing Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
On July 3, 2009 the Verkhovna Rada terminated the mandate of BYuT deputy Viktor Lozinskyi. At the time there was a criminal proceedings against Lozinskyi instituted on suspicion of deliberately inflicting grave bodily harm causing death; the Prosecutor-General's Office had applied to the Verkhovna Rada for permission to arrest Viktor Lozinskyi. 416 out of 444 deputies registered in Parliament, including 133 deputies of the Tymoshenko Bloc, voted for removal of the Lozinskyi's parliamentary immunity.
According to BYuT lawmaker Serhiy Sobolev seven lawmakers from the BYuT faction voted for a vote of no confidence in the second Tymoshenko Government. After the fall of the second Tymoshenko Government on March 3, 2010 BYuT moved into opposition. On March 11, 2010 BYuT appealed to the Central Election Commission of Ukraine to terminate the parliamentary mandates of six parliamentarians who had joined a new parliamentary coalition.
The party itself describes its ideology as being Social liberalism, Pro Europeanism and Solidarism.. While some political analysts describe the party's ideology as being basically Populism.
BYuT proposes a national referendum on the system of governance (Presidential or Parliamentary) and the adoption a new Constitution. On February 15, 2010 BYuT faction leader Ivan Kyrylenko stated "We think that that there is a post that is unnecessary in the state" (without mentioning which post he meant).
Raise salaries for judges and abolish the requirement for them to hear specific cases. Legal aid schemes for poor citizens so that income is not the final determinant of judicial representation and consideration.
The creation of public broadcast television, greater transparency and disclosure of ownership of media interests, the establishment of agreements between owners of media outlets and journalists in order to facilitate open and honest editorial policy, and increased internet availability.
The implementation of a systematic program to combat corruption.
Provide improved social welfare services while encouraging an expansion of the population. Specific plans include obligatory medical insurance, free state medical services for those in need, affordable medication, a rural doctor program, and increased payments for each newborn child. In addition, there are proposals for increased baby care allowances and long-term low interest loans for young families.
Stop the brain drain by restoring the status and raising the standards of the education system. Measures include incentives for investment in professional and higher education, and, most importantly, research and development.
Building new oil and gas pipelines and expanding public-private partnership investments to improve roads, railways and airports. Liberalization of the current regime for the transit of passengers and goods.
Address the imbalance between large enterprises, which dominate the business sector, and small by encouraging the growth of wealth-creating small- and medium-sized enterprises. Reduce the tax burden through the adoption of a new tax code while expanding assessment, minimizing tax remissions, and abolishing VAT. Simplify the process to set up and administer businesses and establishing lower business lending rates in line with European levels. Also proposed are measures to liberalize banking and insurance services and to encourage longer-term lending. Shareholder rights will be protected, the permit system reformed, and the governmental bureaucracy reduced.
Overturn the nation's dependence on monopolies for importing energy while strengthening collaboration and coordination of energy policy with the EU. Specific policies include integration with the European market for the supply and consumption of electricity, measures to reduce oil and gas consumption, an increase in utilization of brown coal and the production of synthetic fuel. Complete the Odessa-Brody-Plotsk (Gdańsk) transit pipeline and build a gas transit pipeline linking the Caspian Sea (running through Azerbaijan and Georgia) and the Black Sea. Encourage domestic production both onshore and offshore in the Black and Azov Seas.
Encouragement of domestic and foreign investment. Changing and eliminating legislation and legal contradictions that currently hinder investment. Procedures must be streamlined to allocate land under long-term leases to investors who will build new facilities in Ukraine, especially in the technology sector. Other proposals include transparent and open privatization and tender processes and the establishment of a network of regional ombudsman to simplify processes for obtaining import certificates. Special emphasis will be made to attract investment in the power sector and all new legislation enacted will be in accordance with WTO practices.
BYuT proposes a system of mortgage lending with lower interest rates for house purchases along with governmental targets designed for public housing projects. Decentralization to the regional level will be implemented to facilitate these targets for both housing and commercial facilities. Special tax incentives are also envisioned for industrial projects to complement planning for investment described above.
A program aimed at establishing a stronger, more profitable and environmentally responsible agricultural sector will be implemented. Crucial measures include the availability of development funds, agricultural exchanges, insurance funds and land-banks. Other initiatives involve the promotion of agricultural products to overseas markets. To facilitate a functioning land market, agricultural producers will have access to low interest loans, with incentives put in place for the development of cooperative banks and credit unions in rural areas.
Although Our Ukraine has been the main ally of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) relations with arch rival Party of Regions are slowly improving. On March 13, 2009 Victor Yanukovych, leader of the Party of Regions, said the Party of Regions is ready to unite into a coalition with BYuT, he noted that: "We are ready to unite but only on the base of the program on struggle with crisis". The previous day the deputy leader of the BYuT faction, Andriy Portnov, said that the union of his political force with the Party of Regions is highly improbable but that the union of the BYuT and the Party of Regions could be possible after the next Ukrainian presidential elections. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has said (March 17, 2009) that her bloc is ready to join efforts with the Regions Party to pass certain bills in the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada). "You are a representative of the Regions Party, [and] I represent the BYuT. It's time to join efforts for the benefit of the country", Tymoshenko said. On March 30, 2009 Victor Yanukovych stated he does not believe in the possibility of forming a coalition with Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc in the current parliament. At the same time he added that "it would be necessary to agree on main issues" concerning amendments into the Constitution of Ukraine in the part of local self-government reform, judicial reform and clear division of authorities among President, government and parliament.
According to Yanukovych talks with BYuT where still ongoing as of late May 2008. Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko thinks that the secrecy surrounding alleged talks on constitutional amendments constitutes are an anti-constitutional coup d'Etat, according to Presidential Press Secretary Iryna Vannykova (on June 2, 2009).
Early June talks to build a broad coalition to address the economic crisis collapsed, Yulia Tymoshenko accused Yanukovich of betrayl: "He unilaterally, without warning anyone, quit the negotiation process, making a loud political statement, killing the merger and the chances for Ukraine".