Orange Revolution, Orange Coalition, Orange Dissolution?
This week, after months of stalemate and negotiations, three Ukrainian political parties joined together to finally form a governing coalition. The parties, Yulia Tymoshenko's Bloc of Deputies, Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine, and Oleksandr Moroz's Socialist Party, have a history of both cooperation and competition. Together, they helped orchestrate 2004's Orange Revolution, during which hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians protested the results of a fraudulent presidential election and rallied behind current president Viktor Yushchenko.
The reunion of these parties seems to be considerably less auspicious and exciting than their original cooperation in the Orange Revolution. The popular consensus is that this unstable coalition simply will not last. Many Russian newspapers highlighted the tensions between the leadership of the parties and predicted that this government's collapse was simply a matter of time.
The tension between the parties of the coalition should not be underplayed. After all, Ms. Tymoshenko was once Mr. Yushchenko's Prime Minister, until he fired her, thus prompting her to start her own party. The coalition faces considerable and united opposition from Viktor Yanukovich (who lost the presidential election during the Orange Revolution) and his Party of Regions, which was the single largest vote getter in the last set of elections.
Yet in this climate of uncertainty and instability, there may still be a glimmer of hope. All three parties in the coalition know that they have something to lose should their government fail. Having enjoyed the euphoria of the Orange Revolution and survived the disappointment which followed it, the coalition should be able to set reasonable, if modest, goals. In sum, the leadership of the parties ought to be wiser and more experienced the second time around. The task of governing Ukraine hasn't become easier--rather, those charged with this task just have a better idea of how to go about doing it.