Yesterday, January 29th, the Parliament could have adopted not only amnesty law, but also constitutional reform and set a new majority, writes The Insider.
Initially, four amnesty bills providing for release of Maidan activists have been brought into the Parliament, with two coming from the opposition MPs and the other two from Party of the Regions (PoR).
While opposition factions were not ready to support PoR-drafted bills, pro-government majority representatives insisted upon their colleague’s Yuriy Miroshnichenko’s draft law. The bill gives all protesters 15 days time to leave all administrative buildings and streets (except Maydan) as a condition or applying the amnesty bill.
According to different sources, some part of Party of Regions’ members (at most those controlled by Ukrainian business tycoons Rinat Akhmetov and Dmytro Firtash) disagreed with the majority and were ready not only to support one of the opposition-drafted bills, but join the parliamentary minority and vote for constitutional changes.
This was a worrying sign for PoR-led majority, which decided to conduct a meeting and convince all faction’s members to support Miroshnichenko bill. Predicting possible split in PoR faction and parliamentary majority, President Yanukovych immediately came to Verkhovna Rada to personally press MPs to back Miroshnichenko-drafted variant and prevent the setup of a new majority.
Anonymous sources say that President was screaming, using obscene rhetoric, and threatening rebelling MPs with very tough sanctions.
After “the revolt” was put down, MPs supported draft law tabled by Miroshnichenko with 232 votes.
At the same time, some sources do not rule out that Russia could have been staying behind the developments that finally put obstacles on opposition’s attempts to make the most of situation in Rada. Russia has tightened customs checks for Ukrainian goods on its border boosting concerns among PoR MPs that have business interests in Russia.
By acting in this way, Moscow wanted to show what consequences Yanukovych may suffer if he decides to stick to peaceful political solution of the crisis supported by Western countries.
Under certain circumstances, newly adopted amnesty law gives Yanukovych levers to resort to violence, if protesters refuse to free administrative buildings and streets within two weeks. Violent scenario is inadmissible to the EU and the US, but, on the contrary, could be regarded with favour by Russia and its allies.