The influence of the head of the President’s Office Andrei Yermak will increase even more after the resignation of Razumkov
Already on Thursday, the saga with the resignation of the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Dmitry Razumkov will end, which has already been confirmed by the head of the “Servants” faction David Arakhamia. And on Friday, a new head of parliament and first vice speaker will be appointed. Most likely, it will be Stefanchuk, who is now Razumkov’s first deputy. And he confirmed his professional aptitude before Zelenskyy by voting for the bill on oligarchs.
A vote on Monday to remove Razumkov from his duties for several days demonstrated that Servants have votes for resignation. A possible lack of votes of those deputies who will remain loyal to Razumkov or are ready to remain loyal to their principles will be added by the deputy groups “For the Future” and “Trust”. As it was, by the way, during the voting for the so-called law “on oligarchs”. Therefore, now the main question regarding Razumkov is: “Does he have a political future after his resignation?” The fact that he is being removed from office is also not a sensation. The principle in politics “You are either with us, or against us” is not unique for Ukraine.
And Dmitry Razumkov has been skillfully playing his game for long and more than once stood against the party’s policy on issues of principle and bills that caused discussions in terms of compliance with the regulations and the letter of the law. Many people predict for him an independent future and his own political project. He is even considered as a competitor to Zelenskyy in the presidential elections. As you know, the “red line” turned out to be bill 5599 “on oligarchs”, which he decided to send for examination to the “Venice Commission”.
Now the time has come for Razumkov to “gather stones”. The fact that he is ready to create his own political project became obvious from his statements during his briefing in the Verkhovna Rada after his dismissal from the duties of speaker. And pretty harsh statements regarding Arakhamia and Kornienko. But not Zelenskyy. By the way, the same Kornienko, who is now applying for the post of the first vice-speaker of the parliament, has already managed to declare that Razumkov may even be deprived of his deputy mandate, having applied for explanations to the Central Election Comission on the use of the principle of “imperative mandate”. But I think it is unlikely to happen and main goal is to intimidate Razumkov and force him to repent of his sins. In other words, to make him an ordinary voice of the “Servants”, who votes unquestioningly for all decisions issued from Bankova.
If you look at the situation from the point of view of political logic, and not emotions, then the decision of Bankova to remove Razumkov from the post of speaker is quite timely. It is better to immediately “clip the wings” of a potential competitor in the next presidential and parliamentary elections, while he has not yet “fledged” and does not have significant electoral support. This means that sponsors are ready to invest a serious financial resource. As you know, in politics there are no friends forever, there are only interests. And they prefer to forget all past achievements, even if they were so significant in yesterday’s victory, if you are not ready to unquestioningly fulfill the team’s decisions. As for the political future of Razumkov, in spite of a certain sympathy for him for his firm position on violations of regulations and compliance with the letter of the law, I am very skeptical.
Let me explain why. Already several political scientists have quite aptly compared him with another former speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, and now a political corpse – Volodymyr Lytvyn. They are united by the fact that they both know how to say the right things, found a common language with the heads of all factions and the oligarchs who control them. But, at the same time, they are united by the lack of charisma, without which it is impossible to evoke vivid emotions in the voter and become a political heavyweight.
In other words, he did not form a vivid, distinctive image. It is no coincidence that some ordinary voters still confuse him with Zelenskyy, whose role he actually played during the presidential campaign on television. And, it is worth admitting, significantly helped the president to win. At that time Zelenskyy could not answer the tricky questions of journalists like he does now. And his briefing in Truskavets clearly confirmed this. Now he behaves very confidently, if not defiantly, openly trolling opposition journalists and allows them to present themselves in a bad light. But now the topic is different.
As for the prospects for Razumkov after his dismissal from the post of Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, I will express my arguments why he will not be able to compete with Zelenskyy in his electoral field. Most likely, after the dismissal from the post of the Head of the Verkhovna Rada, the attention to him from the media will gradually fade away. I doubt that he will go into tough opposition and make loud statements against Zelenskyy. And without this, he is unlikely to be able to win a significant part of the votes of those voters who were disappointed by Zelenskyy. The rating of his support among voters did not exceed the level of 2-3% in all polls. For the media, he was interesting precisely as the head of the Verkhovna Rada. I doubt that this interest will continue after he becomes an ordinary deputy. Although he is now provided with a platform by opposition TV channels, including even Poroshenko’s “Pryamoy” TV channel. But they do this only in order to use him to criticize Zelenskyy, and not to nurture a competitor.
Most likely, the media interest in him will gradually fade away. Unless, of course, he can agree on cooperation with the oligarchs who own these TV channels.
But, again, the very oligarchs who in 2006 invested heavily in Lytvyn’s election campaign in the parliamentary elections remember perfectly well how it ended in failure. The money invested has definitely not paid off. He nevertheless entered parliament in 2007 and even managed to become speaker for the second time under Yanukovych, but did not become a political heavyweight. It is also important to understand that there is still too much time left before the next parliamentary elections. If they were, let’s say, in six months, then under certain conditions, which I have already mentioned, chances would appear. And so, they will talk and forget.
The only option for Razumkov to stay afloat is to create his own group in parliament. But for this it is necessary to have at least 16 deputies. He has about 7-8 loyal deputies among the “Servants” who were included in the list due to him. And who voted against his removal from the plenary session on Monday.
But, first of all, this is clearly not enough. Secondly, it is far from the fact that under pressure from Bankova they will all remain loyal and will be ready to leave the Servants faction and go into opposition. Especially after the upcoming demonstrative punishment of the majoritarian deputy Buimistrova, who voted against the law on oligarchs. It will also be quite difficult to recruit the missing number of deputies from the number of non-factional deputies. Indeed, in this case, they can attract the attention of law enforcement agencies. And as you know, in the Verkhovna Rada there are practically no saints without skeletons in the closet.
The main conclusion now is that the influence of the head of the President’s Office, Andrei Yermak, after the resignation of Razumkov, will grow even more, no matter how you relate to this. As well as the process of hesitations of the “Servants” faction after Truskavets will be reduced. In other words, we are witnessing a process of concentration of power by Zelenskyy and Yermak, which has already happened more than once in Ukrainian politics. It is another question how it ended up when the regime began to lose ground. The most interesting thing in this situation is watching how the oligarchs will help “with votes” to bring down the one who opposed the law “on oligarchs.” The irony of Ukrainian politics.