Ukraine’s ruling party carried out its intentions and ousted Dmitry Razumkov, the leader of the Verkhovna Rada, on October 7, who in his time contributed to the presidency of Volodymyr Zelensky and later to the victory of the “servant of the people” in the parliamentary elections.
It is already known that the ruling party is considering the candidacy of Ruslan Stefanchuk, the deputy speaker of the Verkhovna Rada.
Dmitry Razumkov, 37, will form his own team: “I hope such people will appear. I am not really going to retire. “There are values that are not realized today,” said Dmitro Razumkov.
The Cold War between Zelensky and Razumkov
“The immediate reason for the dismissal of Dmitry Razumkov is dissatisfaction that he gave himself the right to argue and did not agree with Volodymyr Zelensky, who considers himself the sole ruler of Ukraine.
On October 5, something unprecedented happened in the history of Ukrainian parliamentary life. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has banned its chairman, Dmitry Razumkov, from holding plenary sessions for two days. On Thursday, 284 out of 450 deputies supported the resignation of the speaker.
“The immediate reason for Dmitry Razumkov’s dismissal is dissatisfaction that he allowed himself to be challenged and disagreed with Volodymyr Zelensky, who considers himself the sole ruler of Ukraine and does not want to take a different view,” Yevgeny Magda, director of the World Policy Institute in Kiev, told RFE / RL. .
Dmitry Razumkov was one of the leaders of Volodymyr Zelensky’s election campaign in 2019 and became chairman of the Rada as one of the politicians closest to Zelensky. But later a conflict arose between the masses and the president’s office. Zelensky’s supporters accuse Razumkov of sabotaging some of the president’s initiatives, including the de-oligarchization law. Traces of this controversy were clearly seen by journalists working on Ukraine’s domestic policy.
“If you look closely, it will be more than a year since the Ukrainian president’s website posted a photo taken with Razumkov. In other words, the “Cold War” between these two politicians lasted for a long time. Volodymyr Zelensky believes that everyone who came to power thanks to him should obey him. Razumkov even tried to be his counterweight and had a certain rating of confidence, which sometimes exceeded Zelensky’s confidence rating. Clearly, this irritated Zelensky. The last straw in this promise was the so-called “The law on oligarchs,” said Yuri Panchenko, a correspondent for Europayskaya Pravda.
As for the restrictive legislation of the oligarchs who became the apple of discord between Zelensky and Razumkov, it provides for the introduction of a legal definition of the oligarch, the creation of a list of oligarchs and the imposition of restrictions on their actions. For example, they will be banned from funding political parties.
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenk, the law is needed to protect the country from businessmen who have been involved in corruption for decades. Opponents of Zelensky say there is a danger that the law will be used selectively and give the president even more power.
The former speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine already believed that the law should undergo an international examination before approval.
At the request of four opposition factions in the legislature, Dmitry Razumkov agreed to send the bill to the Venice Commission for consideration.
Razumkov’s principled opposition was easily overcome by the ruling party, and the parliamentary majority passed a second and final reading on September 23. “The law of oligarchs. However, since it was adopted by lawmakers in “mutually exclusive norms”, Yuri Panchenko said the document would need to be amended accordingly.
A situation similar to Georgia?
The principle of the rule of law has been replaced by political unprincipledness, and the principle of freedom of thought and speech has been replaced by the principle of “those who are not with us are against us”.
The speaker of the Ukrainian parliament later went to Va-Bank and asked the anti-corruption authorities to check the information about the offer of bribes to some deputies in support of a “certain resignation” (meaning the resignation of the speaker himself).
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, called Razumkov a “big mistake” in transferring such a dispute to the public space, to the media. In early October, members of the ruling party in the Lviv city of Truskavets collected more than 150 signatures needed to oust Dmitry Razumkov at a meeting of the ruling People’s Servant faction, which was also attended by President Zelensky.
On October 7, the 450-member Verkhovna Rada ousted its speaker by 284 votes. Dmitry Razumkov calmly listened to the verdict of the former comrades and delivered his last word in the ampoule of the speaker.
“We came to the parliament to change the country for the better. I tried to fulfill at least some of these promises. The principle of the rule of law was replaced by political unprincipledness, and the freedom of thought and speech was replaced by the principle of ‘those who are not against us,'” Razumkov said in his speech.
Dmitry Razumkov’s words were met with applause from members of the opposition factions “European Solidarity” as well as the pro-Russian baptized “Opposition Platform for Life”, who voted against the resignation of the speaker. There is a cautious view that the former speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, who retained his mandate as an MP, will try to strengthen the opposition wing with his own team in the legislature.
“I do not see a great political future for Razumkov if he does not take active action today and start criticizing Zelensky, withdrawing his people from the People’s Servant faction and demonstrating that he is ready to start opposing Zelensky and play his own way. In such a case, it is not ruled out that he will be deprived of his mandate as an MP. “But given the reality in Ukraine, in that case Razumkov as a politician might become more popular than he was when he was a speaker,” said Evhen Magda, who noted that a serious blow to Dmitry Razumkov’s “political ambitions” was his support for his resignation. 284 MPs supported it.
Apart from the majority of the ruling People’s Servants faction, Razumkov was also ousted by Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivchshina and other lawmakers.
Consequently, Razumkov has little choice in the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada to look for future partners.
“The situation here is very similar to what is in Georgia. If we do not consider the “opposition platform for life”, there is a lot of polarization in Ukraine. You are either on the side of Poroshenko (former President of Ukraine) or Zelensky. Zelensky is still in such a situation, because his anti-rating, ie distrust rating is much lower than Poroshenko. “Zelensky has a fairly high vote of confidence, which gives him the right to win the first round if the presidential election is held tomorrow, unless a new leader appears in the opposition,” said Yuri Panchenko.
Whether Dmitry Razumkov will become a rival of Volodymyr Zelensky in the next presidential battle – no one in Ukraine can predict this now. Moreover, it has not yet been decided by Volodymyr Zelensky himself whether he will run for a second term.
But one thing is certain: if he still decides to vote, Zelensky will have a completely different team in the next presidential election. Before Dmitry Razumkov, Volodymyr Zelensky ousted his influential chief of staff, Andrei Bohdan, who called the Ukrainian president an “ignorant” and “inexperienced” politician shortly after leaving office.