Kolesnikov: With tears or without, but the adoption of a new Constitution is inevitable

Колесников: Со слезами или без – но принятие новой Конституции неизбежно

So Borys Kolesnikov estimates the probability of adoption of Constitution the Opposition bloc, written with his participation.

Not the first but not the second, so talking about the co-chair of the Opposition bloc Boris Kolesnikov. His name is a lot of associations – Hyundai, Donetsk airport, Conti, miner, Ukrainian hockey, the Congress in Severodonetsk…. List of associations, and not very pleasant, you can continue, but these are sufficient to assess the scale of person – politician, businessman, statesman. He seems to be closely in his office – a spacious, furnished, air furniture, simple white, where the ventilation quickly draws bitter smell of strong coffee, a favourite of doping by former Deputy Prime Minister. Probably for scale Kolesnikov would be more suited for the dim lights, oak paneling and heavy furniture, which furnished the building of the Cabinet on the other side of the caves of the hills from the present office. There Kolesnikov spent almost two and a half years, showing a phenomenal result – stadiums, airports, roads built from the ground up for 18 months before EURO 2012. Maybe now would show? Moreover, behind Kolesnikova is not demoralized by the first independence, and self-confident, serious political force, the weight of which even the social scientists accurately measure can’t. Said participants in the polls are often afraid to admit to sympathy for the Opposition bloc, but ON still in the majority of measurements occupies a leading position. The leaders of the political forces almost unheard – media do not hurry to give them a platform.

But freedom of speech cannot be selective, the Reporter decided to remind it, on the third anniversary of the revolution of dignity.

Колесников: Со слезами или без – но принятие новой Конституции неизбежно




– Boris Viktorovich, we talk on the eve of the third anniversary of the revolution of Dignity. If You, as one of the leaders of the Party of regions, managed to come in 2013, what mistakes in the actions of the PR, the government would try to rectify, to prevent such a development?

– I guess 2013 is too late. Error was founded in 2010 when the decision was made to advance on the path of Association with the European Union. Then we came with Sergei Tigipko to [Prime Minister Mykola] Azarov, and said that it is best to tell Viktor Fedorovych [Yanukovych], which according to our estimates, the country lost 7 million jobs. 20 million working-age at the time of the people 7 million jobs, our country will lose! Then there was the meeting with the President where we are the same voice…

– It was in 2010?

– It was in April-may 2010.

And in 2013, already late to drink Borzhomi…

Promises whether or not to give, or perform.

If to speak about the situation in 2013, it was possible to conduct a dialogue on political Association, and that economic Association…

Once a Correspondent counted if the average salary in Ukraine will be over a thousand dollars. At that time [in 2013] we’ve reached half – $ 450. And it would be appropriate as long as the average salary in the country reaches 800 – 1000 dollars, not to raise the question of economic Association.

It would have taken 7 – 8 years if you count since 2010. But it would be honest. First, the salary would have been laid for higher processes – such money just because the world is not pay. Country modernizarea, goes forward, and then looks at what markets to enter. This is a purely pragmatic question: we are opening markets and we open markets. That’s what the Association! And so, we-the markets opened. And we, even if is completely open, no restrictions – neither industry nor agriculture can not compete, they are not ready and will be ready soon. We can freely sell grain and metal, then a great mind is not necessary, it and so buy in the world – the question of the relationship of price and quality.

– Everything You say, it seems as if just. But why it was necessary to begin European integration? Mentally prepared of Ukrainians to the EU Association and suddenly, in a matter of days, changed course to the opposite…

– There is nothing new I probably won’t say too late obviously analyzed the essence of the agreement and understand what happens actually. But in any case, the Maidan, the more such a tragic, is the process. And what is the result?

Колесников: Со слезами или без – но принятие новой Конституции неизбежно




Two years after the elections to the Verkhovna Rada in October 2014, the Opposition bloc silent…

– …The opposition bloc was not silent never!

– …But the public didn’t hear you…

– …The public is not heard, because the media were so excited about power. The opposition only came two years later.

We were not silent, we even wrote a concept of the Constitution, presented it publicly. The opposition bloc, the opposition, completely pragmatic – and we understand no one in the country is not interested in fault. One question, what to do?

– …You yourself say, the media delighted in the wild, and not from you, in Parliament you do not have a majority in the government, no portfolio. You might be go to the Maidan? Will you support the mass protests in Kiev, which just now happen?

We did not participate in these actions and was not going to. Our party has not been and will not be on the wings at someone. It is necessary to understand our political opponents, and those who want to be our ally. We have never come to power by force – the Party of regions has always won democratic elections. And next time we will win, no question about it.

But then again, what to do? We have developed the program, working title: “Ukraine – the way to success”. Very briefly describe the details don’t matter.

The first is the world, strict observance of the Minsk process not only Ukraine, but also all parties to the agreement.

After the world need to adopt a new Constitution whose main objective is decentralization. This is very important. Elections on a new Constitution.

– You on a new Constitution mention the second time. I think the voters would like lower rates, the dollar was 8, even, maybe, hope for a brighter future. Perhaps this hope was the European Integration on the eve of independence. And you propose the Constitution…

– Imagine, the Reporter decided to separate from a large holding company, to publish independently. Need a new enterprise got a business idea, but also requires a Charter. Right? It is necessary to start! Now, we have 25 years of the Charter for Ukraine can not write. The Constitution is a Charter of the country. Than it more transparent and pragmatic, the easier it will be to move forward. Today nobody lives by symbols, and the victory of Donald trump – an indication that the world wins pragmatism. Today the US, tomorrow in Europe – and soon in Ukraine, he will win, the other is not given.

Donald trump in his program focused on domestic issues. He was not interested in geopolitics to the extent that she was interested in Democratic party of the United States. Not to say that trump is a hundred percent self made, because he has inherited the capital. But at least he has not lost, to develop, and the whole world knows it.

In Ukraine, too, will win pragmatism, but in order for the country to develop successfully, we need a new Charter, and the real decentralization.

Explain why. We have lived 25 years of independence. If you take the United Arab Emirates, they formally appeared in 1972 [Six of the seven Emirates announced the establishment of the UAE on 1 December 1971, the seventh Emirate of RAS al-Khaimah joined the UAE in 1972]. And now compare UAE in 1972, and in 1997, after 25 years is, to put it mildly, different countries.

But how to compare Ukraine to the UAE. They raised their economy because of oil, and we have no oil.

– We have a lot of what Arabs can only dream of. Oil in Bashkiria, and in Kuwait was found in one and the same time. And Soviet television showed what was happening in Bashkiria, and in Kuwait. And now, compare what it looks like Kuwait and looks like the former Soviet Union.

– Do you think that Ukraine is unable to benefit from its geographical position, industrial capacity and natural resources, because the power it organized properly and should be replaced together with the Constitution?

The main mistake of the current situation is outrageous concentration of power in the center. It does not give the regions, cities and districts there are no incentives for development. Our natural task is to fix it. In the name of the Party of regions is based on the principle of decentralization.

But the Party of regions was in power several times – two Cabinet, one President. Why is the issue of decentralization is not raised?

– When we were in opposition, we talked about decentralization in the morning, afternoon and evening. And when we came to power, was held on this occasion of the meeting with the President. We said, let’s the tax on income of natural persons, income tax, 50% tax on profits will give the regions that they could develop. And make the budget alignment – transitional period – because such regions as Ternopil, Rivne, Volyn not pull themselves…

– Remember, these projects were discussed in the press in those years. They are criticized mercilessly, in particular, the idea to reduce the number of areas, especially the Western…

– The number of areas was expected to reduce everywhere, not only in Western Ukraine. Because all of this is unnecessary administrative costs. These areas purely because the Soviet hangover. That’s where decommunization need! You need to cut costs, laid in the Soviet era in machine control.

– So after all, why could not the decentralization of the prescription of the Party of regions?

– When he came to power, Mykola Azarov says. He said: I am responsible for the social consequences of the government for pensioners and the poor. Therefore, all resources should be in the Cabinet. That’s the result! It is a double standard.

Double standards ruined such a state as the Soviet Union. And Ukraine it prihlopnet like a fly. Without decentralization there is no future. In addition, the Republic should be a parliamentary bicameral Parliament, which elects the President with ceremonial functions and a Prime Minister, actually managing the country. In the lower house of Parliament are elected in proportion to the results shown by parties in the elections, 150 members of Parliament – they are still more and who is going. In the upper house of deputies elected by direct vote, one from million of voters. At an upper house veto.

– Bicameral Parliament is most likely to exist in countries with a Federal structure. The question of Ukraine – a unitary state – is not discussed. You want to bring to the discussion?

– To understand the advantages of Federation, unfortunately, we lack political culture.

The Federation, in my opinion, increase the risk of further disintegration of the country.

– The richest country in the world, the United States of America. Germany is the richest country in Europe. No one was injured from such a model. But if the society is not ready, so we’re talking about a unitary state with broad powers of regions.

The government is trying to manipulate public opinion that flies the Vice President of the USA Joe Biden and says, “the United States of Ukraine” [In December of 2015, speaking in the Verkhovna Rada, Biden stated: “it is Important to have Autonomous, independent States to solve their own problems, which determine their own educational system, the government in the framework of the Constitution of the United…] And these are the “svidomye” clarify Biden just mistranslated. That is, your coming, by and large, the Helmsman – Mao, and from the democratic countries and says, that model. And the authorities do not need such a model, the government is still trying to build a Constitution for themselves. Nothing will happen – the country will collapse.

– It is believed that there are two approaches to decentralization. The first assumes that the greatest independence get primary Union of citizens of the community. It is a European model. The second involves the provision of the highest independence to the regions. Probably just the Russians wanted to implement in 2014 in the framework of the autonomy of Donbass – the right of veto of the regions on the decision of the Central government… which model is closer?

– The General principle is that the community give at the level above those powers which they can not afford. For example, the international airport, the local community not be able to contain, then it needs to be under the control of the regional Council. In each area there are medical, educational, cultural centres, theatres, museums – they are all residents of the area, and the town can not afford to contain. This is the approach that is even spelled out in the Constitution – of the community delegate authority to the regional councils. However, actually turned out that the regional councils have delegated their authority to regional administrations, and everything collapsed government.

Колесников: Со слезами или без – но принятие новой Конституции неизбежно




– Why decentralization has failed to Azarov, you have to tell. At the beginning of the presidency of Petro Poroshenko, decentralization was considered to be one of the most important reforms, along with electronic document management and the reform of the judicial system. Now on decentralization remember little. Do you think for the same reasons?

– Sorry to part with power. After decentralization, what will represent the Cabinet? Beautiful, educated, oriented on the global economy people. The Ministers will remain one, but the important thing is to set the tone in the economy, the governance of the country. In the United States industries essentially control the profile of the Association. As decided by metallurgists, breeders, doctors, educators – so the government is obliged to do. This is called the political dialogue in a Mature civil society.

Of course, we, as the Party of regions, is guilty of exactly the same – the absence of real decentralization. But the Party of regions there was more room to maneuver, she never drove people into such poverty and bondage as it is now. Yes, the gas was bought more than now – and was sold cheaper. We have enough resources, but we would have to pay more attention to the future – take place in parallel with decentralization and communal revolution. To put this task to local government.

I drove our mayors and governors in Berlin, London, Vilnius, Helsinki several times. The Germans once showed in the stairwell of a five-story panels, as we say Khrushchev, apartment, built in the GDR and FRG. Two apartments on one floor – heaven and earth! And they particularly emphasized the economic aspects of a West German apartment – how it can save the light, the heat… They have upgraded at the time of the Soviet five-story building with all possible responsibility. And we could, in parallel with the subsidies of the population to do it – the World Bank gave the money. Now the situation is generally deplorable. One target program of the World Bank, 2.5 billion still have not used the 2 billion to carry out insulation, you will be in the panel five-story building at 60-65 % less waste heat and energy, and “Brezhnev” buildings – nine-and above – will save up to 50%. And then the utility bills in the family where two people work, will make 10-15% of the total income is quite feasible tools.

– Decentralization, municipal revolution, the Constitution… You said that the Opposition bloc will not attempt to take power by unconstitutional means. But how then? Whether, in Your opinion, in the foreseeable future – winter, spring – early parliamentary elections?

– Can and will be. The coalition could completely collapse at any moment. And what is happening on the streets – proof. After all, this is not a protest, it is a direct struggle for power. Came five political forces in Parliament, positions only lasted for two games. And others who do not have enough portfolios have to wait until 2019. And some of them right now ratings are high, so they sway, let’s vote! And that will change the election? Some carcasses will have more, others less. But do decrease the rates? – Do not drop! Or maybe the war will end? – Will not end!

I don’t see any practical sense prior to the adoption of the new Constitution to hold early elections.

And how then will be able to hold Your Constitution through Parliament? You do not have a simple majority and required a constitutional!

– The adoption of the Constitution shall be initiated by the President. Because we love a political-legal way – they were used in 2004, 2007 and 2014. It is enough that the President will submit the Constitution to a national referendum – it will get 80% support, if not more. Who would be against that deputies became three times less, or that the powers back to the regions?

– Well, let’s see: Azarov refused to decentralization, just because I wanted to control the finances in the country. Groisman “forgot” about decentralization, because they do not want to have his Cabinet rode bikes and were engaged in merely “setting the tone”. And you offer the President to initiate the adoption of the Constitution, which will turn it into a Queen? He will remain ceremonial functions. I think the President will not agree – human nature…

– Power isn’t forever – we’re not an absolute monarchy. The President is elected to make the country successful. And this Constitution is the path to success. The law is not retroactive, and the President will remain President until may 2019. Or he’s just going to be President until may 2019, or will go down in history as a great reformer, and will continue his political career: to win the election – will the Prime Minister do not win – will lead the opposition. Such is political life.

But the new Constitution will open the main doors to growth over the last hundred years. Because since 1917, we are the country in fact did not develop – it was not a private initiative and was not the democratic process – and as a result, there was a gap from the civilized world. People did not live as good as their Western neighbors. Although certainly not worse than it is now.

– When Kuchma went for a second term, he also wanted to change the Constitution, proposed a bicameral Parliament, and many other things for your project in tune…

They are also consonant with the ideas of Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton – capitalism and a democratic society, in the modern sense of the word, for over 200 years. Don’t need anything new to invent, to reinvent the wheel. It is enough to copy the recipes, taking into account our peculiarities.

– And you spoke with the President about this, what he thinks?

– The draft of the new Constitution I spoke with all Ukrainian presidents, from Kravchuk, Leonid [Kravchuk] and ending with Peter Alexeyevich [Poroshenko]. All listen, agree, but there is no progress.

However, you can make a prediction: it will be so only with tears or without. There is no other way.

What do you mean, “with tears”?

– I mean time. With tears is if we wait for the next election. No tears, so now willingly.

We will all keep up to date, hence our action plan, recently adopted at the Council of regions ABOUT, with the working title – Ukraine: the way to success. And we will bring this program to every member of society – through a system of round tables. Society needs to understand what, for example, the Minsk process and how it should end or why we need a new Constitution and how to move reforms. We are ready for the war of ideas, and we will win. And second of 2013 will not.

This article was published in No. 45 (737) magazine Reporter on November 25, 2016