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21 April, 00:00
By Volodymyr Zolotaryov, The Day

It so happened that last week’s focal event is still to take place - I mean the Speaker’s election - which, nevertheless, set its tune. Parties in Parliament came out with statements, met with the President, among themselves, and with Oleksandr Moroz. The President appointed serious “authorized representatives” (e.g., Tyhypko and Holubchenko) to supervise “work with the parties.” Lists of candidates running for Speaker were made public, along worth numerous commentaries. In a word, last week showed the makings of yet another full-scale political intrigue. Remarkably, the overall impression is that this intrigue was more important for the players than the outcome. Here waters are being troubled before the fishing starts. Experience shows that in such circumstances the results are often a far cry from what the interested parties plan. In Parliament, with its voting procedures, different factors are at play. In short, simple arithmetic shows the odds to be in favor of the old Speaker.

Still, wheeling and dealing round the Speaker’s seat is already bearing fruit which is collected by none other than that President. Almost all parties last week pledged to abstain from constitutional sedition - i.e., amendments that would finally set things right with the Cabinet’s responsibility and ascertain the Chief Executive’s powers in the President-Cabinet-Parliament triangle. In all likelihood, the parties swallowed the bait, promises, in some cases purely ideological ones like the President’s advertised message to the Ukrainian people pledging changes in the economic policy and upper echelon replacements. It is also true, however, that the President’s going Left is illusory, because he has never sided with the Right.

Last week was also marked by two events, the astuteness of which serves as additional evidence that fishing in troubled waters is among our national traits. Anatoly Halchynsky, sounding with a soap opera professor’s naїvete«, said that the parliamentary elections were to blame for doubling budget deficit (hence IMF’s refusal of the stand-by credit). Everyone knows that the opposition has no access to the national budget. Socis Gallup came up with a report showing that 69% of the respondents are sure that everything done in Ukraine is wrong, 41% believe that reforms should go on, and 10% think that everything is screwed up here, but let it stay like it is. 41+69=110. Personally, I am sure that there are considerably more than 10% thinking the hell with it.


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