Skip to main content
На сайті проводяться технічні роботи. Вибачте за незручності.


21 April, 00:00

Although the postelection state of the Ukrainian economy is such that one can no longer discuss prospects with any degree of certainty, the political show goes on. Even though unnoticeable to an outsider, backstage wheeling and dealing is gaining momentum, at times giving the impression that they are really deciding the destiny of this long-suffering nation. Regrettably, the reality is different. All this heightened political activity boils down to bargaining, looking for allies, plotting daily conspiracies, and forming strange alliances. In a word, preparations are underway for yet another battle, in which the winning side will take the Speaker’s and Premier’s chairs as a package deal.

In their “untiring dedication” to the nation’s well-being, the parties and factions seem prepared to trade everything: ideals, principles, comrades-in-arms, and allies. The Communists no longer shout about impeachment, the Socialists keep silent about constitutional restrictions on the Presidency, Rukh has suspended its attacks on the Reds, the national democrats are no longer worried about reforms, and Hromada keeps in the shadows biding its time to attune its choir to whoever gets the prize.

The present alignment of forces looks so intriguing that The Day asked the following persons to share their ideas about who will be Speaker and who Premier.

Natalia Kondratiuk, Ukrainian Bureau, GRT Television :
“I think that the next Speaker will be someone no one would ever have expected. In my biased opinion, none of the current more or less noticeable political figures would want to risk public hara-kiri vying for the seat, exposed to attacks from all sides in Parliament, even less so in view of the 1999 presidential campaign. We Slavs are ill-disposed to experimentation with such exotic Oriental rituals. Thus, I see him as a figure agreed upon among the factions, one without the makings of a spectacular personality.

“As for the Premier, he might well remain our friend Pustovoitenko. President Kuchma will not throw him to the wolves, because the role of his understudy has long been empty. I mean there in no one else like Pustovoitenko in terms of loyalty and efficiency. He cannot hope to win the approaching campaign without at least one such reliable weapon as the current head of the government.”

Volodymyr Katzman, journalist:
“Struggling for the Speaker’s seat will be long and difficult, but Parliament will be headed by a Leftist. The Communists stand the biggest chance and the most likely candidate is Hurenko. In fact, this outcome could satisfy the executive, because their policy would then become more understandable and transparent. I think that they are working seriously on precisely this option. Most of the game is ahead and I do not rule out the possibility that the democratic wing, national and popular factions included, will put forth their people vying for portfolios and influence in Parliament.

“I also think that Valery Pustovoitenko will remain Premier. At least for another 3-4 months. Maximum to the presidential campaign. But surprises are possible here, too.”

Iryna Pohorelova, Political Chronicles:
“I have said it before and I still believe that Oleksandr Moroz may be reelected. I also think that neither the President nor the international community would be content to see the Ukrainian Parliament presided over by a Communist. Considering that they now have less than one-third of the votes, this would look like consciously surrounding Parliament to the Left, and radical Left at that. Moroz, therefore, remains a very likely candidate.

“The Cabinet may indeed remain under Pustovoitenko and the President’s meeting with the communist leader seems to confirm the possibility. If this happens, there will tangible changes in the Cabinet. I think that the key arrangement in this case would be for the Communists to support of the government’s program. This would be the trick. Accordingly, the Cabinet’s program would have to look Left enough, but kept from ‘undermining’ the fundamental principles.”

Dmytro Dzhanhirov, Business:
“Moroz will be Speaker. No doubt about that. Because if it comes to gridlock and the threat of Parliament being dissolved without a speaker, the Centrists will be the first to say uncle, for they have spent between 300,000 and a million on the electorate, and a runoff is the last thing they will want. The Left will give up later, but Moroz will finally get 20-25% of the votes he needs.

“Only two persons stand a real chance to get the premiership. Tyhypko in the first place and Kinach whose chances are much smaller. As for Pustovoitenko, the man doesn’t stand a chance, for no one will forgive him the elections.”

Oleksandr Yurchuk, journalist:
“Moroz stands a better chance than anyone else. He cuts an almost religious figure, and he will get there, provided the Left straightens its own problems out. However, one cannot totally ignore Lazarenko who could well become First Vice Premier. After all the man has so much cash, he just can’t be shrugged off.

“As for the Cabinet, it will remain and ruin everything there left to ruin, and then decisions will be made. No one should try to assume its responsibility now. This is one option. The second one is that the President, portrayed as a man with a strong will but with a 1% budget deficit, will take the executive wheel before the campaign, because the new Parliament will vote down every candidate Premier.”

Options discuses behind the scenes on the last day of the old Parliament were marked by less originality but greater versatility. Rukh Press Secretary Dmytro Ponomarchuk, for example, told The Day that the former Rada’s leadership are “playing the Moroz card” with the scenario being: Speaker Moroz, First deputy Speaker Communist Martyniuk, Deputy Speaker Lavrynovych, and Pustovoitenko remaining Premier. This tender, allegedly, shows better demand for the lot in which those combining government jobs will now do only political work. Another interesting variation (very likely coming from the Presidential Administration): Dyomin-Hurenko-Udovenko, a classic one with Centrists, Leftists, and Rightists in a streamlined structure. Most importantly, all close and dear to the executive. Yet another option being seriously discussed has it that there will be a deep rift in the Left wing caused by the NDP and their new allies supporting Hurenko as Speaker. Symonenko’s smooth comments after meeting the President are too ambiguous for any guess as to what was actually arranged between the two. Vice Speaker Tkachenko voiced his dissatisfaction with the candidacy of Hurenko, which presents the picture in an altogether different light. Thus, given a Communist-Lazarenko alliance, Moroz really could be sacrificed. Still, all these options are helpful as trial balloons. The game is only beginning, but one thing is clear: the main game still lies ahead and everyone in power is taking part.


Delimiter 468x90 ad place

Subscribe to the latest news:

Газета "День"