Friday, April 07, 2006

Make-your-mind-up time near?

In politics, as one politician's star rises so his rivals' stars fall. Yushchenko and his entourage were shocked at BYuT's results in the immediate aftermath of the VR elections. They thought BYuT's vote would collapse. But it turned out quite differently.

I hope Yushchenko and his advisers read Tammy Lych's letter in Thursday's 'Kyiv Post.' A quote: " any democracy, elections are messages to the incumbent. Incumbents who respond to those messages survive. Those who do not, don’t."

President Yushchenko's star is in decline. If he were to dismiss Parliament in the event that a workable coalition were not formed, then the likelyhood is that the NU bloc would be humiliated even further - they might even be doomed as a political force. Yushchenko's legacy in Ukrainian history would be tarnished - something political leaders are ever mindful of.

Minister of Agriculture Oleksandr Baranivskyi's recent declaration that he will never agree to work in a government headed by Tymoshenko was a surprise. As Scott says, the Socialist party of which he is a member, had agreed to support Tymoshenko's bid for the PM's job - but this is just another illustration of the fractured nature of Ukrainian politics, and how difficult it will be for any coalition to survive before splits occur in the months to come.

In a recent TV interview, one of Yushchenko's closest advisers, Petro Poroshenko, who felt that he should have been appointed PM ahead of Tymoshenko a year last January, and who Tymoshenko regards as one of her biggest enemies in the NU camp, said: "I do not, unfortunately, detect any moving together of the political positions of Party of Regions and NU bloc."

As one of Ukraine's wealthiest men, he may have been one of those in the NU camp who would be interested in co-operating with magnates and oligarchs from Yanukovych's PR in a 'grand coalition.' But apparently he is not having much success convincing others. Does this indicate that the pendulum is swinging more towards an NSNU-BYuT-Socialist deal?

The big stumbling block for many in the NSNU, particularly its highest echelons, is Tymoshenko herself. But no matter how distasteful it is for them, BYuT are 'on the up' and have been for many months now. It's probably up to NSNU members further down the tree to make their voices heard. Maybe the 'Hell's Angel' in this photograph has already made up his mind..

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