Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Yushchenko' s dilemma..

Vira Ulyanchenko, one of President Yushchenko's closest advisers, admits that a broad coalition in Parliament including PR and its leader Yanukovich, is possible. "I think that..a broad coalition may happen, or maybe an orange coalition may be created, because this is absolutely natural...[but] no-one is talking of a marriage with PR. We are talking of a broad coalition, about including...possibly including, PR into the coalition. This is a matter of discussion."

She also claims PR agrees with NSNU on Ukraine's entry into the EU and WTO, because it will widen access for Ukrainian business to external markets, adding "It seems to me that he - [Rinat Akhmetov] would be interested in such a [broad] coalition, as a representative of big business."

"The President's secretariat [where Ulyanchenko has an office] is not looking seriously into the question of the candidature of the PM at the moment."

Tetyana Mokridi, a NU press secretary, stated that the NU bloc could not decide at a political council meeting today whether to sign a democratic forces coalition protocol. A decision has been deferred until tomorrow.

But Yuliya Tymoshenko has accused a portion of NU led by Yekhanurov, Poroshenko, and Martynenko of wanting to form a coalition with PR, something she has ruled out for BYuT. She says she obtained the information from an insider - a member of the NU polit-rada, who told her that there is an NSNU campaign afoot to discredit negotiations on the creation of the democratic coalition, in order to create a broad coalition with PR.
She also appeals to the President to take personal responsibility in conducting talks with her and Socialist leader Moroz in this matter.

But perhaps, most sensationally she accuses Petro Poroshenko of co-operating with deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, and Mykola Martynenko of working with SBU chief Ihor Drizhchanyi to open a criminal case and sanction the arrests of Oleksandr Turchynov, BYuT #2, and Andriy Kozhemyakin, BYuT #25. Turchynov was former head of the SBU - Kozhemyakin an SBU adviser. This has all been denied by the Prosecutor General's office.

Meanwhile President Yushchenko strikes a statesman-like note and "is disturbed that the participants in the discussions [on coalition] are dragging their feet in developing a a realistic program of action for the coalition, and wasting too much time and energy on mutual insults in the mass media."

Yushchenko is caught in a dilemma. If he continues to procrastinate, he is open to accusations that he is doing under-the-table deals with 'the enemy' - PR. If he caves in and agrees to Tymoshenko becoming PM, the first thing she will do is pull her program out of her handbag and insist that her junior partners agree to it. If he forms a coalition with PR, then he will be despised by a large portion of the Orange electorate in central and western Ukraine.

Yuliya is in a much stronger position. Apart from having secured the support of a much larger portion of the electorate than NU in the March elections, in the 'worst possible case scenario' i.e. going into opposition against an NSNU-PR government, she has 'an ace in the hole' - a very good chance to crush Yushchenko in the next presidential elections.

What is Yushchenko to do with this woman? Perhaps there are worse fates than just lying back and thinking of Ukraine?

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