Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oranges still divided

Several thousand invalid miners are planning to demonstrate on 28th November outside parliament to protest against cuts to their benefits which are being proposed in the 2007 budget: its second reading is to take place on that day. They intend to remain there until their demands are met, and the miners claim the proposed budget violates their constitutional rights.

More opinion polls show that for Ukrainians, paying the big increases in housing and utility charges will present major problems. One poll indicates well over 80% say they cannot pay the increases.

Other O.P.s show PoR's rating down to 27.6%, from a high of 37.5% last August. BYuT are at 16.7%, and NSNU are at 10.4%.

At the same time, the likelyhood of a reshuffle amongst the ranks of BYuT and NSNU, and a possibility of the the lesser orange parties who did not join NSNU for the March 2006 parliamentary elections joining forces with BYuT, is increasing.

This speculation from 'Dyelovaya Stolitsa':

"However, an analogous situation exists in BYuT as that in NSNU with the 'lyubi druzyi', i.e. former 'Kuchmistas' versus 'heroes of the Maidan'. Yuliya T has managed to balance her businessmen and 'clean politicians', but how for long can she go on doing so is anyone's guess.. In reality Yuliya Tymoshenko has little control over her regional cells and fractions in the local government organs, where internal squabbling frequently takes place.

Then there are external factors which could threaten the present leading position BYuT in the opposition. In the Spring a force could appear that would squeeze BYUT in the oppositional niche.

The consequence of the President distancing himself from NSNU could be the creation of new pro-president force, possibly, not so much party, as a civic movement. The potential leaders of such a grouping could include one of President Viktor Yushchenko’s political advisers, Taras Stetskiv, Minister of Internal Affairs Yuriy Lutsenko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, or Vyacheslav Kirilenko. They could possibly be more attractive to the minor orange parties NRU, UNP and PRP, as well as some NSNU members, than BYuT."

PoR can remain reasonably relaxed - the 'oranges' are far from resembling a co-ordinated opposition.

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