Friday, April 27, 2007

The squeaker is back [again]

Some speculation in today's normally solid "Delo" business newspaper about the re-re-appointment of Svyatoslav Piskun - the van'ka vstan'ka [weighted self-righting tilting doll] of Ukrainian politics. Some bits below:

"The President will require of him 'a clear and precise reaction' to the decision of the KabMin not to fulfill the President's decree on snap parliamentary elections, as well as on the activities of a number of local councils who are not carrying out instructions to prepare for these elections. The primary task then, placed on Piskun, is to control financing of the early elections and to control the work of the Central Election Commission. Piskun must have agreed to this.

After being sacked by the president, relations between the president and the disgraced Prosecutor-General were completely destroyed, Piskun openly criticizing him and referring to the head of state in uncomplimentary terms.

Piskun has been given a guarantee, but not by the president, but by an influential representative of the Party of Regions, says a confidential source of 'Delo'. According to the source, a rift is taking place inside Party of Regions along a Yanukovych-Akhmetov fault line. The latter supports the idea of re-elections, hoping to strengthen his position in the fraction and at the same time placing a check on the premier's grasping of authority.

Whether this version corresponds to reality, will become clearer immediately after the first cadre reshuffles in the Prosecutor-General's office. For example, if Svyatoslav Piskun discharges Yanukovych's godparent - deputy general prosecutor Viktor Pshonka, and at the same time allows Renat Kuzmin, who is considered close to Rinat Akhmetov, to remain, will indicate that 'Delo's' source is correct.

LEvko says there may be some truth in this. Akhmetov is a shrewd gambler. Some say that he started his meteoric career as a 'naperstochnik' - a three-thimble and pea scam grifter who rose to be a high-stakes roller. He is not one to miss an opportunity, even if some risk is involved.
Photo of Piskun and Akhmetov from Ukr Pravda. Do those smiles seem sincere?

ps Piskun in Russian means 'sqeaker'. One article calls him "the last refuge for [Ukr] presidents". "In Ukraine, from the days of Kuchma, a panacea was confirmed against Donetsk prosecutors: if there is no other way, there is always the 'ace up the sleeve' - Piskun." Too right..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

do the smiles seem sincere?

yes and no. Piskun is looking to Akhmetov for approval and re-assurance while Akhmetov is trying very hard to be jovial and convivial [the 'shark' (term of endearment here) smiles.] But Akhmetov does not personally 'like' Piskun but he will use him.