PoR have had to respond to president Yushchenko praising Rinat Akhmetov for helping regulate the current political crisis. There had been signs that Akhmetov and his closest PoR associated eg Boris Kolesnikov were more favourably disposed to holding early VR elections that Viktor Yanukovych.
The first deputy leader of the PoR VR faction Vasyl Kiselyov today declared that he considers President Yushchenko's lauding of Rinat Akhmetov to be 'incorrect' and 'tactless'.
Kiselyov, when asked to comment whether it had been Akhmetov that was negotiating with the president about of early elections replied: "Akhmetov and Yanukovich are as one. He and Yanukovych maintain one line."
An article in 'Glavred' suggests that a friendship may indeed be developing between Akhmetov and president Yushchenko, causing a rift between Akhmetov and Yanukovych, who was not as keen on early VR elections as Akhmetov.
Early elections were in no way part of Yanukvych's plans - he had expected to be head of government for years to come.
Glavred suggests that Yanukovych and Akhmetov have a different strategic vision for PoR in the new parliament. Yanukovych wants to recreate the present configuration of the recent ruling majority the VR, while Akhmetov is convinced that for political stabilization in Ukraine it is necessary to negotiate with the President and his party, possibly, even giving his supporters several key posts in the government.
Today the pre-election campaign of "Regiony" is at its initial stages. The central selection of party nominees will most likely be led by Boris Kolesnikov. There could well be changes to their existing list of deputies - some of Anatoliy Kinakh's party, as well as Socialist Vladimir Boyko, head of Mariupol metallurgical combine im.Il'icha, and some of their supporters could be included.