There is continued speculation of rifts in PoR between Viktor Yanukovych and 'king of Donbas' Rinat Akhmetov; and that after the VR elections a PoR-NU coalition could be formed with, possibly, Akhmetov-loyalist Boris Kolesnikov heading the cabinet of ministers.
'Ukrainska Pravda' says that Akhmetov wants to earmark at least 50% of the PoR party list for his men in the September VR elections. The writer thinks Yanukovych will be appointed at best, Donetsk oblast governor, and suggests that Akhmetov and the president have done a deal: "The president will close his eyes to any falsifications in the east of the country in favour of PoR, and in return PoR observers will take no attention of hundreds of thousands of western Ukrainians working abroad 'casting their vote' during the elections."
One of BYuT's top men, Mykola Tomenko, when asked in an interview with UNIAN about forming coalitions says: "I will voice two reservations with respect to "Our Ukraine". There is [NU leader] Vyacheslav Kirilenko, whose position is very close to our's, but there are Ivan Plyushch and Yuriy Yekhanurov, who have always remained supporters of a wide coalition with Party of Regions... so the possibility of wide coalition with the participation of NU remains. Therefore I consider clear guarantees should be given not so much to the political forces, as to the voters."
"If someone, somewhere, beyond Kyiv is conducting negotiations with the beneficial and effective manager Rinat Akhmetov, then, obviously, certain questions spring up about other coalition creation scenarios involving participation of NU, but without BYuT.
Opponents of Viktor Yushchenko say that his team are working so as to allow neither Yulia Tymoshenko nor Viktor Yanukovich to become premier. Other scenarios suit them, because then the road for the current president will be clear for the next presidential elections."
Akhmetov wants more of 'his people' in the VR and in the cabinet, and wants his man as PM in a PoR-NU coalition government in the event that PoR do not achieve an absolute majority. Is he offering Yushchenko an unopposed run in the 2009 presidential campaign in exchange?
LEvko thinks this is a tantalizing offer..