Thursday, September 27, 2007

Election campaign turning into custard pie fight

A quick run-through of Ukrainian news sites starkly reveals the mess the country is in, which could endanger its democratic development.

Suzanna Stanik, who had been relieved of her post as head of the Constitutional Court by presidential ukaz, and then reinstated by a regional court which recinded the president's ruling, is in 'hot water' again. The security services of Ukraine [SBU] has handed over evidence to state prosecutors indicating that she allegedly received a $12m bribe.

Party of Regions have accused the president's secretariat and the SBU of jointly creating a mechanism for unprecedented falsification of the elections. At the same time, the SBU have opened criminal cases against officials in eastern Ukraine for falsifying elections lists.

And lethal quantities of heophylline and digoxin have allegedly been found in the blood of the Minister of Internal Affairs Vasiliy Tsushko, who himself is responsible for law enforcement. The drugs may well have triggered his recent heart attack. Apparently this was confirmed by independent examinations, carried out in two German laboratories.

Tsushko, at a press conference, reported that both examinations were completed on 21st September. He said that the blood sample, sent for analysis to Germany, was taken on 27th May.

When asked by journalists, what where the motives for his alleged poisoning, he replied that it could have been either an attempt to provoke the beginning of a revolution, or the result of his anticorruption activities in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. He said that several days after the poisoning, head of the SBU Volodymyr Nalyvaychenko visited the clinic where he was being treated: "to see if had met his end or not". He continued: "In reply to who ordered it, [the poisoning], today the SBU is a structure, controlled by the secretariat of the President, and I think that V.Nalyvachenko was directed to me by the secretariat of the President, but I again repeat - I do not have any claims or suspicions against Nalyvaychenko".

Tsushko said that the theophylline is used to treat asthma and chronic lung diseases of the lungs, but he had never taken such drugs. Digoxin is used to treat cardio-vascular disease.

On 20th August, at a press conference in Dnipropetrovsk, Tsushko had denied that he had been poisoned, but on 1st June, Socialist VR deputy Yevhen Filindash stated at a VR session that Tsushko had been poisoned, and knew who the organizers of the poisoning were.

On 26th May Tsushko was hospitalized with 'myocardial infarction". On 31st May, because of a deterioration in his condition, he was transferred to a German clinic and underwent a coronary bypass operation.

What is fact and what is fantasy? - Ukrainian politics are rapidly becoming a farce. Marx said, "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." Hopefully it will not be the otherway around.

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