Saturday, October 20, 2007

Too nice a chap

An article in 'Gazeta po Kiyevski' says that, unsurprisingly, PoR are doing all they can to drive wedges between BYuT and NUNS and ensure their frail democratic coalition never gets off the launch pad. They say the nomination of Vyacheslav Kirilenko, Nasha Ukraina's #1 and NUNS#2, as speaker of the VR is particularly vulnerable to attack.

Some of NU's older hands consider the 39-year old Kirilenko too young and just too pally- pally to Tymoshenko. Kirilenko has little experience of business and is not closely linked to any financial or industrial group - they don't like him in the president's secretariat. They would prefer someone more immersed in the shadier side of Ukrainian politics, someone who would be more acceptable to PoR. Veteran former VR speaker Ivan Plyushch may fit the bill: he favours a grand coalition, and would make its creation more likely in the new VR. It would only be a matter of 'convincing' several orange deputies using the usual methods; and PoR would throw their weight behind Plyushch if BYuT got stroppy.

As others have noted, many of Ukraine's leaders have skeletons in their cupboards, and kompromat on one another. They have developed their own kind of modus vivendi. Kirilenko is just 'too nice a chap' to be trusted .. and the voting in the VR to elect a speaker is by secret ballot..

Looking forward, in the long run Tymoshenko is, in some ways, in a win-win situation. Since last March's elections she has gained 1.5 million extra voters. If a BYuT-NUNS coalition were to fail to be formed and a broad PoR-NUNS coalition came into being, Yushchenko's popularity would decline even further. Because the latest elections have yet again shown Ukraine to have a slight inbuilt orange majority, by the time the next presidential elections come around [in January 2010] , or any further extraordinary VR elections take place, she and her party would be confident of outright victory. But if during this time the PoR-NUNS coalition were to clean up their act, reduce corruption and deliver the goods to the electorate...Isn't this what democracy is about?

p.s. Rumour has it Yanukovych has gone off for a few days to the seaside, maybe jealous that Yushchenko and Tymoshenko are living it up and rubbing shoulders EU leaders in Lisbon. Or maybe he is not talking with Akhmetov right now while Rinat's people are wearing out the carpet in the pres's secretariat..

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