Friday, January 04, 2008

Yulka and Yush needling one another - as usual

"Oglyadach" today writes of 'the needle' seen already between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko during the first few days of the new administration. They are both trying to show one another who is top dog.

E.g. last Thursday when a KabMin session was attended by the President, he sat at the centre of presidium, the premier and VR speaker on either side. He twice drew to Tymoshenko's notice that she had exceeded the time allotted for addressing the meeting according to the 'reglament', by several minutes. He also announced that he intends to attend [and interfere in?] further cabinet meetings.

But she got her own back later. That evening she arrived [demonstrably?] late to the President's 'showcase' press conference, and instead of listening attentively to the 'wise words' of the President, she shameless shuffled pages of documents, which was picked up and seen by the live nationwide TV audience. [Yushchenko himself is notorious for being habitually late for meetings. Some photos of the press confence and cabinet meeting here and here]

Tymoshenko was also later interviewed on the "1+1" TV channel. [Watch it here ] Viewers could immediately compare her communication skills with those of the President - she clearly overshadowed him. [I have posted recently on Yushchenko's PR presentation and rather dreary delivery.]

On Saturday Tymoshenko's again appeared in a television studio - this time that of the first national channel, to speak glowingly of the merits of the recently passed state budget for 2008, and to praise the government, which had only been in existence for ten days.

"Oboz" claim the President and his secretariat are unhappy about Tymoshenko's overall performance, and are even, possibly, in a state of panic. They suggest that she may be deliberately goading the President into sacking her again so that she will not be held responsible for unkept promises. Open confrontation with the President could increase her rating in the future presidential elections.

Other bitter pills for Yushchenko to swallow are the latest opinion polls. The Ukrainian Razumkov centre of economic and political studies reveal Viktor Yushchenko is now trusted by only 17,6% of Ukrainians, whilst Tymoshenko is trusted by 32,6% - her highest rating since April 2005. The same sociological center reports 30,7% of voters consider Tymoshenko to be politician of the year for 2007. Yushchenko's rating was only 6,6%, after Yanukovych on 14,8%. Hearty congratulations for Tymoshenko poured in when she became PM for a second time from the likes of German chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Nicolas Sarkozi, to the displeasure of the pres.

"Oglyadach" also report that Yushchenko, Tymoshenko, and newly-appointed National Security and Defence Council secretary Raisa Bohatyryova are to meet in the Carpathian mountains where the President normally spends Orthodox Christmas. Maybe they can work out a co-ordinated plan of action.

LEvko thinks that ever since Yushchenko and Tymoshenko started to work together he has treated her shabbily, but as long as she does not dig her stilettoes into the toes of Yushchenko's business friends, they won't fall out just yet.
p.s. Thanks for the comments - they encourage me to continue with the scribbling.


Anonymous said...

I have never understood why the Pres. did not get a speech person to help him gain some zip in his presentation. While PM Tymoshenko has been REALLY accepting of all the curve-balls that have been thrown at her, but she can afford to be. Yushchenko's best option is to accept that he will not be voted Pres. again and to work from there focusing on the top priorities he wants to work on. The only person who is capable of making Tymoshenko look bad is herself and it is in his best interest for her to remain as PM for as long as possible while it is in her interest that he fires her. Unfortunately the Pres. has a bad temper and she is putting the slow burn on him. (My money is that Tymoshenko will get him to explode before she does.)

Sigh. Does make you wonder while all these games are going on - who is looking out for the nation's interests?

Anonymous said...

I agree it's in his best interest to leave her as long as possible - but look what happened last time in 2005 - instead of making a list of some items that could be accomplished even without a majority in Parliament, using the head of steam gathered in the revolution, Yush disappeared on a Grand Tour and Tym proceeded to cause material and general economic crises to which Yush only intervened belatedly. By Sept 20-05 the economy was falling, Yush brought in a very competant economic manager and the economy recovered. However Tym used her opposition status to wonderful effect especially on the gas deal and the farce over the orange coalition of 2006. Yanuk and Moroz by trying to kill off (metahphorically speaking this time) Yush forced him to co-operate with Tym. Now the cycle starts again -already a dubious economic budget with a big deficit even with very optiimistic assumptions - what happens if the economy gets really bad what will it do to support for both Tym and Yush? Yanuk may be down but not out yet.

Orest said...

Enough already!
Will all you little children get along.

This is so embarrassing, sometimes makes me ashamed to say I'm Ukrainian.

DLW said...

Let's hope and pray that the Prez sees the writing on the wall and doesn't run for the office again.

He's already made history simply by winning in the first place and fostering some slow but sure changes in Ukrainian political culture.


Anonymous said...

dlw - but who would you hope to see and pray instead?????