The former head of Viktor Yanukovych's O.R. election campaign has been appointed as an adviser to prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Two days ago the Cabinet of Ministers' Council of Investors selected Serhiy Tyhypko as their co-chairman. He has also served as the head of Ukraine's National Bank and is one of Ukraine's richest businessmen. It was Yulia Tymoshenko, co-chairman of the Council, who proposed him. After three years of absence then, Tyhypko is returning - to work "under the wing" of BYuT.
'ProUa' describes his return thus:
Ukrainian politics increasingly resembles a group of unscrupulousness interbreeding individuals. But as the number of individuals in Ukrainian politics is small, and no new blood is forthcoming, the arrival of an old half-forgotten 'hero' can refresh the picture and inspire some of electorate. Experienced politicians like Tymoshenko understand this, and for Tyhypko, the Council of Investors is a useful stepping stone in his return to public politics.
Apart from being Yanukovych's former election campaign manager, Tyhypko was also one of the founders of the pro-Kuchma parliamentary majority. He worked actively in the Kuchma regime and was considered a creature Viktor Pinchuk. In 2001 he even crossed swords with Tymoshenko in the energy sphere, so in theory he would not seem to be an obvious ally for Yulia T.
However, Tyhypko was known as a compromiser and never personally participated in corporate wars, preferring to resolution conflicts by alternate means.
Tyhypko was number two in Leonid Kuchma's structure of authority. At the beginning of the new century he nearly became prime minister, but he lost out to Anatoliy Kinakh, even though he was regarded as a better candidate. Then, in the "Za Yedu" bloc, he gave up the top spot in favour of Volodymyr Lytvyn.
Tyhypko was always a young and promising understudy, or first reserve. He has always ably hidden his political ambitions and never entered into the open competition with stronger players. But this could be simultaneously a strength and weakness.
Many speculate over what would have happened had Leonid Kuchma nominated Tyhypko as his presidential successor rather than Viktor Yanukovych - this had been a serious possibility at the time. Perhaps all that would have been required was for Tyhypko and Pinchuk's group to appear more determined - and who knows, he may have become president. But he finished up heading Yanukovych's presidential campaign, the failure of which cost Tyhypko three years in the political widerness.
Tymoshenko well knows the qualities Sergiy Tyhypko possesses from their days together in Dnipropetrovsk. For this very reason she has decided to seek out his services. The reason is simple: today, as a politician Sergiy Tyhypko does not present any danger to her. At the same time, it is an excellent opportunity for him to restore his own personal image, and his appointment helps raise the government's and Tymoshenko's rating.
Tyhypko is an experienced and capable political figure. Being back on the political stage will feel good.