Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Incensed students to stub out Tabachnyk?

The provocative appointment by president Yanukovych of Dmytro (the dinosaur) Tabachnyk as minister for education and science has quickly given his opponents a cause around which they can rally.

An appeal [in English] to education workers by the president of the prestigious Kyiv Mohyla Academy explains the reasons for the anger felt by many Ukrainians.

Various youth and student organisations in Lviv are staging a protest march and rally in the city on Wednesday. Similar protests will certainly take place elsewhere.

The BYuT-led opposition in parliament are demanding the VR consider Tabachnyk's dismissal at its next session. It is not clear that the goverment will be able to fend off such a motion.

Yanukovych may have 'overreached' himself. The cabinet is already heavily loaded in favour of Ukraine's easternmost oblasts, e.g. 10 ministers are from either the Donetsk or the Luhansk oblast. Another three, including PM Azarov, are Russian-born but grew in in the Donbas region. More than half of Ukraine's oblasts are not represented in the new cabinet at all. The government and particularly the all-important economic and financial levers are completely under Yanukovych's control now. He could, and should have appointed moderates, perhaps from central or western Ukraine for the humanitarian ministries.

In soccer, particularly if you're playing away from home, the priority for the first minutes is to play safe and 'silence the crowd'. Yanukovych should have appointed a far less controversial figure for such a 'touchy' ministry as education and science - this could be his first 'own goal'.

1 comment:

elmer said...

I have seen several articles now, including in Ukrainian Pravda and the Kyiv Post, that posit the theory that the appointment of the odious Tabachnyk was a "trick" by Banditkovych and Lizarov.

The idea was to divert the resources of the opposition so much that they won't be able to focus on any other tricks that Banditkovcy and Lizarov might try to pull.

I don't think that the opposition in Ukraine will be that easily dissuaded or fooled.

Some of them may be bought, since selling oneself and lying is a high art form in Ukraine among politicians.

But dissuaded or fooled - no.

Do you think this was a "trick" appointment/strategy?

Or that the opposition won't be able to focus on anything else?