Saturday, February 18, 2006

Yanukovych 'Keeps It Simple, Stupid..'

Why is the popularity of such a clumsy, inarticulate and unsympathetic character as Yanukovych increasing in the current Parliamentary [VR] election campaign?

Why is the Partiya Regioniv, dominated by Rinat Akhmetov's faceless factory bosses and business associates, discredited names from the past, football club officials etc., having so few presentable and appealing leaders, topping the OPs?

What they have is a single simple, easy-to-understand mantra - We will work more closely and in a more concilliatory manner with our 'older brothers' and neighbours the Russians, and things will all get back to 'normal'no'.

The orange coalition has become a shambles - the gas crisis with Russia underscoring the depth of disunity. The disagreements over Crimea and the lighthouses, over Russian Black sea fleet, and Russia's ban on meat and dairy imports from Ukraine, all serving to drive home PR's simple message - Ukraine is in a mess because of the current authorities' inability to work with Russia.

After the VR elections the newly-appointed PM will have increased powers; however the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence will remain under the President's control. Assuming PR become the largest party in the VR, and the President continues his pro-Western stance, e.g. by sticking with the pro-Western Foreign Minister Tarasiuk, serious problems will spring up very quickly indeed.

The Kremlin will see no need to back off or take a more accommodating attitude towards Ukraine, e.g. on the gas crisis. The hardest hit by this will be the industrial complexes run by Akmetov and his business associates that dominate PR, a situation not good for anybody.

These kinds of scenarios must be going through the minds of Ukraine's business elites. I suspect this is the reason why there is so much speculation on behind-the-scenes coalition deals that are probably being lined up ready to be put into place after the elections in order to prevent a major VR-Presidential conflict, and subsequent crisis.

This maybe the reason why, apart from Yulia T, no other politician is attempting to seriously discredit Yanukovych and the PR in their election campaigning, even though he is such an easy target.

With only 30-odd days left Yanukovych has not had a blow landed on him - he probably can't believe how well everything is going..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I largely agree, but you neglected to mention another side of it: Yanukovich has largely kept his mouth shut. A clever idea, that reminds me of the aphorism that "it's better to keep quiet and let people think you're an idiot, than open your mouth and remove all doubt."

That comes on the background of Tymoshenko, a woman who -- apparently -- believes she will cease to exist if she's not yammering on about something on TV. Attempts on her life, $350 milion never bloody ends!

Then, you've got Yushchenko, who is a past master at looking like a twit every time he makes a statement.

Not to mention the "indignity" of Bessmertniy, et al, going at it hammer-and-tongs in the press with BYUT reps.

They're their own worst enemies and there's no need for any black PR from the Yanukovich camp.