Friday, September 29, 2006

Who's been sitting in my chair?

Today President Yushchenko was supposed to attend a widened meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, but in the event he decided not to go. Newly appointed deputy head of the Pres. Adminstration, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said that there was no point the Pres. attending as the work of the government could only be assessed after 9 months or a year.

However, 'a little birdie' told 'Ukr Pravda' that the true reason why Yush refused to go was because he was not happy with the seating arrangements for the meeting. Yush was annoyed because he would not be sitting at the centre of the presidium, but to the right of the PM. He was actually en route to KabMin when he decided to turned back. [I think that he could have asked Yanuk to 'budge up' a bit, or are the chairs in the KabMin offices fixed to the floor?]

Some oblast governors, who were supposed to attend too, said that one of the items on the agenda was to be the sacking of 5 of their number. Dismissing governors has always been the prerogative of the President, so not for the first time, Yanuk may well be exceeding his powers and treading on Yush's toes.

Yush is to meet his oblast governors and city mayors tomorrow.

The RBK website [which I recommend] provides another angle, in a piece entitled: 'V Yushchenko chooses talks with Russian businessman rather that visit to the KabMin'

Yush met the seriously heavyweight Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman [born in Lviv, and now worth around $10Bn] together with his new chief presidential secretariat Viktor Baloha. Fridman heads the Alfa-Group [Banking, oil, retailing, telecoms etc etc]

A quote from the RBK piece:
"It is possible that V.Yushchenko may be trying to secure the support of "heavy" Russian capital as a counterweight to the Victor Yanukovich-Rinat Akhmetov tandem. The fact that information about the President's meeting with Fridman appeared on the Head of The State's website exactly at the time the President was to be present at the session Of KabMin, perhaps supports this."

Will all these 'digs' in the Pres's ribs reduce the possibility of NSNU soon joining the anti-crisis coalition? The text of their coalition agreement is '95% ready'. The position of the chairs in the KabMin may have cost the anti-crisis coalition a few NSNU deputies' VR votes.

No comments: