Sergey Tigipko Appointed Ukraine’s Chief Banker

Ukraine’s opposition calls people for “defending democracy” and getting ready for preschedule parliamentary elections

The problem concerning management of the Ukraine National Bank was discussed at a session of the Supreme Rada on Tuesday. The president of Ukraine and the parliamentary majority were no longer satisfied with the former president of the National Bank, Vladimir Stelmakh. The opposition once again attempted to block the voting; but the parliamentary majority withdrew to the presidium hall and voted there with nominal voting papers. The voting concerned former president of the National Bank Vladimir Stelmakh, probable president of the Bank Sergey Tigipko, management of the parliamentary committees and also the budget for 2003 which was already given the second reading but still dissatisfied recently appointed Prime-minister Viktor Yanukovich.

A temporary accounts commission was created especially for the voting, which was immediately labeled “impostors” by the opposition. The voting and counting of votes lasted till evening and ended with a fight. As was announced later, about 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, 257 deputies took pat in the voting . 232 deputies (at the necessary number of 226 votes) voted for dismissal of Vladimir Stelmakh from the post of president of the National Bank; ten deputies voted against the decision, 12 abstained from voting. 232 deputies voted for appointment of Sergey Tigipko to the post, ten deputies voted against the candidature, nobody abstained from voting.

Even before announcement of the voting results, the opposition circulated a statement signed by leaders of the factions “Our Ukraine” Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s Communist Party – Pyotr Simonenko, Ukraine Socialist Party – Alexander Moroz and Julia Timoshenko’s Coalition. The parties described the situation as “extermination of parliamentarism.” The statement says that the voting for the replacement of the National Bank leadership was falsified and results of the voting were unfairly manipulated. It was mentioned at that, items of the Supreme Rada Regulations were violated during the voting. That is why, decisions made at the voting, dismissal of Vladimir Stelmakh and appointment of Sergey Tigipko to the post of the Ukraine National Bank president, the decisions taken at the session concerning parliamentary committees and state budget for the next year must be declared illegal. The opposition leaders say that these actions mean actual steps toward a coup d’etat by means of usurpation of power, of illegal appointment to the positions provided by the Constitution and the intention to exterminate parliamentarism in the country.

In this connection, the opposition leaders disagree with the decisions reached at the recent session of the Supreme Rada and appeal to court in connection with the above mentioned violations. They appeal to the Ukrainian population for organization of protest actions in order to defend democracy and the Constitution. The deputies also insist that the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, international financial institutions, leaders of the OSCE parliaments and governments must be informed of the cynical neglect of the Constitutional rights in Ukraine and extermination of parliamentarism in the country.

To all appearances, it’s too early for the pro-president majority in the Supreme Rada to celebrate its triumph. Doings of the parliamentary majority automatically make for consolidation of the Ukrainian opposition which is currently disposed very resolutely.

Photo: Sergey Tigipko

Andrey Lubensky

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Author`s name Michael Simpson