Commerzbank about probable successor of Leonid Kuchma and about further development in Ukraine after the March election

According to Ukrainian service of BBC referring to Commerzbank’s report, the fate of today’s prime-minister of Ukraine, Anatoly Kinakh is prejudged, while Leonid Kuchma’s successor on the President’s post will be the new head of the government. This is why, Kuchma needs a functional majority in the new parliament, which still will be divided into several factions. This majority must support an appropriate successor of Kuchma. Such a successor could be today’s vice-premier of the government, Oleg Dubina or ex-economy minister, people’s deputy Sergei Tigipko. Second variant of development in Ukraine is return of Viktor Yuschenko to the prime-minister’s post. That is the forecast of Commerzbank. According to Ukrainian service of BBC, the Commerzbank’s report shows that possible consequences of the 31st March election are wider than only creation of a new parliament, a new government and appointment of a new premier. The report’s authors assume that the new government will be coalition of the right-wing forces supporting Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and of the Communist Party. Commerzbank expects that the Supreme Rada will still be divided into several political groups. The necessary 4-percent minimum will be for sure belong to 5 or 6 parties, however obvious favourites are Our Ukraine bloc of Yuschenko and the Communist Party. Commerzbank draws a parallel between the 2002 election in Ukraine and the 1999 election in Russia, while writing in its report that Kuchma’s choice of the next prime-minister could be caused by the same reasons as President Yeltsin had when he appointed Vladimir Putin Prime-Minister: can the person who will be the next president to guarantee immunity of the ex-president or not? As well as in Russia, Commerzbank reports, the Ukrainian President introduces a prime-minister and needs an absolute majority in the parliament to approve his candidacy. Though, in contrast to Russia, President Kuchma does not have right to dissolve the parliament, if it votes for no-confidence of the government. On the contrary, he must retire the government. Namely, this is the main reason why President Kuchma should secure functional parliament majority, which would support an appropriate successor of him. While speaking about two main scenarios, the authors of the report write that return to power of the ex-premier could be considered as a positive one from the view of Western investors. Experts of Commerzbank write that International Monetary Fund’s support, which was recommenced during Viktor Yuschenko’s premiership, as well as his personal contacts with the West and efforts to restrict oligarchs’ influence upon economy, is considered by Western business circles as positive signs of his work. According to second variant of the development in Ukraine, if the right-wing forces supporting Kuchma and the Communist Party come to power, probable candidates for the head of the government are Oleg Dubina and Sergei Tigipko. At the same time the experts notice, that it is difficult to forecast who of the politicians has the biggest chance to become the premier. They only suppose that both of the candidates have good relations with Russia, which could influence the course of privatization and structural reform of economy. On the whole, in the report of Commerzbank a conclusion is made that the 31st March election will create the necessary prerequisites for election of Kuchma’s successor, when in October 2004 his government’s time expires. Though the specialists refuse to speak about concrete results. Taking into account complexity of election law in Ukraine, only one thing could be stated that the next parliament will have as many contradictions as the current one.

Alexandr Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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