Who is master in Ukraine: Leonid Kuchma or the election’s winner, Viktor Yuschenko?

According to Vice-Premier Viktor Seminozhenko, Viktor Yuschenko’s critics of the power means that he supposes his place to be in the opposition and started his presidential campaign. Though, to be just, it should be said that the power itself constantly pushed the ex-premier to oppose it. It could be very well seen in the pre-election race. At that time, in some regions, Viktor Yuschenko was turned down while searching for rooms to meet with the electorate; he could not even buy television time in any local TV channels. Not without special services’ participation, in the city of Dnepropetrovsk, some video equipment was stolen from his pre-election committee’s staff. A week before the election, the two most powerful TV channels of Ukraine ICTV and 1+1 showed a strange film “PR” about journalist Gongadze’s case as if “masterminded” by Yuschenko, produced by two Americans who occupy themselves with so-called “masterminded” plots. Everybody was shocked with President Leonid Kuchma’s “revelation,” who said that both the case of Gongadze and “cassette scandal” had been initiated by Viktor Yuschenko. While the viewers had to conclude that after Viktor Yuschenko’s resignation from the post of premier, the opposition quieted down. Who knows why the president is of such opinion about Viktor Yuschenko. Though it is well known that Leonid Kuchma newer changes his mind about his opponents. If he considers a person to be his potential enemy, nobody could convince him of the opposite. Yuschenko seems to know it either, if the day before yesterday he dared to say that the president, instead of guaranteeing observance of the election law, had become an active participant of the election and had openly supported For United Ukraine bloc. The President, long before the election, appointed the parliament majority, while allowing to the leader of his administration to make statements about political orientation of the President,” – Viktor Yuschenko noticed. He criticized “populist appeals” pronounced by the “party of power” during the election campaign, including promises to increase pensions and to decrease food prices. The harsh tone of the statements signifies that Viktor Yuschenko has finally got his political voice. This took place during his first public appearance. Practically two weeks after the election he spent somewhere. There were even many conjectures about it: as if Yuschenko took a special course with Americans to take power in his hands. One way or another, but Leonid Kuchma’s challenge thrown to the ex-premier seems to have been accepted. It sounds especially curious in the context of latest report of the President’s spokesman that Viktor Yuschenko is waiting for reception by Leonid Kuchma. As if this meeting should happen this week. Did Viktor Yuschenko think about this meeting while criticizing Leonid Kuchma? Or he thought about necessity to replace 17 of 25 governors, for he know that Kuchma cares for them, while personally knowing everybody of them. Harsh tone of Viktor Yuschenko’s statements was a bit retouched by the court political science professor, Mikhail Pogrebinsky. He said that the audience must be taken into account, for which that words had been pronounced. According to him, the words were pronounced in “closed circle”: the ex-premier spoke at the meeting with people’s deputies from Our Ukraine bloc. Though, Viktor Yuschenko is experienced enough, so while pronouncing his accusations, he saw there were about twenty TV cameras in the hall and every of his words would be transmitted to the President. Therefore, he entered the path of war with the power, and first of all with the President. His brothers-in-arm’s speeches also witness this. According to Vikotor Pinzik, who three times had been vice-premier, the bloc will raise the question about appointing Viktor Yuschenko the head of the government and about modification of the Fundamental Law. “We need the highest portfolio – that one of prime-minister,” – he said. So, what did he mean? According to the Constitution, the President proposes the candidacy of prime-minister, while Our Ukraine supposes this to be wrong. According to them, the government must be formed by them, because they got majority in the parliament. Moreover, they suppose to have right to demand the current premier’s resignation. While another representative of Yuschenko’s bloc, Yury Kostenko, the head of Ukrainian People’s Rukh, supposes that Our Ukraine is being pushed to the opposition, while all the portfolios have been already shared. While Viktor Yuschenko himself noticed that Our Ukraine supported “packet forming” of the government and Yulia Timoshenko’s initiative about today’s Ukrainian government’s resignation, headed by Anatoly Kinakh. According to Yuschenko, the pro-governmental bloc For United Ukraine which has got only 12 percent of votes does not enjoy the people’s confidence. Though, Viktor Yuschenko’s bloc is not monolithic. Some of its members are bankers who can easily lead the government through their capitals. There are two people of Leonid Kuchma, too – Roman Bezsmertny and Petr Poroshenko. While some members of the bloc, for example Gennady Udovenko, the leader of the People’s Rukh, supposes his party has been only used as a pawn in somebody else’s play. On the other hand, after becoming prime-minister, Viktor Yuschenko must become estranged from right-wing radicals supporting ideas of mossy nationalism, because he must have support of the most of the parliament, including left-wing forces: to establish dialogue with Communists and For United Ukraine members supported by the east of Ukraine. All the more, that there was already a report that For United Ukraine, the Communist Party and Social-Democratic Party had shared portfolios in the government. As if they created a parliament axis which guarantees immunity for the today’s government. And what about Leonid Kuchma? He keeps silent and studies situation and Viktor Yuschenko’s possibilities. Yuschenko could gather at the maximum 148-150 people in his faction. Plus about 50 people of Yulia Timoshenko and Alexandr Moroz’s faction. Some deputies remain above factions and they will be most likely patronized by Ivan Plusch, Yuschenko’s admirer, who at that same time faithfully looks at Kuchma. He was awarded by Kuchma with Gold Star of Ukrainian Hero, this is why he is sometimes called Kucham’s Hero. He most likely will help that one, who wins. To be short, the fight for the post of third president of Ukraine started in April of 2002. And if so, Viktor Yuschenko seems to have believed in the astrological forecast about Leonid Kuchma’s resignation already this year. Therefore, it is time for Yuschenko to enter the fight.

Alexandr Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine Photograph: Viktor Yuschenko

Translated by Vera Solovieva

Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/18/39946.html

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