The Yushchenko government gets unsatisfactory mark from Ukrainian parliament. Resignation imminent?

Yesterday, Ukraine’s Supreme Rada gave a poor grade to the government headed by Viktor Yushchenko. Pro-government factions proved outvoted. When the voting was in progress, Lilia Grigorovich of the People’s Rukh faction poured gasoline over herself as if poised to commit self-immolation. A contending People’s Rukh’s representative, Mikhail Ratushny, prevented her from doing so, while the rest of the Rada were unimpressed. All in all, 283 deputies disapproved of the government’s performance, although their motivations differed. Some analysts think that, should the Ukrainian government resign, Mr. Yushchenko could head the opposition to President Leonid Kuchma. Mr. Yushchenko himself is quoted as saying that the poor mark given to the cabinet is also an assessment of President Kuchma’s performance. On the other hand, the poor mark does not necessarily means the cabinet’s resignation. Moreover, in Mr. Yushchenko’s words, “the parliament itself stands on the threshold of a big infighting, so the cabinet crisis can grow into a parliamentary crisis.” Anyhow, a no-confidence vote is scheduled on the next Thursday.

ANDREI LUBENSKI PRAVDA.RU KYIV