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Mykhaylo SVYSTOVYCH: Who has proved to be Yuschenko’s promoter on the future presidential struggle?
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This will be the most subjective article of mine. So it will strike the eye with the words like "it seems", "to my mind", "looks like", since in this part I will try to describe deep, hidden (rather then superficial) motivations of the"Our Ukraine" leader concerning the problem of voting for govermental program of Yanukovych’s government. In this case suggestions will prevail over statements.
55 votes of "Our Ukraine" plus the vote of the great friend of “Our Ukraine” Ivan Plushch have the sole meaning - Viktor Yuschenko, directly or indirectly, approbated exactly these results of that voting. The fact that he personally has not participated in the voting would hardly delude someone, since all those who have participated and have supported the govermental program, censored by president, were the closest to Yuschenko personae.
Viktor Yuschenko behaves like this not for the first time, remaining, as he possibly thinks, above the battle. Although to my mind this behaviour in no way reminds the contemplation of a buddhistic monk on a shore of the river, who is awaiting for the current to take the dead bodies of his enemies away, instead he looks like the ostrich, hiding its head into the sand, or like three monkies covering their eyes, ears and mouths with their hands. But that is my personal perception. I am not Yuschenko. Moreover people often assess the same actions differently and it has nothing to do with sincerety or lie.
One should also be careful not to be mislead by the fact that the half of “Our Ukraine” members have not given their votes to the authorities. It was just enough to receive 55 votes, so why should someone create unnecessary internal strain inside the fraction in situation, when each member of fraction can show his political will without any harm for plans of the leader and without any violence over his own conscience.
There is a proverb: if stars on the sky are being lit — then someone needs it. Therefore the voting behaviour of "Our Ukraine" has its own comprehensible motives unlike the motives of the irreconcilable opposition, which are much more difficult to explaine by any rational motives unless you believe in sorcery.
There were huge quantity of tries to explane the sensational (as it looks for uninitiated observers) voting of “Our Ukraine”. However I haven’t met a single person believing that Viktor Yuschenko, who had repeatedly claimed this program as unacceptable, who had accused the present government in being a criminal one, who had compared it with parlor house, and who had declared for many times that government of Yanukovych is not their’s, therefore"Our Ukraine" does not carry the responsibility for it, so I say I haven’t met anyone who believed that Yushchenko suddenly saw something genius in this program and changed his attitude to it. The same refers to the association "Razom" (Together), which had sharply criticized the program the day before voting and which had declared that it would not vote for it , but in the day of voting has suddenly changed its mind.
There are three main ways trying to explain this: voting on barter, graft and future presidential election.*
It’s difficult to believe in agreement between "Our Ukraine" and the fractions controlled by Yanukovych, concerning the voting for proportional electoral law in exchange for the support of the governmental program. I have a realistic view on the intellectual faculties of our deputies but still I do not consider them to be so foolish. Another fact that we should take into consideration is that when the Law About The Election of People’s Deputies wasn’t passed “Our Ukraine” reacted somehow languidly and resented somehow artisticly. In no way could this be compared to the battle between the majority and the opposition in December of 2002. Morover the fraction itself didn’t try so hard to support this law because no one made an effort to collect all the deputies and make them to be present in the Verkhovna Rada to push the button at the right moment. 9 members of “Our Ukraine”, who didn’t take part in voting, would be enough for the law to pass.
Money version is also very doubtful. Among those who supported the govermental program there are so rich people that I cannot imagine the sum for which they can sell their votes. If the authority bought their votes then few more such votings would suffice for the members of the majority to be so poor not to have enough money to dine at the parliament cafe. The most that one can suppose here is stealing by some deputies the eggs to their baskets, but not the graft.
Here remains the third and the most probable version. “Our Ukraine” voted aiming at the future presidential election. This is because on April 17 Yushchenko became for the moment the minion of the boxing duel and received the right to choose the next rival for himself. His choice was Yanukovych, as he was the weakest from the Yushchenko’s point of view.
Viktor Yushchenko, of course, is not Lennox Lewis, and the last word regarding the candidate to the highest post in the state will surely remain after auhorities, but Kuchma (or whoever will make the decision — maybe it will be a secret conference of all authority powers) is also not Don King. The set of his boxers, i.e. candidates, is not the best, and that is why he will choose the follower not according to his wish, but according to the candidate’s form at the moment of the decisive battle. And while the authorities haven’t got the boxer equal by rating to Yushchenko, the “Our Ukraine” leader made everything possible to increase the chance of his Donetsk namesake to become a candidate.
Everything is logical, so there are no special objections except the moral ones. But our leaders prefer speaking about the morality than adhering to it (or maybe they have their own notion of morality), that’s why I’ll look at the situation from their side.
If I were Yushchenko I wouldn’t make such choice, from the rational point of view. I wish I were wrong, but it seems to me that Viktor Andrijovych has approached the same rake of which he used warning everybody recently. And I see the big shot on his forhead, although many convince me that it the brain enlargement caused by great thoughts.
The authorities haven’t got the determined Kuchma’s follower. But the range of candidates is not so wide and no so secret. It includes (supposing the widest range) Kravchenko, Piskun, Tihipko, Medvedchuk, Kirpa, Lytvyn, and Yanukovych. It is very doubtful that a new person will appear beside those included to this range who will manage to gain high rates enough for Yushchenko’s defeat. We are lucky not to have our own Chechnya, so we’ll hardly watch the apperance of Ukrainian Putin.
Kravchenko is not the rival. Despite the longing for a strong hand expressed by the large part of the society, our people don’t like the miliciamen and tax officials (it also regards Piskun). Reminding also the “promo materials” of major Melnychenko, “eagles”, and the story about miliciamen-werewolves we’ll see that the highest expectable rating for this ornitologist is the second place. From the end, of course.
Kirpa, who is unknown for the electorat — that’s also unserious. And Mintrans (The Transport Ministry) is hardly the best starting site for the presidential campaign. If only trains wouldn’t deliver each passenger at the very door of his or her apartament in the multistory building. But since it is pure fiction the main railway-man of the country has to do nothing but enjoy the “success” of “ozymi” or “future women”.
Lytvyn and Tihipko, both having not so bad starting sites, could, in best case, claim to become the pale copies of Yushchenko. They won’t be able to propose anything new and better. The way both of them got their current offices also won’t help them to gain authority. Morover the former from this sweet pair left his imprint on the Melnychenko’s tapes, and the latter, became the citizen of Ukraine not by the right of blood or ground but in the process of so-called naturalization (he was born in Moldova), not speaking about a set of other diverse misdemeanours which will show up as soon as campaign starts.
The only who are left are Medvedchuk and Yanukovych.
I personally do not feel any reason for Viktor Yushchenko to let “Our Ukraine” give even the single vote for the govermental program. One of the reasons is this: the simplest mathematical counting shows that the program would have passed without the opposition votes. And the opposition, which should not vote for the govermental project by defenition (the word oppositional means “which is against”), would remain faithful to its principles.
They can argue with me saying that if the opposition had started the powerful campaign in the parliamnet aimed at not letting this program to pass, then “trudivnyky” (workers) and united social-democrats could also dare to ignore the instructions of the president currently in force and would not support the rival program for the title of candidate for final game of 2004. And I agree with these objections, because this way was, in my mind, totally possible. It make even more sense if we remember the strong assault on the govermental program made by the SDPU(o) leader Leonid Kravchuk.
But in this case the last word would belong to the Presiden too. If the parliament does not adopt the govermental program it is not dismissed. Kuchma definitely is not going to dismiss Yanukovych, and so everything would have been left on its place with the only difference that P.M. woudln’t have had such comfortable conditions and would have had to restrict himself while preparing for the contest “Mister Authority Candidate”.
But Viktor Yushchenko made everything possible to have the presidential duel with no other but with his Donetsk namesake, offering him the great opportunity to get the best form among the other candidates. Now Verkhovna Rada doesn’t have the right to dismiss him during the year, and Viktor Yanukovych can build his starting site with the help of all accessible means, not fearing the opposition and his “friends” from serpentario called “The Parliamnet Majority”.
So who has proved to be the Yushchenko’s promoter for the next presidential battle?
There are a lot of not unfounded complaints about the entourage of "Our Ukraine" leader. I cannot say that I like there everything too. But it seems to me that in this case Viktor Andrijovych made his decision by himself. And it was not a certain person or a group of people that became his promoters, but Yushchenko's almost animal fear of Medvedchuk. Sometimes it seems even that Yushchenko is ready to decline the highest state post providing that Medvedchuk won't become the president.
I am far away from defending Medvedchuk, but Yushchenko is looped at the united social-democrats leader claiming him to be the source of all-Ukrainian evil, and this prevent him from seeing that there are many other people which are not better and not less dangerous than Medvedchuk. And the evil in Ukraine will not perish when Medvedchuk will be removed from his influence on the society, as much as corruption has not disappeared or even diminished after Lazarenko escaped abroad.
I don’t see a great difference between the President Medvedchuk and the President Yanukovych. This is the very case when it is difficult to choose the less evil from two, and Medvedchuk suits for the role of the less evil least of all. If only the Ukrainian Pall Pot wouldn’t show up. In the fantastical situation (thank God, we won’t come to this choice) if in the second tour Medvedchuk and Yanukovych were struggling for the presidential office I would vote for the latter guided by irrational motives: each people has its symbols in the form of prominent persons. And one of such symbols of Ukrainian people is poet-dissident Vasyl Stus who died in cummunistic concentrational camps. And Medvedchuk, who took part in the law process which doomed Stus to death (imprisonment for the sick poet was equal to death) does not have the moral right to head the state, for which Vasyl Stus payed his life.
But if I were Yushchenko I would choose for the presidential duel Medvedchuk. Not because he is the less evil but because he is the weakest from the pair Medvedchuk-Yanukovych.
The adherents of the Yushchenko-Yanukovych duel claim the latter is more comfortable rival as he has so important for the candidate for the presidential post stain on his biography: two convictions for crimes. This flaw is really very serious but this information should be conveyed to each voter. And Yushchenko won’t do it until the beginning of the electoral campaign as in such case Kuchma may change his mind regarding his follower. And the time period left for agitation may appear to be too short .
But Medvedchuk also was convicted. And it doesn’t matter in any way for the presidential campaign that he was convicted only once, or that he was imprisoned only for 2.5 months, and that later he was justified. Morover if Yanukovych won’t deny the black pages of his biography Medvedchuk would have to spend a lot of time and money to convey to each voter his justifying message which is too long for the election message. And this justification is easily beaten by the Dmytro Chobit’s book “Narcissuss” which describe the circumstances of this justification.
I dare to assume that if the election is honest Yanukovych will accumulate the greatest number of votes among authorities candadates. This would suffice for him to become the second from the end, though. But we all understand that the votes won’t be counted as they should and as it is stated in the law “About the Election of the President of Ukraine”. But as nowadays the falsification in Ukraine has its borders the honestly won votes will play not the least role.
It is Yanukovych who has the best chances to collect the votes of those citizens who always vote for the authority (there is such phenomenon), because the P.M. post is for the majority of citizens the symbol of authority (not taking in consideration the president as he won’t take part in the election). The post of the Head of the Presidential Administration is also important but that’s not it. Besides, all people’s distrust for Kuchma and his negative sides will also spread to Medvedchuk.
I have seen almost none faithful adherents of Medvedchuk among common citizens. On the other hand Yanukovych do has such adherents. In his native Donbass many voters tend to assess him as severe and sometimes unjust but still practical boss. This myth popularized along with the propaganda of the region interests protection could lead to the big broadening of the electoral base especially in such regions (like the East and the South of Ukraine) where most citizens don’t assess the old convictions for hooliganism as a hard sin. State property stealing and organized criminal actions are another case.
The pro-Russian part of constituency see Yanukovych much more theirs than Medvedchuk. If Medvedchuk wants to explain to each Russophile his view he should yell about it antagonizing those pro-Ukrainian oriented, while Yanukovych's Donbass origin agitates for him, without having him to tease the Right Bank constituency by his pro-Russian speeches.
Both candidates are well-known to all Ukrainians. But while Yanukovych is relatively a new person Medvedchuk has already became an eysore for the whole Ukraine. And this distinction acts not in the authority candidate's favor, as it is mainly negative. Yanukovych's negative sides are not known to people and the opposition should try very hard to make them publicity. Morover all these flaws are less vile than those of Medvedchuk (the only fact the he took part in legal process against Stus automatically takes away all votes of patriotic electors).
It's not a secret that before the election the authority tries to make an illusion of welfare increasing in order to increase the popularity rate of its candidate. Having stable economy this is not difficult to be achieved by the cost of working balances exhaustion and overall payment of increased salaries and pensions. The negative results of such actions in the nearest future do not bother the authorities as they will become obvious only after the election. It is understood that people will attribute the welfare increase to the P.M. and not to the leader of the Presidential Administration.
Yanukovych suits best than Medvedchuk to play the role of "the strong hand" the longing for which, for a pity, is still intense in the Ukrainian society. Still “strong hands” may have different nature, so all those longing for authoritarianism want to decrease to the minimum the possibility to be caught by such hot hand. In other words Ukrainian adherents of "the strong hand" want Pinochete but not Paul Pot. Medvedchuk is not Paul Pot, but his hand associates first of all with punishment of his personal enemies, willfulness, animus while the strong hand of Yanukovych has more to do with economic activities and not politics as in the case of Medvedchuk..
It's a pity but it seems that Viktor Andrijovych was caught by these associations and he doesn't understand that Yanukovych is no way better than Medvedchuk. And the fact that he never shows his hostility toward his opponents never making any movements of his face muscles doesn't mean that P.M. is ready for more or less civilized ways of battle.
But as I already wrote, the quantity of honest votes for the authority candidate will not suffice even for the second tour. So everybody understands that the only chance for the authority candidate to win the election is to use the administrative resources. And I am convinced that Yanukovych uses it more effectively than Medvedchuk.
Dmytro Chobit, while looking for the title of his book about Medvedchuk has precisely underlined the feature of his character. The head of the Presidential Administration really loves himself very much and cannot hide his neglect or hate of his opponents or even to those dependent on him. His urge towards power is maniacal, his unwillingness to share the influence is seen with an unaided eye. It seems he enjoys using force and makes it not only for business but also to prove himself and the others his advantage. This behavior caused him to acquire a lot of enemies among authorities. There are a lot of people among oligarchs (for instance the head of the Tax Administration Mr. Kravchenko) who don't hide their hate for SDPU(o) leader, who are afraid of his coming to power and they will agree with Yushchenko's presidency rather than Medvedchuk's, having heartache, though. The alien but not revengeful Yushchenko is the lesser evil for them.
Of course they won't support Yushchenko directly, and if Medvedchuk will become the authority candidate they would have to go to the party of the head of the Presidential Administration. But they will work there like "the see burns", i.e. without any appropriate enthusiasm. The last presidential elections showed how officials can sabotage chiefs' orders while imitating wild activity.
Despite Medvedchuk Yanukovych has no enemies among authorities. He has only foes with such motives as competitiveness, envy but not fear. So even TV channels controlled by SDPU(o) will work in full power for the authority candidate Yanukovych because, firstly, Yanukovych is the less evil for them and, secondly, Medvedchuk is not the only owner of those channels and his party competitor Zinchenko will hardly follow the order of the united oligarch headquarters to let his "Inter" to become the instrument for Medvedchuk's whims.
Yanukovych's longing for the power is not morbid. He is ready to share with something minor, not forgetting, of course, about his clan. He knows his power and has no need to demonstrate it all the time. That is why he uses his power not for pleasure but only when needed. But still he makes it without hesitation and is no less tough and cynical than Medvedchuk. In any case Donbass, during the last parliament election, became notorious for such elective law infringement, such willfulness and such crimes that Medvedchuk has never dreamed. And Viktor Yushchenko is na¿ve, as I think, when he hopes that Yanukovych's behavior will remain the same as it is today. We'll see the real face of "the Donetsk," and it hardly be the less demonic than the face of the united social democrats.
* There is also the fourth version proposed by the chief political technologist of "Our Ukraine" Ihor Hryniv. He claims that Yulija Tymoshenko, while calling for the opposition unity, had so strong influence on some members of his fraction that they supported the governmental program. This version is absurd, because the governmental program was supported by those "Our Ukraine" members who have never been the passionate adherents of the opposition since Tymoshenko became opposed to Kuchma, and moreover they have always underlined the distinctiveness of "Our Ukraine" from the oppositional three. On the other hand no consistent opposition member did not support the Yanukovych program, and it is worth saying that they participated in Tymoshenko's affairs many times acting against Yushchenko's position. I doubt whether Ihor Hryniv himself believes in his version. It seems to me that here we deal with dishonest technique, caused by Hryniv's dislike of Tymoshenko as a person and/or as his political competitor.
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