Ukraine: some days before
Several days remain before the elections in Ukraine, but nothing special can be said. Certainly, one can estimate chances of one or another candidate, but no more. There are no changes; the present coalition and other have even chances, things will become more definite during the very process. It is quite clear that the result won’t become the end. When votes are summed up, one will begin forming the coalition, changing the Constitution, etc. One can’t say about any stability, and in the near future the situation won’t change.
But elections are a special episode. At least some figures will appear in the chaos that reigns now, and it even doesn’t matter what they will mean, just figures. And, perhaps, they will turn out to be quite unexpected. As for ratings, they changes now and then and sometimes seem to be just nonsensical. For example, in the live broadcast in Cherson Victor Yanukovich was asked, why his party had agreed to participate in the pre-term elections in spite of the fact that they were unconstitutional. Well, it is impossible that questions appear from nowhere, they are prepared; so, it was important for Yanukovich that he would be asked this question. He wanted to answer it.
He did answer. He claimed that the Party of Regions consented to pre-term elections after Yushchenko had ordered the internal security troops moving to Kiev. There was really such an order and even some troops were transferred somewhere, but in the whole there was a regular situation. The forces move to Kiev and the entire world can observe Yushchenko playing in Boris Yeltsin. Then everything would become clear.
Yanukovich came to another conclusion. “When we saw, that this orange team together with the white fraternity will go to every expedient, even to a civil conflict and, God forbid, to a civil war, we decided to participate in the elections.” (White fraternity - it is Julia Timoshenko Block). “That’s why the elections are the reality and on 30 September the people of Ukraine will give a response to these populists, carpet-baggers, artists, like they can be named, to these figures which, as I think, has lost their political faces and pushed the country to political and economic destabilization.”
There is some discrepancy here. If people are going to give a response, it will give it. But for what purpose five days before the elections Yanukovich explains why the Party of Regions has supported this initiative of Yushchenko?
Thus, figures can be rather unexpected. There is a statement of Bogatyreva, the head of the parliamentarian fraction of the Party of Regions. Bogatyreva decided to refute the information about the rating decline of the party. The explanation was quite simple: “The increasing rating is eating our political rivals up. While preparing themselves to the defeat and to work in opposition, our rivals are searching for new tricks and using manipulating technologies. <...> Our opposition is well informed that the Party of Regions is in the lead with wide margin and the defeat of the opposition is inevitable.”
But she didn’t bring any figures proving the “inevitable defeat of the opposition”. And we all know very well, what can happen with parties fully confident of their victory relying on ratings having ordered by themselves.
Thus if soon it turns out that just The Block of Yulia Timoshenko (BYT) and Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense (NUNS) will for the coalition, one shouldn’t be surprised. Generally speaking, simply arithmetic is in fashion now. One should sum up BYT and NUNS and then the Party of Regions and the Ukraine’s Communist Party (KPU). The Socialist Party (SPU) obviously won’t pass; but, as it is considered, the Party of Regions and KPU will. And then (as it is considered) there will be the coalition. But is it really so? Will KPU really enter the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Parliament)? Or it is reckoned that the Block of Litvin will pass, and then it is added to the Party of Regions. Well, maybe it will pass, but is it right to add it just there? If to add it not there, a wonderful harmony is established. Litvin is the speaker again, Timoshenko is again the prime minister, and Yushchenko is the president. Then Timoshenko fights for the presidential post and, sure, loses, since all people of good will will undoubtedly stand up for their fatherland against her. But at the moment she doesn’t guess about this.
What will be after the elections? There certainly will be a full benefit of the president Yushchenko; and he is ready for it. For example, in the beginning of this week Timoshenko and then Tomenko (also a member of BYT) began calling on Yushchenko to announce what coalition he wanted yet before the elections, whether it should be NUNS+BYT or NUNS+the Party of Regions.
Certainly, Yushchenko himself gave cause for such questions. He doesn’t speak directly about the coalition with BYT, but mentions “wide coalition”, i.e. one with the Party of Regions. It makes BYT nervous but they understand rather well, that now the president anyway won’t say them anything. So, this is just a PR at his cost, since they make the president out a politician betraying “democratic values” again. And if it is so, BYT is the only power, which can defend these values. Well, after all BYT and NUNS will fight for the second place.
But why Yushchenko behaves himself just in that way? Well, it is important for the coalition, how many votes will get NUNS and BYT, it will determine who will become the prime minister. But the elections won’t to put an end to the crisis. That’s why Yushchenko doesn’t regulate the elections but reflects on what to do then. First you should understand what you want and only then announce with whom you want to collaborate.
But at the same time Yushchenko became too enthusiastic about the NUNS, so that the CEC even called him on ‘keeping himself from agitation during the election process’. The CEC reckons that public appeals to vote for NUNS violate the suffrage. Since Yushchenko doesn’t participate in the elections, his behaviour is a direct propagation of the administrative resource. But Yushchenko decided not to explain in details but simply started the talk off in a more common direction, claiming that he, being a president, must participate in all political processes.
Well, there is something strange. If he hadn’t become a main teller of NUNS, the results of the election wouldn’t be so important for him. If NUNS received few votes, he could just step aside. He could say something about ‘the terrible defeat of the democracy’, but then encourage teh world by the fact that he, a true democratic president, is still on his post. But he decided to participate in the elections as the main figure of NUNS. Now bad result of NUNS can influence on his personal authority. But may not, since he considers himself to be such a person for which all these fusses are utter rubbish.
For example, hi was so indignant at the CEC, that during a pre-election meeting in Sumy he claimed that he did not call Ukrainians on voting for one or another political power. ‘I don’t tell anybody for whom to vote. I’m a free president and you’re free Ukrainian people. I fully confide in your choice and I’ll accept any challenge that you, being my compatriots will make’.
At the same time on 15 September in Lvov he said: “I ask you to support my team, Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense. I’m convinced, that, being the president and a national, I have a right on such a request”.
Evidently there are subtle psychological nuances. He really didn’t say that Ukrainians had to vote for NUNS, he just asked for it. Probably he sincerely reckons that he hasn’t made any appeal. And if to assume that he is sincere, then he just mixes himself and his position up. Well, in Lvov he called on voting for his team, but he spoke just as a private person, Mr. Yushchenko. Well, he is always mixing V. Yushchenko and the president up, and this know-how provides him for absolutely strategic superiority.
How else this know-how can be used? For example, on 1 October he can discharge the government. Discharge, being a president. Because a private person Yushchenko will count, that there can be a collision. The Party of Regions and KPU will become the opposition and, treading in steps of BYT and NU (Our Ukraine, that was before NS), they will refuse the mandates. The Parliament is incapable, according to the law the next elections can be held not earlier that in a year. Who rests in the country? The president and the Cabinet of Ministers. Rada is also incapable, so one can’t approve another Cabinet. Does Yushchenko, as a private person, want to find himself in such situation? Certainly, he doesn’t. but if to remove the Cabinet on 1 October, before the official results of the elections, he will become the only power in the country. And at that moment Yushchenko-the president and Yushchenko-private person will become one figure. It is certainly rather a pretentious variant, but it explains the actions of Yushchenko (of both Yushchenkos).
And it is a possible variant. Otherwise for what the Party of Regions has occupied the Maidan. One won’t occupy the Maidan beforehand because of good premonitions. Alas, this activity resembles generals preparing for the past war.