Outstanding representative of Ukrainian “party of power” (called at the moment For United Ukraine bloc), Sergei Tigipko has visited the city of Cherkassy. In addition to his political career, Sergei Tigipko represents “new Ukrainian capital”: being ex-Komsomol worker (1991-1992), he became deputy chairman of Privatbank administration, in 1992-1997, - the head of the administration. In 1998, Sergei was appointed Vice-Premier of Ukraine, and in 2000 – the Economy Minister. In 2000 he was appointed the Sepreme Rada’s deputy and leader of Labour Ukraine party which belongs to For United Ukraine bloc. In the bloc’s election list, Sergei Tigipko occupies seventh position. At his press-conference in Cherkassy, Sergei Tigipko presented reasons, why Ukrainians should vote for the “bloc of power.” According to him, the bloc accounts on about 15 percent votes, though whether the bloc is able to gather more or not, the election will show. However, as for results of some researches, they present even smaller figures. But Tigipko does not consider this to be a reason for worry. “I have seen ratings which already now give 14 percent of votes for our party, but I also have seen 9-percent and 4-percent ratings. I understand very well what it is – the pre-election technology. It can understate or overstate figures, and now the question is not about science and about real rating of our party, but about manipulations of our political rivals…” – Tigipko said. It should be noticed that Sergei Tigipko is too tactful. Number one of the bloc’s list, head of the President Administration, Vladimir Litvin simply characterized sociologists who “ignore” the bloc’s high ratings as “prostitutes.” However, almost all research centres present approximately the same figures which are not very encouraging for the bloc’s leaders. Though the bloc’s leaders probably possess exact information about all Ukrainian sociologist being bribed? While answering the question on what technologies the bloc accounts, the leader of Labour Ukraine said: “On a reasonable Ukrainian head that should quietly observe: 2000 economical growth – 5,8 percent, 2001 economical growth – 9 percent. Tell me, in what European country the power is not supported with such dynamics?” Sergei Tigipko noticed that the economical growth had influenced the citizens’ real incomes which grew by 9 percent on average. He also said that the state’s debt to pensioners had been also paid off and that teachers and doctors’ salaries had been raised. According to Tigipko, this is a serious argument. Other arguments were more traditional: first – the power managed to avoid interethnic conflicts, second – the country is still moving on the way of democracy. That is why it is not time to vote for left-wing parties. According to the ex-Vice Premier, “left-wing forces are good when economy is in growth and it is time to share benefits – at that time left-wing forces come and ruin economy and afterwards again liberal reforms should be carried out.” Sergei Tigipko is sure that his position is shared by many voters and that is why right-wing forces will win a victory in the election.” Afterwards, in the parliament right-wing majority could be created of For United Ukraine bloc, Our Ukraine, Social-Democratic Party of Ukraine, Green Party of Ukraine and Women for Future party. The mentioned parties are parts of once-united party of power, which should participate in the election separately. The question is: is Ukrainian political elite really solidary? “The fact that the power elite goes to the election not in one line, but in several columns shows its deep crisis, - ForUm web edition writes. – At the same time, electoral field of Ukrainian party of power is not big: in 1998 election, the main force supported by the state administration – People’s Democratic Party gathered about 5 percent of votes, while the Social-Democratic Party about 4 percent (not without the administration resource’ help). Although the pro-governmental forces gained revenge in majority districts, they still could not have leading positions in the parliament. Sergei Tigipko was asked whether the bloc intends to use the administration resource. Tigipko answered that nobody should account on the administration resource in this election, while after the new election law had been passed, falsification of the results was completely impossible. Therefore, everything depends on the electorate. There was a question, whether the future united party could be leaded by President Leonid Kuchma, to what Tigipko said that this would be decided by the congress. “If the President proposes his candidacy, the congress will vote for him,” – he said.
Andrei Lubenski PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/02/28/37697.html