Recent removing of Viktor Medvedchuk, leader of Ukrainian Social-Democratic Party, from the post of the Supreme Rada’s first vice-speaker arouse discussions: with what such event could be explained, for whom it is profitable, what consequences this event will have for the Social-Democrat Party, which was for so long called “the party of power.” Some observers hint at the social-democrats’ implication in organization of the “cassette scandal,” some observers say about triumphal coming of “Donetsk clan” that seems to sweep away the “Kiev one”. There is also another version: Medvedchuk and Yuschenko (ex-prime-minister of Ukraine) are the most possible candidates for president in the 2004 election, while Kuchma always has dreamed to be elected for the third time… That was why, at first Yuschenko, afterwards Medvedchuk were discharged. Anyway, everybody supposes that resignation of the main Ukrainian social-democrat could have sad consequences for the party at the coming parliament election. Though one fact should be taken into account: the Social-Democratic Party is such a machine that cannot be stopped so easily. Social-democrats are seriously preparing themselves for the election, while hoping for technologies, but not for emotions. Seminar for leaders of regional and city party organizations carried out in Cherkassy shows this very well. At the seminar, questions of the election commissions’ cooperation during the coming election campaign were discussed, as well as how the campaign will be carried out. In contrast to many Ukrainian parties and blocks, social-democrats do not have troubles with forming election commissions: their role will be plaid by regional party committees. They will directly submit to the central headquarter – a kind of brain centre, that will work out the election strategy. The election is regarded by the party as a fight, therefore for the whole period of the election the principle of undivided authority and subordination will act. Though this does not mean the turn to command system, because it is balanced with the atmosphere of mutual aid and respect in every commission and in every party organization. The system of the election commissions’ cooperation looks like a pyramid – the central headquarter is at the top of it, that includes the main part of executive committee of the party, regional commissions are below, while at the base of the pyramid, there are district election commissions that should obtain results in concrete election districts. The minimum task is determined as overcoming of 4-percent barrier, while maximum task is to elect as many deputies as it is enough to form a powerful faction. The whole activity of the commissions will be devoted to these tasks, while only people effectively working for the results will take part in their work. While the work itself is systematic and consistent. There are many secrets here that the party does not intend to share with everybody. The competition will be serious: for example, in Cherkassy region, party rows of Batkivschina and Yabluko parties are growing, while Rehabilitation of Seriously Ill Party counts today already 22 thousands of members (while 56 thousands of the region’s inhabitants belong to any party). The Social-Democratic Party’s rows are growing as well, so now the number of members makes up already 12,5 thousands people. Though, according to the seminar’s participants, the main thing is the members’ quality. Namely social-democrats started once the project “Staff Reserve.” This project probably will play its role at the election, promoting creation of the party’s positive image. Though the possible victory of the party is not the only task. Social-democrats also think about how to better the life of Ukrainian citizens after they will be elected to the Supreme Rada. The seminar was carried out before Medvedchuk’s resignation, while the party’s regional conference was carried out after it. According to some publications in the press, social-democrats are embarrassed by Medvedchuk’s resignation. Though, soon the party probably will be able to use its skill to act in non-standard situations. At least, the conference was welcomed only by the Agrarian Party’s regional chief Petr Dusheiko. While addressing to the participants “friends”, he automatically added: “And I am not afraid of this word.” Local observers noticed that the regional administration’s head, Vladimir Lukyanets, was not present at the conference. Though, according to the organizers, “he is simply an average member of the party.” Though, they did not say whether the governor’s name was included in the delegates’ list or not. According to non-official information, the governor has already withdrawn from the party. He could have submitted to the President Administration’s letter as if recommending to heads of regional administrations to immediately withdraw from the Social-Democratic Party… As for Viktor Medvedchuk, his resignation does not signify the final of his political career at all. Medvedchuk’s political funeral seems to be premature. Viktor Medvedchuk is not only politically alive, but politically healthy as well. Moreover, he seems to have benefited more than others. On the threshold of the election, he seems to have benefited both strategically and tactically. Though in March it will be clear, whether it is really so.
Andrei Lubenski PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/01/04/35332.html