Election is a good time for people to show what they are. People almost show their back. Though why only almost? For example, in the city of Zaporozhye, a young lady Lyudmila Skirda, candidate for the Supreme Rada deputy, presented herself in an unusual way: one morning, people saw on photographs naked Lyudmila, only in hat. Yes, the photographs were stuck on columns and fences, in other words in places specially aimed for agitation. The posters called the electorate to vote for the most attractive candidate. Women, especially aged ones, while seeing this, were even cursing. But men smiled and attentively studied the photograph. Though in general, the Ciccolina from Zaporozhye seems not to have received the effect she expected. Some time is left up to March 31, so the stripping candidate could be forgotten before the election. Of course, if she does not do something more extraordinary. In general, women actively participate in this election. First, Women for Future pre-election bloc was created, which is formally headed by Valentina Dovzhenko, chairman of Ukrainian State Committee on Family and Youth. Though it is no secret that the real leader of the bloc is Lyudmila Kuchma, the President’s wife. There were hopes, that Lyudmila Kuchma would stand for Supreme Rada deputy, because she herself promoted the bloc. Dozens of actions were carried out in Ukraine with her participation: she visited schools, hospitals, opened family boarding schools, and always brought presents and actors, first of all from Moscow. Though Lyudmila Kuchma said she was not attracted with people’s deputy figure. When the pre-election Marathon race started, everybody was surprised with results of sociological polls. The third place, after the Communist Party and Our Ukraine of Viktor Yuschenko, was occupied by Women for Future. The bloc always gathered 6-7 percent of votes in the polls, while for passing to the parliament it is necessary to gather only 4 percent. Though the bloc’s successes in the polls is questionable, taking into account that there are firms which can falsify such polls’ results for a pretty good sum of 20,000 dollars. According to these firms, good results of the polls seem to assure the electorate that this or that party is popular, so they could vote for it. Recently, the first lady of Ukraine came to the city of Kharkov with one more charitable mission to support her favourite bloc. All local authorities had been preparing themselves for her visit. All communal services have been checked up. The day before Lyudmila Kuchma’s visit, the region’s leaders gathered in local airport: they were concerned with presence of other parties’ advertising shields in the airport. As a result, the leaders decided to stick them up. In the morning, Lyudmila Kuchma could see only advertising shields of pro-presidential bloc For United Ukraine. In a couple of days, the opposition’s bloc leader, Yulia Timoshenko arrived in Kharkov. Though the hall leased by her beforehand, turned out to be closed, while the city administration refused to give Yulia Timoshenko the key. Yulia Timoshonko used the situation to demonstrate to everybody who came to the meeting with her how cynical the authorities were and how intolerant towards the opposition. Recently, Yulia often speaks about necessity to unify the three most important political forces: her pre-election bloc, and Viktor Yuschenko and Alexandr Moroz’s blocs. In this way, anti-presidential majority could be created in the parliament and Kuchma will not be elected for president for the third time. In this sense, there are no problems with Alexandr Moroz, while Viktor Yushenko is too tough. Now his bloc seems to be ready to fall to pieces: some of his brothers-in-arms declare the bloc will have at least three factions in the parliament. When Viktor Yuschenko went to Poltava with his agitators, he was refused rendering TV air, while the governor did not want to meet with him and even to speak by telephone. In Dnepropetrovsk region, Viktor Yuschenko was refused, as well as Yulia Timoshenko, using a hall for meeting with the electorate. As a result he was not self-assured while appearing before people. Though, according to some observers, Yushenko still supports the reform course carried out by President Kuchma. Recently Economist business magazine published a big article about Yulia Timoshenko. The author of the article Jonatan Ledgard writes that Yulia Timoshenko’s aim is to replace Leonid Kuchma on his post in 2004. According to the author, this would be a feat of her, because the youth is too disappointed with the situation in Ukraine, while the elder citizens suppose that Kuchma at least guarantees stability in Ukraine. Yulia Timoshenko’s enemies, while trying to overcome her, created a kind of Yulia Timoshenko’s personal mythology, which could secure her a happy end. “She is ready to become the first woman president of Ukraine, though are Ukrainians ready for it?” – finishes the author his article.
Alexandr Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/03/05/37892.html