Source Pravda.Ru

Leonid Kuchma has now his own party

The beginning of agitation period of election campaign was celebrated by Cherkassy regional organization of For United Ukraine block with a conference in the best building of the city – in the Friendship of Nations palace, while showing who is the power’s protege in the election campaign. In the presidium, there were not only the party’s leaders of the region, but also governor Vladimir Lukyanets, the head of trade unions’ regional committee Vitaly Tovstopyat, the head of local office Soyuz Chernobyl organization Vladimir Boltenkov, archbishop Cherkasski and Kanevski Sofroni, leaders of district and regional administration. To greet brothers-in-arms, agriculture minister and election headquarters’ leader Ivan Kirilenko came from Kiev. The speakers did not keep back that their block was “the power going to the election.” Therefore, the candidates have what to say to their voters and to show what they have made, though they are responsible for what they have not made yet. The tribunes demanded to strengthen “local agitation work” and “act more actively.” There are still some discords inside the block. Some speakers called to forget about ambitions for the sake of common victory, while others asked why they had not been invited to the presidium. It was said about inadmissibility to use “dirty technologies” and “black PR.” Though the conference itself could not get without PR. At first Boris Raikov, the head of Observation Council of Azot Cherkassy stock company called his opponents from 200th election district not to spend all the money for election campaign, but for medicine needs. Afterwards, V.Lukyanets expressed his hope that all region’s candidates for the parliament would act in the same way. The delegates’ attempt to achieve the archbishop’s blessing was not successful. Member of higher order of clergy Sofroni appeared with a short homily, calling politics “dirty thing from beginning to end,” while appealing to fight not only “for united Ukraine, but for united church too.” He also said that he was grateful for the invitation, because it was very interesting for him to observe politicians “from psychological view.” According to results of the conference, an address to all dwellers of the region was passed, appealing to support the block’s programme, because that was the programme of “the most democratic course” of building “rich and powerful Ukraine.” According to agriculture minister Ivan Kirilenko, who took part in the press conference organized after the congress, the block should become a united party after the election, leaded by Leonid Kuchma personally. Then “it will be clear for everybody who is in power and who is responsible for the situation in the country.” Later, in Kiev, the minister repeated his forecast about creation of a new mighty party of power. It did not arouse any stir in political circles. Andrei Yermolaev, director of Sofia Social Research Centre, while commenting on the minister’s statement for ForUm, said: “If the president really is the head of the party, that would be a radical turn. Though, I see no preconditions for it in the circumstances that exist in today’s Ukrainian political situation. First, this is a serious responsibility. Second, this would be the start of restructuring the whole system of power and practically “partisation” of the society. This year, it cannot be so.” Vladimir Fesenko (Penta Political Consulting Office) was more flat as for the situation: “I.Kirilenko seems to badly know the president and new political history of the country. Otherwise, he would remember that L.Kuchma behaves with serious distrust towards all political parties, including pro-presidential ones.” Kirilenko also explained to journalist why Ukrainian Cabinet’s members make efforts to become Supreme Rada’s deputies: it turns out that it is necessary only to return to the government after making sure of high level of people’s trust. Ivan Kirilenko resolutely rejected mass media’s proposition to the block to use administration resource during the election, referring to great amount of observers from different parties that would not admit to falsifications. It should be admitted that in this case the block could be unlucky. According to results of the all-national research carried out by Ukrainian Centre for Economical and Political Research January 30 - February 6, if the election had taken place today, the election block would have gathered 3.9 percent of votes, in other words it could have overcame four-percent-level. Of course, the party of power could grow its rating. Nobody takes seriously the promise not to use administration resource. Though, according to ex-president Leonid Kravchuk, “power could use administration resource, if it has authority. Now, when 80 percent of the population is beyond poverty level, the power has no authority.” Andrei Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine

Translated by Vera Solovieva

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/02/13/37022.html