Last weekend has become the time of parties’ congresses in Ukraine. 16 forums took place on Saturday to Sunday. All of them were discussing the same question: approval of pre-election lists and forming of heading fives and tens. The congress of For United Ukraine faction was very similar to the cabinet’s sitting: the prime-minister, vice-premiers, ministers, the head of the President Administration Vladimir Litvin were in presidium. Before the New Year, Vladimir Litvin had a car accident, so this was his first appearance in the public after the hospital. That was Vladimir Litvin who spoke at the party’s congress, because it was committed to him to be at the head of the block the today’s power hopes for while forming pro-presidential majority in the future parliament. The block formed its list including most of the leaders of executive power’s upper echelon with prime-minister Anatoli Kinakh at the head, who had been included into the second party list of the faction. In the same list, there are heads of regional administrations and their deputies, chiefs of big and rich works, for example director general of Azovstal integrated iron-and-steel work in the city of Mariupol, that gives one fifth of currency income of the country. Of course, the list was composed in the way to secure the most powerful block any troubles in the election Marathon race. And first of all, any financial troubles. No wonder! There are no journalists in the list. There is even an impression that the President’s hatred against journalists was transmitted to his closest subordinates. Second congress of all-Ukrainian political movement Women for Future current by the President’s wife Lyudmila Kuchma was also carried out with a big confluence of people. According to the union’s chairman Valentina Dovzhenko, it is not easy for the movement to work, because it is practically a pioneer movement. “We were first in Ukraine who worked out such political project and who wants practically obtain equality and party democracy,” – Valentina Dovzhenko said in her interview. On the other hand, she said, it is easy to work, because the unit numbers almost 300.000 members, while 30.000 of them are men. Valentina Dovzhenko, while giving a report, said that today, the movement covers all regions of Ukraine: 768 organizations act in regions, cities and districts and over 1000 – in villages and settlements. According to Valentina Dovzhenko, the first stage – proposing candidacies for district election commissions – is over: during the sortition, Women for Future got 90 places in district election commissions, what makes over 42 percent of the whole number of the places that were drawn among 27 political parties. Valentina Dovzhenko noticed that most of the unit’s members are experienced in public work. She also said that the unit’s opponents are political figures that do not take women in politics seriously. While the unit’s main aim is to forestall economical policy of the state with social policy, because to achieve something in economics, people should have education and profession, what belongs to social sphere. In the Socialist Party’s list, there is the President’s former guard Nikolai Melnichenko, the author of the so-called “cassette scandal.” He occupies 15th place in the list of the party. It is obvious that the socialists want to create conditions to help the society to learn the truth about what happened in upper echelon of the state power. If Melnichenko possessesdeputy status, he will have more opportunities to carry out this line. According to the party’s leader Alexandr Moroz, the party’s members are not afraid that some troubles could appear because of Nikolai Melnichenko’s participation in the lists. The party’s leader also said that either in Ukraine, or abroad, a press-conference with Nikolai Melnichenko’s participation to be carried out. According to Ukrainian legislation, all candidates before balloting to the Supreme Rada must live for a year in Ukraine except diplomats, sailors and other Ukrainian citizens who left the country according to acting international treaties. The Socialist Party’s leader is sure Nikolai Melnichenko’s situation correspond with this last point. According to Moroz, Nikolai Melnichenko’s immunity will be guaranteed, because the President and the Central Election Commission should be interested in Nikolai Melnichenko presence in Ukraine, all the more that the President many times stressed he was democracy supporter. Moreover, he also said he was interested in transparent investigation. So, he should use this opportunity to carry out such an investigation. According to Moroz, Nikolai Melnichenko is now in a complicated situation. On one hand, US Attorney Ministry demands from him to hand over the records, because the records are necessary for investigation of Lazarenko case that is being carried out by the United States. While Melnichenko understands that the records could at the same time further discrediting Ukraine in the West’s opinion. According to telephone poll carried out in Kiev by Ukrainian Centre of Economical and Political Research, Ukrainian citizen are sceptical about Nikolai Melnichenko’s participation in the election. About 60 percent of people who took part in the poll said their relation to the Socialist Party would not change if Nikolai Melnichenko was included in the party’s pre-election list. As for other questions, about 40 percent of questioned people regard Melnichenko’ including in the party’s list as the party’s publicity step, while 18 percent of the people suppose Melnichenko wants to obtain deputy mandate to avoid responsibility. Only 14,5 percent are of view that Melnichenko wants to return to Ukraine and to complete the “cassette scandal” to the logical end. For the first time in Ukrainian history, a block was created called “Against Everybody!” It was formed by people who cannot account on the electorate’s support. Taking into account that most of Ukrainian citizen often vote against everybody, they chose this title to please many people. In general, the congresses brought no surprise. Except Yabluko party, that takes Russian Yabloko party for a model, however the Ukrainian party for the first time declares its opposition to the power. The party’s chairman Viktor Chaika said: “In ancient Rome, when a mare should be interbred with donkey, a decrepit stallion was shown to it. After it sow how old it was, the mare was carried to the donkey. So, in Ukraine, broken nation is carried to For United Ukraine block: Pustovoitenko, Tigipko, Litvin… When I see their impudent mugs, I want to take shears and to cut their brave chevelures with which they try to attract people... Let us see what the haircutting that will be.
Alexandr Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/14/35539.html
According to Russian officials, the detainees are employees of the private security company who were on their way to Latin America via Minsk and Istanbul. Lukashenko calls Russian officials liars