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Yuschenko almighty

January 26, 2005.

    *** translated by Gennady Kornev
    *** Original article in Ukrainian by Leonid Amhcuk
    Things are not yet ready for the move in Victor Yuschenko’s office on Borychiv Tyk, 22a. The joint meeting of Our Ukraine block leaders and representatives of the associated political structures had taken place there. All entrances to the tiny building, build 1814 are blocked by the high-profiled cars and their security.
    Unfortunately, due to its size the tiny building will not host the new Ukrainian President. But an old gray citadel of Presidential administration on Bankova Street will not be the right place too. Although it will be used as a temporary shelter until Yuschenko’s new office will be ready.
    Recently, two variants of headquarters for the Ukrainian leader are discussed. The first is building of the Teachers Union near Mikhaylo Hrushevsky monument; another is one of the premises on the territory of St. Sophia cathedral.
    Both places have their strong Yuschenko-related history. The House of teachers is the place, where the founding treaty of our Ukraine bloc was signed St. Sophia cathedral once hosted Yuschenko personal office.
    However, to find the right place appears to be much less difficult, than to find a right political roadmap. Until now only one thing is certain – the architecture of Yuschenko governance will be dramatically different from the bastions of Mr. Kuchma.
    Several influent persons from Yuschenko’s team told Ukraynska Pravda the new President had not yet selected among the possible variants. He should decide on the modes and architecture of his reign by the last merit until the next spring, when new parliament will be formed and the changes to the Constitution come in force.
    This is the reason, why the negotiations concerning the possible new prime minister are still in the due process. So, what are the constants and variables of Yuschenko’s choice?
    According to the information given to Ukraynska Pravda the primary matter is the personal role of Yuschenko during his presidency, the personality of a Prime minister, the role of the Presidential Administration and the competence of the National Council for Security and Defense.
    The New centre of the New power
    To leave everything as it is – with the presidential administration being a key player – such a scheme is possible, but is considered to be the less probable. “Yuschenko is not Kuchma”, this can be stated more categorically than “Ukraine is not Russia”.
    This is quite hard to imagine that Yuschenko will create some kind of new Mevedchuk, who will be the architect of the new citadel of dictatorship. This will not happen at least because Yuschenko himself intuitively hates such a model of authority, which he had to fight for the last four years.
    Many people in Yuschenko team are confident that the new decision-making body will emerge – The National Council for Security and Defense.
    At the same time the Administration of the President will have the role of a chancellery with minimal functions, namely preparation of the lists of heroes for the state awards or drafting of the protocols for credentials of foreign ambassadors.
    NatConSec seems to be the right body for political decisions; due to the Vladimir Horbylin efforts it was included into the Constitution, when the major law of Ukraine was adopted in 1996. At the same time it does not mention the Administration of the President.
    NSCD also comforts Yuschenko as a person. We all know about his susceptibility to create different “workgroups” and “expert commissions”. And lots of people see the willingness to postpone the final decisions in such a behavior. But this is the nature of new Ukrainian leader – he rarely approves the verdict straight from the shoulder and favors give-and-take tactics.
    The keenest characteristic of the NSCD functions under Yuschenko reign was given by his chief of the office Oleh Rybachuk: the Council will be “a mixer”, where the interests of all the participants of the coalition will be stirred and then converted into optimal decisions.
    Moreover, one should not forget, that after the political reform will injure the competence of the new President will be constricted, however it may be regained through the NSCD.
    Under Kuchma NatConSec meeting was considered as something extraordinary. People from the Yuschenko team now do not exclude the possibility that NSCD will now meet almost weekly. NSCD may actually become an overstructre behind the Cabinet of the Ministers. The twofold control system headed by the Prime minister and the NSCD will render any governmental corruption conspiracy impossible.
    The Speaker of Verkhovna Rada will be included into the Council too allowing insoforth to introduce Ukrainian Parliament into the whole system of decision-making.
    Since the NSCD is headed by the President this body will become the element of his authority. However, this authority will not be direct in authoritarian meaning of Kuchma era; it will be based on the power of dialogue.
    To be continued, please, revisit the site tomorrow…
    Ukrainskaya pravda

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