Ukrainian Communist Party First Secretary Petro Symonenko yesterday called on President Leonid Kuchma to resign and “make room for those capable of pulling the country out of crisis–for the communists. It is high time for the communists to take the helm of power in their hands.” Symonenko issued this call in an interview with Russia’s official news agency following yesterday’s address to the parliament by Kuchma on economic policy. The communist leader named Stanislav Hurenko as the party’s most likely nominee for the country’s presidency (Itar-Tass, November 19).
Hurenko, currently a member of the party’s Presidium, was the last Soviet-era first secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party, a position he held from 1990 through August 1991.
The Ukrainian CP Central Committee held a plenum last weekend at which it approved a recommendation to the upcoming party congress to nominate Symonenko himself as presidential candidate. That congress will probably stage a “multicandidate” voting for the nomination of the party’s presidential candidate.
The party plenum also approved a political strategy based on the concept of “bloc of all progressive forces” and “formation of a people’s opposition,” as distinct from a purely “left-wing bloc.” The concept fits in with Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz’ strategy of forming an alliance of “left and center-left forces.” It thus opens the way for a Communist-Socialist alliance. Such an alliance, however, would have to reconcile potential conflict between the top leaders of these parties over the selection of a common candidate. Apparently trying to sidestep or at least to postpone controversy, Symonenko called on the leftist parties to focus on a common program and common team, rather than a common candidate, in the upcoming negotiations (UNIAN, Itar-Tass, November 16, 17, 19). –VS
GEORGIA’S NEW FINANCE MINISTER HAS A CRISIS ON HIS HANDS.