President Leonid Kuchma has forwarded to the parliament for approval the candidacy of Valery Pustovoytenko for the post of prime minister. Born in 1947, Pustovoytenko was mayor of the city of Dnipropetrovsk in 1991-93, headed Kuchma’s campaign staff in the 1994 presidential election, and later served as minister without portfolio, responsible for the administrative affairs of the cabinet of ministers. Pustovoytenko is a member of the top leadership body of the pro-presidential Popular Democratic Party. His nomination as candidate for the post of prime minister follows Kuchma’s decision last month to remove Pavlo Lazarenko, whose forced resignation took effect on July 2. (Ukrainian agencies, July 11-14)
Kuchma, Pustovoytenko, and Lazarenko all have their political roots in the so-called Dnipropetrovsk clan. However, as the conflict between Kuchma and Lazarenko suggests, that one-time grouping has splintered into subgroups with divergent interests.
Kuchma has for some time been engaged in an effort to broaden his political base by reaching out to other regions. The Popular-Democratic Party is a case in point. It is headed de facto by Presidential Administration chief Yevgeny Kushnaryov, whose power base is in Kharkiv and in several other industrial cities. Pustovoytenko’s identification with that party, despite being himself a Dnipropetrovets, also reflects realignments in the pro-presidential camp and the effort to broaden its political base.
Major NATO Exercise Completed in Ukraine.