Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 186

Now it looks almost certain that Kuchma will sacrifice one or several ministers from the so-called “economic block” of the government, which includes the economic, finance, industrial policy, agricultural and energy ministries. Pustovoytenko said in Washington that he is ready to examine candidacies for ministerial posts. Such an examination is symptomatic of a looming cabinet reshuffle. This may, to a certain extent, calm down the leftists in parliament who threaten to vote for resignation of the whole cabinet on October 13. That is the day on which the government is scheduled to report to parliament about results of its work. The idea of a cabinet reshuffle was supported by Kuchma’s most ardent supporters in the parliament, the People’s Democratic Party, during their news conference on October 7 (Ukrainian agencies, Den October 7-8). In return, Kuchma may expect the parliament to adopt the budget draft for 1999, which envisages a low deficit to comply with the IMF demands (Pustovoytenko even mentioned a figure of 1 percent), which the left wing staunchly opposes. Most factions in the parliament, along with speaker Oleksandr Tkachenko, have recently spoken against dismissal of the entire cabinet. Ukraine has an opportunity to avoid a political crisis on the Russian pattern. International lenders in this case will be more cautious, in order to avoid the situation they found themselves in Russia.–OV