Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 159

Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma’s senior aide Oleksandr Razumkov, macroeconomics adviser Anatol Halchynsky, and policy adviser Dmytro Vydrin resigned this week complaining about "intrigues" and an "unhealthy moral environment in the president’s entourage." In a letter published yesterday in Kiev newspapers, the three departing aides blamed the "dangerous influence" of unnamed administration officials for actions allegedly discrediting the president and provoking conflicts with parliament. They are thought to be referring to Kuchma’s chief of staff, Dmytro Tabachnyk, who advocates the expansion of presidential powers at the expense of the parliament. Kuchma has appointed a new aide, economist Volodymyr Kuznetsov, and said that the resignations would not affect Ukraine’s reform program. (17)

Earlier this month, Tabachnyk caused a furor with remarks favoring limitations on the role of parliament in the new draft constitution. The parliament’s leadership retorted in a statement that the 32-year-old Tabachnyk lacks a legal background, having had a career as film splicer. (18) Tabachnyk’s conduct complicates Kuchma’s efforts to win parliament’s approval for his draft constitution.

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