Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 190

At a cabinet meeting on October 14 Ukrainian Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko announced that he would propose that the factions which voted against the government dismissal on October 13 (see the Monitor, October 14) submit candidacies for posts in his cabinet (Ukrainian television, October 14). Those seven caucuses included:

–the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) whose list Pustovoytenko headed at the parliamentary elections in March–the strongly pro-presidential Greens–the United Social Democrats of former Premier Yevhen Marchuk–the Peasant Party of Soviet-style land magnates–the moderate nationalist Rukh –the radical left Progressive Socialists–the Independent group.

Pustovoytenko and President Kuchma apparently hope, with this motley gathering, to create something resembling a parliamentary majority. What they want and need is organized opposition to the Communists, Socialists and strongly antipresidential Hromada. These are the core players–supporters of former Premier Pavlo Lazarenko–who introduced the no-confidence motion and continue calling for Kuchma’s impeachment. During his meeting with the Independent deputy group on October 14, Kuchma announced that if a majority were formed in the parliament, he would be ready “to give it a chance to set up a[n entirely new] government.” Kuchma also noted that a cabinet reshuffle is now necessary. Pustovoytenko called on the members of his cabinet to “clarify the party affiliation” and said he was not satisfied with the work of certain ministers. The premier, however, refused to specify to journalists whom he meant in particular (Ukrainian agencies and television, October 14).

Pustovoytenko himself is the first Ukrainian premier with a party affiliation. His party (the PDP), however, though having the second largest faction in parliament, is hardly capable of forming a majority there. This is not only because of a high proportion of leftists in the current legislature. It is also due to the PDP’s strong association with Pustovoytenko and his cabinet. Support for the current government during the no-confidence vote–ironic in itself–was prompted by the perceived necessity to avoid a large-scale political crisis, rather than by the cabinet’s popularity.–OV