The Fatherland faction has carried out a preemptive strike – it has resolved to nominate Vitali Klitschko as single opposition candidate for the Kyiv mayor. This follows from the faction member Leonid Yemets’s announcement on his Facebook page. “The faction has just decided to unconditionally support Vitali Klitschko as prospective Kyiv mayor. There are no additional conditions about the presidential campaign or something else. Kyiv must be liberated,” he noted.
It will be recalled that the independent MP Petro Poroshenko has said earlier that he would like to be the single opposition candidate. Some political scientists believed that the decision about his participation in the election had in fact been made, which is a positive thing. But, as is known, the UDAR party has announced that it expressed support for neither Poroshenko nor any other “alien candidate.”
Klitschko has also reacted to Fatherland’s step: “We have not yet discussed this matter,” he said at a briefing on Monday. Then he added: “They married us off without asking for our permission.”
Iryna HERASHCHENKO, member of parliament, UDAR party (from her Facebook page):
“Firstly, it is a pity that Fatherland made a belated decision. If they had displayed this wisdom and unanimity in 2008, Chernovetsky would have never been reelected as Kyiv mayor and we would not have had to clear the logjams of his ‘young team.’ I think for some reason that the presidential elections would have also produced a different result, for the Chernovetsky team worked very well with its ‘dear grannies’ in 2010, while the Party of Regions allowed the mayor in response to relish life without any unpleasant contacts with people like Kireyev and Tsariov. Secondly, it is extremely important for the opposition to make a deal on holding elections of the mayor and the City Council of Kyiv and, incidentally, the mayor of Chernivtsi this year. They should fix the dates and work out the rules of these elections. Our faction favors a two-round election, for we need a mayor of the majority. We have registered a draft law to this effect. Thirdly, this incident, when ‘they married me off without my knowledge,’ means that all the political forces (both in the government and in the opposition) deem it necessary to support Klitschko in Kyiv.”
Kostiantyn MATVIIENKO, expert, Gardarika Corporation for Strategic Consulting:
“By making this statement, Fatherland is trying to encourage and prompt Klitschko to make a decision to run for the mayorship as a single opposition candidate and to allow somebody else to assume this office. However, there is no point in this statement. Although Klitschko has a certain advantage to be able to run for the capital’s mayor, he has made no statements at all. He is now in a very awkward situation: he should either refuse to vie for the office on some serious grounds or agree to take part in the mayoral election and, hence, absolutely lose a chance to be a presidential candidate.
“Besides, in the conditions when the elections have not yet been called and it is not clear under which law they will be held (will parliament try to introduce changes in the current law?), it is a preemptive strike of ‘dear friends’ at the reputation of their comrade-cum-rival.
“Should Klitschko refuse to participate in the presidential elections, he will have to agree to be the single opposition mayoral candidate – Fatherland’s strike at UDAR [“blow,” “strike” in Ukrainian. – Ed.] will hit the target. But if he is prepared to vie for the topmost national office, UDAR should find the way to propose another single [mayoral] candidate.”