Soccer championships is always an exciting event, but politics sometimes offer as exciting episodes. Last week, Communist leader Petro Symonenko nearly scored the winning goal — I mean getting the Speaker’s seat - missing by a hair’s breadth of 5 votes. True, the vote return looks quite mysterious. Considering the Left and Hromada, the result is 200 votes plus 35 nonaffiliated Deputies, most of whom are not oriented toward the Left. The rest could hardly be expected to vote for the red. The only obvious conclusion is that someone played in Comrade Symonenko’s hand on the other side of the barricade. The result shows that he was meant to become Speaker, because it would be impossible to plan an intrigue where everything rested on a precarious balance of 5 votes. Somehow all this rings a discordant note in the President’s anti-Communist statements.
Last week, the Chief Executive staged a gala show, canceled the draft, on radio promised Parliament to issue a series of economic edicts, and kept his word. All this gives rise to certain questions. Personally, I remembered our military who only recently declared they would make even students serve in the army, because the Armed Forces lack manpower. Now it appears that the army has more grunts than it needs. Bad arithmetic? I don’t think so, it is just that top level bureaucrats should coordinate their actions once in a while. As for the President’s radio message, it leaves one wondering why he chose such a method to communicate with Parliament. The more so that his speech was broadcast when the Deputies were having lunch, so few if any were listening. Moreover, the President’s speech boiled down to his obliging the Constitution which reads that he can issue edicts on issues still to be regulated legislatively. Thus he acted in accordance with the Fundamental Law. But maybe the radio message indicated a happy exception from the rule?
Among last week’s serious events one ought to mention the Socialist Party convention which dispersed any doubts about the rift there and the Tkachenko vote served as another proof. On the other hand, this gathering was a final touch to the picture of modern Ukrainian Socialists: acting as Liberals politically and as Communists economically. This discrepancy would not amount to much for, say, the NDP, but the Socialists are honest people and usually keep their promises. Which is not good news.