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Ukraine's former PM Tymoshenko launches presidential bid

Author : Yaroslav Konoshchuk

On Ukraine's Day of Unity, the congress of Tymoshenko's Batkivshchyna party has nominated its candidate for the post of head of state
10:19, 23 January 2019

Reuters

Ukraine’s Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has officially launched her third campaign for president. When Ukraine marks the Day of Unity, the congress of the Batkivshchyna party has nominated its candidate for the post of head of state.

On the morning of the Day of Unity, the capital’s Palace of Sports turned national colors. The participants of the solemn congress of Tymoshenko’s party flocked to the entrance, among whom were Donbas fighters. Special responsible people received flags and party symbols, as well as copies of Tymoshenko’s presidential program at the entrance. Our sources in the party assure that the party congress was appointed on January 22, Ukraine’s Day of Unity, in order to use it for the agitation purposes.

In accordance with Ukrainian legislation, after registering at the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), all the money that a candidate spends on campaigning must pass through the electoral fund accounts, which in turn potentially reduces the opportunities for candidates, because there might be a question of where the money comes from. But until Tymoshenko’s is not a registered candidate, the relevant authorities would not ask her about the financing of her fancy event.

Related: How to speak about Ukraine’s future and Tymoshenko in the West, - Andreas Umland

At about 11:00, an honored guest appeared – Patriarch Filaret. He was entrusted with opening a party congress. According to our sources in the party, it was Tymoshenko’s initiative to invite him. Filaret has dedicated his speech to Tomos about autocephaly, noting the key role of president Poroshenko in obtaining this document. After the speech and prayer, the patriarch left the congress. After it, Ukraine’s first president Leonid Kravchuk appeared on the scene. He urged to support the candidacy of Yulia Tymoshenko for the position of head of state, calling her "an outstanding humanist." “For me, this is a matter of principle. I propose to nominate Yulia Tymoshenko’s candidacy for the presidential elections,” Kravchuk said and raised his right hand, “For.” There were also greetings from ex-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and former NATO Secretary General Andres Fogh Rasmussen.

There were rumors of the current head of state tried to gain the support of Leonid Kravchuk but without a success. Singers Pavol Zibrov and Oleksandr Ponomariov were among the honored guests of the congress. People cried “Yulia!” and waved flags. The final chord of the congress was Tymoshenko’s speech. She acknowledged that she had been mistaken earlier, as “the current government is Kremlin’s hand and Moscow’s servant.” Interestingly, Poroshenko’s team claims the same about Tymoshenko.

The ex-prime minister raised one of the key Poroshenko’s issues – the army. Tymoshenko presented her own military office and remembered the battle for the Donetsk airport, and also gave the floor “to one of the cyborgs.”

Sonia Koshkina

Tymoshenko also said that she was ready to resign if elected if she does not cope with the “key challenges” within 100 days.

The former prime minister remembered another Poroshenko’s election theme – faith. She thanked Patriarch Philaret for his efforts to get Tomos about autocephaly, and promised to continue “the struggle for the patriarchy.”

After Tymoshenko’s speech, the congress supported her nomination. It is expected that the documents would be submitted to the CEC in the next two days.

According to our sources, she called the current campaign against the presidential elections the last chance.

 

Related: Medvedchuk: I have no relations with Kolomoisky and Tymoshenko

“Tymoshenko said that this is the third campaign for the elections, and if we lose, then there will be no more chances,” our interlocutors say. A survey conducted jointly by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, Razumkov Center, and Rating group shows that about 20% of the respondents who decided on their choice in the first round would vote for Tymoshenko.

However, our sources in the Block of Petro Poroshenko claim that “after gaining Tomos, Poroshenko has almost caught up with her (Tymoshenko, - 112.ua)”, although there is no absolute certainty about the victory of the current head of state. And the interlocutors of 112.ua in the party of the former prime minister believe that the current president cannot win the campaign only because of Tomos.

Related: Political programs of two major presidential candidates - Poroshenko and Tymoshenko

“It can give him 1-2% only,” says our interlocutors.

The interlocutors called the government’s decision to issue subsidies for utilities in March to be a greater threat to Tymoshenko. “The people might receive subsidies in March, and this “charity” would be accompanied by the phrase “at the initiative of the president,” so people would vote for the current head of state,” our interlocutors added.

Supporters of Tymoshenko are not afraid of those presidential candidates, who are controlled by the presidential administration.

“The effectiveness of the technology of those ‘decoy-ducks’ is a fraction of a percent. It does not work,” the interlocutors add.

Related: Meet 44 candidates running for president in Ukraine

In general, our sources note that the whole struggle is still ahead and it will be hard.

Read the original text at 112.ua.

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