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Would Ukraine's ex-PM Yatsenyuk run for President's office?

Author : Yaroslav Konoshchuk

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ukraine’s former Prime Minister and the leader of the National Front party began an active campaign - after a long pause
14:03, 16 November 2018

13th Prime Minister of Ukraine; 7th Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Economy. In 2009, Yatsenyuk noted that Yulia Tymoshenko's Bloc and Yanukovych's Party of Regions were "almost a single whole," while in 2012, he competed under the "umbrella" of Tymoshenko's party. Yatsenyuk headed this election list because Batkivshchyna leader Yulia Tymoshenko was imprisoned. In December 2012, Yatsenyuk was elected leader of Batkivshchyna parliamentary faction. In 2013, his Front for Change party merged into Batkivshchyna. 46 days before the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Yatsenyuk became a founding member of National Front party. 

nfront.org.ua

Ukraine’s former Prime Minister and leader of the National Front party Arseniy Yatsenyuk began an active campaign after a long pause. In addition, billboards with slogans of his fellow party members appeared along the highways. Media began to write about Yatsenyuk’s possible participation in the election campaign.

Related: People’s Front intends to run in presidential, parliament elections 2019, - Yatsenyuk

In mid-April 2016, after long negotiations with the Presidential Administration, Arseniy Yatsenyuk resigned from the post of prime minister. Then, his rating was at the level of 1-2%. Yatsenyuk had gone into hiding, occasionally appearing at major political events; he invariably participated in the meetings of the strategic nine in the Presidential Administration, negotiations on a possible union of Bloc of Petro Poroshenko and the National Front before the elections of 2019 (the matter remained stalemated though). At the end of 2017, Yatsenyuk’s party held a congress and announced about its participation in the presidential elections. The former prime minister believed that “time heals, and his rating, allegedly becoming a victim of a media paid-for campaign, will rise sooner or later.”

However, as time went on, Yatsenyuk and his party remained all the same unpopular. According to a recent sociological study published by the Rating group, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and the Razumkov Center, the National Front could still count on the support of just under 1% of the voters. However, despite this, Yatsenyuk decided to come out of the shadows and start a campaign. Billboards with the slogan “I’m acting,” “Ukrainian language, cinema, song” appeared (maybe, he is trolling the billboards of the president?).

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Related: Ukraine's Anti-Corruption Bureau opens criminal proceeding against ex-PM Yatsenyuk, Justice Minister

Indeed, the leader of the National Front has become more active in public space. So, in mid-October, he took part in events to take an oath by graduates of the Academy of Patrol Police, went on a campaign trip to his native Chernivtsi, and even planted trees with the Minister of Ecology Ostap Semerak.

nfront.org.ua

What does the ex-premier count on when starting a campaign? According to 112.ua sources in the National Front faction, first of all, the Yatsenyuk’s team wants to remind that such political force exists at all.

Related: MP Dobkin on Yanukovych's deals with Right Sector leader and Yatsenyuk

It is not a secret that against the background of the fall of National Front’s rating and the bleak prospects of their re-election to the Rada, some deputies of this faction have begun negotiations on the return to Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna.

Our interlocutors note that Yatsenyuk still believes in the possibility of bringing his party the parliament of the next convocation, which is why he began to act.

Related: Crimea, Putin and Yanukovych's escape: Yatsenyuk's testimony against ex-president

"The campaign will be small, and at the stage before the presidential election, it would not be very resourceful. One of the main tasks is to increase awareness. The main stake, of course, is on the parliamentary elections of 2019. The traditional elements of the election campaign are planned: trips to the regions, distribution of the campaign products," the interlocutors say.

According to them, National Front expects to get the support of 7-8% of voters at the parliamentary elections in 2019. The interlocutors pointed to the result of the previous parliamentary campaign; then nobody expected them to win, and they took the first place.

nfront.org.ua

Despite the low personal rating, Yatsenyuk’s participation in the presidential election has not been removed from the agenda. According to our sources among the coalition factions, the former prime minister is negotiating his own participation in the presidential election with the leader of the electoral race – former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and current head of state Petro Poroshenko. According to some media reports, Yatsenyuk has already announced that he will take part in the presidential elections.

Related: Interpol refused to declare Yatsenyuk in international search at request of Russian Federation, - Avakov

“Yatsenyuk believes that his 2% might not be enough to bring Poroshenko to the second round, and, accordingly, they have something to talk about,” our sources among parliamentary National Front members explain. According to a sociological survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, the Rating group, and the Razumkov Center, a tough struggle for the second place and access to the second round is unfolding.

Sources of 112.ua in Batkivshchyna note that the Tymoshenko team would have won from Yatsenyuk’s campaign during the presidential election.

“Our (electoral, - Ed.) fields do not intersect with Yatsenyuk’s ones. But if he takes part (in the elections – Ed.), then Poroshenko will lose a few percent,” the interlocutors say.

Related: Yatsenyuk: Russia committed international crime, but time will come - and Crimea will return

So far, the final decision on this issue has not been made, which is not surprising. According to the unofficial information, some of the National Front tops, in particular, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, are negotiating with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, while the NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov, despite on the refusal to head the Poroshenko’s headquarters, remains in office and in the president’s team. In addition, National Anti-Corruption Bureaus (NABU) has recently opened a case against Yatsenyuk and his associate, Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko.

The uncertainty regarding the participation of the National Front candidate in the presidential elections was also confirmed by the leader of their parliamentary faction Maksym Burbak. He called Yatsenyuk’s campaign “party report form.” He added that the final decision on the participation of the National Front in the presidential election to be made at a January congress.

Read the original text at 112.ua.  

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