Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Yatsenyik's Identity crisis: NGO is a No-GO

Presidential hopeful Arseniy Yatseniuk, leader to the "Front for change", appears to be suffering from an identity crisis, his inability to rise out of the shadow of Viktor Yushchenko.

Taras Chornivil, an independent Ukrainian MP from Lviv, in a recent interview with ZIK (well worth reading) said

"The West has been trying to measure up Yatseniuk, but its interest in this presidential candidate has rapidly dwindled. It seems to me, he is no longer viewed as a potential election winner. Second, they’ve seen that Yatseniuk is an empty shell, he has no ideas and is a puppet."
Yasteniuk who is stuck on around 12-14% in the polls, mainly from disaffected Yushchenko supporters, refers to his newly created political party as a "NGO". It would appear to Yatseniuk's campaign that by referring to themselves as a NGO they can somehow escape being seen for what they are - a political party.

I have never heard of a political party seeking to elect a candidate to public office claiming to be a NGO before. I hope the tautology does not catch on.

An "NGO" is supposed to be a Non-Government Organisation that provides services outside the political process. Does this mean that Yatseniuk does not want to form or be a part of Ukraine's Government? Is this not what running for public office is about, being a part of or winning government? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he is still a member of Yushchenko's "Our Ukraine's factional bloc, running for office against its leader - the two forces working against and in competition to each other.

Yanseniuk's Y-Front for change is not a grass roots organisation, it was created to be the campaign vehicle for his nomination for the Presidency. Referring to it as a NGO does not help. If anything it raises serious doubts as to his sincerity and intentions.

If Yatseniuk is serious in his quest then he needs to resign from Our Ukraine, start projecting a more positive and constructive image and not just play on the idea of a fresh face pushing Yushchenko's failed policies of division. He needs policies of his own and must stop referring to himself as an NGO. It's false - if he wants to be a NGO then do not stand for office.

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