The Coalition of Impunity and Deprival? Not now, maybe later.
On the Orthodox holiday of Trinity, on a hot but rainy Sunday, the two appear to have scrapped their plans and gone their separate ways.
Yanukovych delivered his stump speech in the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, one of Ukraine’s oldest and largest Orthodox shrines, controlled by the Moscow Patriarchate.
Alas, the prodigal son of Ukrainian democracy came to worship direct presidential elections, but confessed no sins. He merely admitted that gutting the Constitution with the amendments he and Tymoshenko had proposed would have been a step back from democracy. The people should have been consulted, he said, as if reprimanding himself. Interestingly, he spoke like a robot, in a manner that betrayed the dirty little piece of equipment supposedly stashed in one of his ears.
A few hours after this throw-momma-from-the-train maneuver, Tymoshenko made her own televised stump speech.
In announcing her bid for the presidency, she accused Yanukovych of unilaterally pulling out of the coalition talks. To dilute responsibility and distance herself from the coalition’s undemocratic slant, she raised the number of would-be coalition partners to four: the Party of Regions, BYuT, NUNS, and the Lytvyn Bloc.
She vehemently denied seeking undemocratic Constitutional amendments. Moreover, she even blamed Yanukovych’s pullout on what she described as her refusal to his proposed Constitutional amendment to raise the presidential candidates’ age to 50. In other words, she’s just an innocent girl who wants the best for her country.
One may argue that, in this parade of disappearing acts and stump speeches, Yanukovych (sugar daddy) dumped Tymoshenko (material/anti-crisis girl). She got what she deserved. I hope he gets what he deserves, too.
Everyone was doing their job. She struggled to rekindle her Joan of Arc image and equip it with Mary Poppins features; he masqueraded as Dr. Democracy with the heart of Santa Claus. They both spoke to fifth-graders, which is how they view their voters.
According to a recent poll, 83.4% of respondents oppose the idea of indirect presidential elections.
P.S. A friend sent me this uncut version of Tymo’s stump speech (intro). She's very nervous. She switches back and forth from Ukrainian to Russian.
Tymoshenko, speaking Ukr: Thank you all for coming on such short notice on a holiday. [takes deep breath] God help me. [crosses herself, closes eyes, clears throat]
Tymoshenko, speaking Rus: Everything’s gone! Uh…no! Skip backward! The teleprompter’s wrong! [gets angry, gesticulates, adjusts position]
Tymoshenko, speaking Ukr: My darlings, first of all, let me greet you with the bright holiday of the Holy Trinity… [discovers her sweet Ukrainian voice]
Ironically, the Russian expression “пропало все!” can also be translated as “it’s over!” or “I’m screwed!” In fact, that’s exactly how she made it sound!
This tragic video made me recall the uncut version of Yanukovych’s November 2004 post-election address. As the President-Elect (soon to be dethroned by the Orange Revolution) stumbles, he gets showered with positive feedback by Hanna Herman, his then press secretary.
Yanukovych, speaking Ukr: Dear countrymen, dear friends, thank you for coming and casting your ballots for the new president — for me. Should I omit “for me”? [makes indecisive gestures]
Hanna Herman, his then press secretary: No, you can leave it that way! It's very good! You're doing very good…
Camera man: It was very good, organic.
Herman: It's very organic and even your hand gesture was organic!
Yanukovych: Let’s start all over again.
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