The only thing the government is afraid of is the unity of the opposition”, writes Yulia Tymoshenko in her letter, addressing delegates of Batkivshchyna’s party congress. The aim of the Friday gathering was to unite oppositionist forces and to create a joint list of candidates for the upcoming elections to the Verkhovna Rada in October this year.
The leader of Batkivshchyna could not attend the congress of her party, for she currently serves the sentence of 5 years in prison. The main goal of the vent – creating joint election lists – was only partially achieved. His agreement expressed Yuriy Lutsenko, head of People’s Self-Defence and former Minister of Internal Affairs in Tymoshenko’s government, who is also imprisoned. Lutsenko was echoed by other party leaders: Arseniy Yatseniuk (Front for Change), Serhiy Sobolev (Reforms and Order Party), Borys Tarasiuk (People’s Rukh) and Vyacheslav Kyrylenko (For Ukraine!). However, the the nationalist party Svoboda as well as UDAR, formed by Vitali Klitschko, refused to participate. The resolution adopted at the congress reads that the lists are to be ready before the end of April.
The congress itself can be placed among the most modest events in the history of the party. Instead of the traditionally chosen spacious International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, members gathered in a small hall of the Teacher’s House. It is no secret that the biggest oppositionist party in Ukraine in the absence of its leader struggles with an internal crisis. The parliamentary fraction of the former PM is tugged by personal wars over Tymoshenko’s legacy. Since her imprisonment, several members have already left the party.
A satirical film about Tymoshenko and her co-workers [UA]:
Translated by KD