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Yatseniuk leads new ‘front line’ bloc, may unite with the President’s party

Yatseniuk leads new ‘front line’ bloc, may unite with the President’s party
Yevgen Solonyna

Kyiv – Prime Minister Yatseniuk, former Front for Change leader, is leading yet another front, a political bloc that has united people from Batkivshchina, government officials, activists and commanders of volunteer battalions. The founders of the bloc stated at its initial meeting that their main goal is to preserve Ukrainian sovereignty, win the conflict with the Russian army and restore the economy. Political experts think that the People’s Front’s strongest step would be an electoral alliance with forces loyal to the President [ed. – Petro Poroshenko]. Some civil activists have criticized members of the bloc, claiming that it includes ‘losers who lost Crimea.’ 

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk was elected head of the People’s Front political council. This decision was approved during the first stage of the party’s extraordinary congress in Kyiv.

Speaker of the Parliament Oleksandr Turchynov was elected head of the central headquarters of People’s Front party by delegates at the meeting.

“We will not end the assembly today and we will meet within several days in order to approve the party program, which is currently in preparation,” Turchynov stated at the congress.

The political council of the party, as per the congress’ decision, includes Yatseniuk and Turchynov, as well as Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov, Parliament members Liliya Hrynevych, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, former NSDC secretary Andriy Parubiy, Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko and advisor to Minister of Internal Affairs Tetyana Chornovol. The military council, which was created within the new political party, includes the leaders of several volunteer battalions, among which are Azov commander Andriy Biletskiy and Dnipro commander Yury Bereza.

Arseniy Yatseniuk assured at the meeting that the new political power would bet on the Ukrainian people, as they are the most important factor in Ukrainian affairs.

“We beat Yanukovych, when nobody believed we could. We beat the terrorists, we will also beat Russian aggression. We can beat even stronger things. Believe me, there is no better people, no stronger nation in the world than the Ukrainians. A real people’s front is gathered here, each and every one of these people is the strongest in their field. The quality of these people goes without saying. They showed it with their actions. Every one of them has their own front and is already fighting on it,” Yatseniuk emphasized.

Maidan leaders, commanders and ‘losers?’ 

Meanwhile, some civil activists and people from volunteer battalions are dissatisfied with the nucleus of the newly-created bloc. In particular, former deputy commander of the Azov battalion and current head of the Center for Social and Legal Support of ATO Participants Ihor Mosiychuk wrote on his Facebook page that the People’s Front included politicians who had discredited themselves, and that the involvement of military commanders in the political party would not remedy the situation.

“The party of failure headed by Turchynov, Yatseniuk and Avakov, which gave Crimea to the aggressors without any resistance and…almost led to Ukraine losing Donbas, the political technologists are trying to make it look pretty with commanders of heroic volunteer battalions. However, it is most likely that the commanders will lose the authority they gained in battle in this party electoral list,” wrote Mosiychuk.

Political expert Olexiy Holobutskiy predicted on social networks, citing inside information, that in the nearest future the People’s Front project would unite with Petro Poroshenko’s bloc. The Front members themselves do not deny this. Arsen Avakov told journalists that such a union was possible, however he asked them not to “speed up the union.”

Gardarika strategy consulting corporation expert Kostyantyn Matviyenko emphasized in commentary to Radio Liberty that Yatseniuk’s political project has little time left to unite with Poroshenko’s project and other pro-Ukrainian powers, and such a union is necessary in Matviyenko’s opinion.

“They don’t have much time left to unite, until September 15. The list of Petro Poroshenko’s bloc is not made of rubber either. Meanwhile Yulia Tymoshenko is running in the parliamentary elections alone, as are Anatoly Hrytsenko and Oleh Liashko. And the same with [ed. – political party] All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda. Therefore, it is unclear whether all these blocs can get the necessary 5% to cross the barrier [for entering parliament]. If these powers don’t unite, the future Verkhovna Rada will be impotent,” the political expert predicts.

In general, experts also note the People’s Front strong sides, among which are the inclusion of current officials, as well as the involvement of volunteer battalion commanders and activists who have not stained themselves in big politics yet.

Source: Radio Liberty 

Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina, edited by Andrew Kinder

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