According to a poll carried out last month, Ukraine's president Victor Yushchenko “would have won less than 2.9% of the vote if the presidential elections were held in late December 2008 or early January 2009.” Among reasons for such low approval ratings is “the relentless infighting” between the president and PM Yulia Tymoshenko.
On Feb. 5, Tymoshenko's cabinet survived a no-confidence vote in parliament: the motion won 203 votes in the 450-seat assembly; a minimum of 226 votes is required for a motion to pass. LEvko of Foreign Notes wrote this about the implications of the vote for the president and his political allies:
Only 10 [NUNS] deputies supported a [PoR]-sponsored no confidence motion in the Tymoshenko-led government in the Ukrainian parliament today. Amongst the 10 were presidential secretariat head Viktor Baloha's ‘Yedyniy Tsentr’ group, and Yushchenko's brother Petro.
The numbers are very bad news for the president. The pro-presidential NUNS entered the current parliament with 72 deputies in Autumn 2007. With an ever-receding power base, the chances of a second presidential term for Yushchenko are almost nil. […]
Also on Feb. 5, LJ user kotyhoroshko wrote this (UKR) about the president:
A way out for the country
Yushchenko now has a historically ideal opportunity to resign.
His resignation will partly solve the political crisis.
He will avoid the unnecessary trouble related to the [upcoming presidential] election campaign.
He will not drown in the [fecal matter of discrediting information on him].
Perhaps, in some 20 years, he will be remembered as not the worst president. People's memory is short.
Below are some of the comments to this post (UKR):
Unfortunately, Yushchenko isn't reading your LJ [blog].
He will be idolized again not in 20 years but in two or three years. Because those who will replace him will most likely be [extremely inadequate]…
The problem is that Yushchenko's orbit is comprised of those who are profiteering from their proximity to the president. It's them who are holding him by the throat, singing panegyrics to him and are assuring him with foam at their mouths that [he] hasn't fulfilled his mission yet. And this is why Yushchenko's circle will not allow this to happen. But I agree – it's a very good time to at least declare this: “I'm not going to run for a second term and I will not create obstacles for the government until the end of this term. But from now on, all responsibility for the state of things is exclusively on [the government].”
The best option is this: let these non-traditionally gifted people collectively lead the country to default. And then leave. All of them – Yushchenko, and Tymoshenko, and [Yanukovych], and the whole [parliament]. And even better – a collective hara-kiri.