Monday, July 19, 2004

Pynzennyk - Provocateur or Just Plain Dumb?

Viktor Pynzennyk's political party, PRP - Partiya Reformy i Pynzennyk Poryadku, held their convention this past weekend in Kyiv and .... no, Pynzennyk didn't announce his bid for the presidency. Instead, the 357 delegates decided to rename their party: Nasha Ukraiina.
According to Ukraiinska Pravda, Pynzennyk claimed that the move to usurp the name of the democratic bloc as their party's own was intended to demonstrate their readiness for unity and to push for the creation of a single, democratic party named Nasha Ukraiina. He added that his party will consider all democratic parties their equals.
Recently, there has been discussion in Nasha Ukraiina circles (here we're talking about the bloc, not Pynzennyk and Zhyr's crowd) about creating a political party based on the bloc. That would mean an enormous amount of energy expended on time consuming preparations, intense negotiations with the leaderships of the parties currently affiliated with the bloc, holding a convening congress with representative delegations, divvying up positions and the like. All of this in the heat of a presidential campaign. Advisors questioned whether this would be an appropriate use of resources at this particular time.
Now Pynzennyk jumped the gun. Renamed his party. And no doubt angered other members of the coalition, thereby causing unnecessary friction in the bloc at a time when unity is critical. Whether this was done deliberately or naively, it was a mistake. Hopefully, coalition party leaders will not rise to the bait and instead will double their efforts to win in October.