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Looking to the (perhaps not too distant) future – Sadovyi

December 2, 2014

Andriy Sadovyi, the current Mayor of Lviv, has slowly but steadily built up the image and internal structures of the Self Reliance/Self Help (depending upon how you interpret the Samopomich name into English) Party of which he is the leader.

The party came 3rd in the RADA elections held at the end of October, with Mr Sadovyi putting himself at a deliberately lowly place of 50th on the proportional representation section of the party list.  A ranking that insured he would not enter the RADA.

It raised a few eyebrows – but then he already has a job.  He is Mayor of Lviv.

It now appears that despite deliberately avoiding election to the national legislature, both Block Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatseniuk’s People’s Front are calling for Mr Sadovyi to enter the national legislature as First Deputy Prime Minister.

“We believe that all effective managers in the country should currently join the creation of changes as part of the joint work of the Cabinet of Ministers, the president and the Verkhovna Rada. We believe that Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy should work to implement decentralization in government at the post of first deputy prime minister. He is a well-known expert in this sphere of local government for whom, along with the Samopomich Union Party, Ukrainians expressed strong support at parliamentary elections.” – according to a joint statement by both parties.

Why are they calling for Mr Sadovyi to join the national legislature at the very top, when his deliberate actions in his placement on his own party list clearly displayed a desire to remain outside the RADA?  The nation’s future depends upon his involvement at the very top?

Of course not.   After all, the desire is to change the law to allow “foreign” experts into government.

It is now dawning upon those within the coalition, just how tactically cute Mr Sadovyi is.  He is playing a longer game than the feckless who concern themselves with immediate power and currently argue over seating plans, and who sits next to whom and where, for the RADA when it is in session.

Many Ukrainians already see Mr Sadovyi as a future president.  Mr Sadovyi probably sees himself as a future president too.  That Mr Sadovyi has thus far shunned potentially disastrous short-term RADA gain in pursuit of remaining unsullied on the national stage for the longer term is quite reasonable as far as tactics go in accomplishing that goal.

Whether or not any of his Samopomich Party even take up ministerial positions within the coalition remains unknown.  It will be no surprise to find that Samopomich refuse all ministerial posts, preferring to be an active coalition partner, but without personalised headline positions.

An opportunity to deepen the party structures nationally, without taking on “personalised responsibility” for any specific sphere of public life in what will be difficult times – and more to the point, what is certain to be a particularly fractious coalition, awaits Samopomich and Mr Sadovyi.

The chance of being seen to be supportive of coalition goals, and as often as possible noted as the mediator amongst other coalition party squabbles, unencumbered by ministerial leadership issues and/or their competing interests, presents itself.

And yet if it all goes horribly wrong and the coalition collapses, or indeed fails to deliver reforms as expected, a deliberate ploy to stay out of Cabinet, generally leaves Samopomich and Mr Sadovyi unscathed.  An unscathed Samopomich Party and an unsullied Mr Sadovyi would be a massive hurdle for any other political party in future elections.

So is the call for Mr Sadovyi to become First Deputy Prime Minister genuinely due to his expertise – or is it the result of a realisation by the other parties, that unless he can be soiled in the same mire as themselves over the duration of the next RADA – how ever long that proves to be – his chances of leading the nation at their expense improves by orders of magnitude?

Money must surely be put on the latter.

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