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Tyhypko opts to run for Rada

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May 18, 2000, 2 p.m. | Ukraine — by Katya Gorchinskaya

Katya Gorchinskaya

Deputy Chief Editor

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Economy Minister's decision to run for parliament in a by-election next month might be an indication of his willingness to leave the Cabinet of Viktor Yushchenko xt month, which might be an indication of his willingness to leave the Cabinet of Viktor Yushchenko. Tyhypko, who has served in the Cabinet since 1997, has opted for a constituency in the coal mining town of Pavlohrad, near his home city of Dnipropetrovsk. In case of a victory in the June 25 vote, Tyhypko will have to quit his government post because Ukrainian law bars lawmakers from simultaneously holding office and a government job. Prior to being appointed economy minister when the new Yushchenko Cabinet was formed in December, Tyhypko, 40, had worked as deputy prime minister for economic reform for more than two years. His original appointment to the Cabinet was cheered by both domestic and foreign observers, who said he was one of the first big businessmen who chose to give up his business in order to try to bring market economy spirit to the government. Tyhypko came to the Cabinet after six years in the banking business. He headed the Dnipropetrovsk-based Privat Bank, one of Ukraine's top five banks, in 1992-97. Tyhypko's press office in the Cabinet said he went on vacation May 15 to begin preparing for the election campaign. He declined to say why he wanted to become a lawmaker. Tyhypko himself could not be reached for comment. According to Farid Gubaidulin, head of the election commission in Tyhypko's constituency in Pavlohrad, the economy minister had already filed an application to run in the election, but had yet to be registered as a candidate. Tyhypko, who despite his pro-market reform views is not considered by analysts as a devoted member of Yushchenko's team, has developed a complicated relationship with several senior Cabinet officials, government insiders say. In another sign that he feels uncomfortable in Yushchenko's Cabinet, Tyhypko recently criticized the view propagated by other Cabinet members that the economic growth in Ukraine this year was the direct result of the Yushchenko Cabinet reforms. At least one other Cabinet member, Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is expected to run for parliament in the upcoming by-election, which will involve nine constituencies. Election authorities called the by-election to fill vacant seats in parliament, most of which had been freed by lawmakers who accepted Yushchenko's proposal to work in the Cabinet. Incidentally, the constituency Tyhypko chose is the turf of Agriculture Minister Ivan Kyrylenko, one of the members in the Yushchenko Cabinet who was brought from parliament. Kyrylenko won overwhelmingly in Pavlohrad in the last parliamentary election in 1998. Some of the big names expected to participate in the upcoming vote include former chief of the state oil and gas giant, Ihor Bakai, former Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko, and former Information Minister Zynovy Kulyk.
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