FIRST 100 DAYS OF YUSHCHENKO'S PRESIDENCY HAVEN'T BROUGHT ANY MAJOR CHANGES, ANALYSTS SAY

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KIEV, May 2 (RIA Novosti, Taras Burnos) - The first 100 days of Viktor Yushchenko's presidency have not brought any major changes to Ukraine. Yulia Tishchenko, coordinator of civil society programs at the Ukrainian Independent Center of Political Studies, said so in a RIA Novosti interview Monday. But the incumbent never promised he would transform the country within this short period, she added.Opinion polls in Ukraine's provinces show that the public there have become largely disefranchised since Yushchenko's election 100 days ago, Tishchenko said, citing recent scandals over the appointment of two regional governors.

According to the analyst, more often than not, reshuffles made by Kiev in regional governments are non-transparent and lack logic, leaving people on the ground increasingly disgruntled. Such controversial appointments are meant to reward those who supported Yushchenko's election bid, but the candidates he now handpicks for regional governance are not necessarily those whom local elites and people-on-the-street would really want to have as their leaders, Tishchenko explained.

She pointed out, however, that it would be wrong to expect the promises given by Yushchenko during the Orange Revolution to have been delivered upon within the first 100 days of his incumbency. She categorized many of those pledges as populist rhetoric, notably improving Ukraine's international image and fighting against corruption. No high-profile anti-corruption inquiries have been launched in Ukraine so far, she remarked.

Many in Ukraine express displeasure at Yushchenko's current reform of the presidential branch of government, but no one has come out with harsh criticism at this point, Tishchenko said.

On the positive side, Yushchenko has made quite successful visits to Russia, Poland and the United States, noted our interviewee. Moreover, he has a chance to revive the potential of the GUUAM [an economic alliance of Ukraine, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova], as leaders of many of its member states do trust him, she said.

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