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    EXPERT SPEAKS ABOUT FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN UKRAINE

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    MOSCOW, December 28 (RIA Novosti) - Yury Buzdugan, the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine and a member of the Rada (parliament), suggested there were three possible candidates for the post of premier under incoming President Viktor Yushchenko, writes Vremya Novostei. If appointed premier, Yulia Timoshenko would undertake a major "purge" of the economy and oust shadow entities and oligarchs from it. "If unpopular social reforms, i.e., cuts in pensions or salaries, are planned, Socialist leader Alexander Moroz is likely to be appointed," suggested Mr. Buzdugan. A little known compliant figure is also an option.

    Mr. Yushchenko has a strong personal dislike of Viktor Medvedchuk (outgoing President Leonid Kuchma's chief of staff). "If Medvedchuk does not leave the country in the near future, he will join the opposition," said Mr. Buzdugan. He will try to make it to the Rada and will probably form an alliance with the Communist and Socialist Parties.

    Viktor Yanukovich, Mr. Yushchenko's rival in the presidential race, will not suffer under any circumstances. Indeed, this is a matter of principle for Mr. Yushchenko, who has emphasized his democratic convictions.

    The further political activities of steel magnate Rinat Akhmetov, an influential Donetsk-based oligarch who backed Mr. Yanukovich as a presidential contender, are contingent on his economic interests, according to Mr. Buzdugan. His and Mr. Yanukovich's alliance with Russia in the recent elections was a temporary one. As Russia has many of its own mining and steel producing facilities, it is no partner of Mr. Akhmetov's. Moreover, the country is a rival on the global steel markets. Therefore, Mr. Yushchenko, who will take advantage of Western support to have steel export quotas abolished or raised considerably, is a better partner for Mr. Akhmetov. While cooperating with the authorities, Mr. Akhmetov may try to side with the opposition. However, he is unlikely to be in strong opposition to the authorities as long as they do not have serious economic differences. It is unclear whether Mr. Yanukovich will lead the opposition. He is possibly the right man to deal with the working class in Donetsk.

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