Policy Memos

Political Reform or a Game of Survival for President Kuchma?

Policy Memo:


Publication Date:




Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma is constitutionally prohibited from running for a third term. Viktor Yushchenko, the leader of the main opposition bloc Our Ukraine, is, according to opinion polls, the best placed to succeed Kuchma in next October’s presidential election. Kuchma, distrustful of Yushchenko, is looking for guarantees that he will not face criminal proceedings after he leaves offices. Under current conditions, it looks unlikely that Kuchma will repeat the presidential-succession scenario played out in Russia, where Boris Yeltsin chose Vladimir Putin as his successor. Instead, to secure his future and influence the 2004 outcome as much as possible, Kuchma has decided to try to change the constitution less than one year before the presidential election. [...]

About the author

Professor, Founding Director of the Kyiv Mohyla University School of Policy Analysis
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy