Sunday, January 10, 2010

And Starring As Evita...

According to a piece in The New Republic, Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko feels a real connection to Argentina's legendary First Lady Eva Perón. If fact, according to one of her closest political confidants, Tymoshenko thinks she is Evita, her reincarnation at least.

“She was told she is the reincarnation of Eva Perón,” said Dmitry Vydrin, a former Tymoshenko political adviser for much of the past decade. “And she believes it. She admits it in closed circles.” Vydrin went on to say that Tymoshenko has modeled much of her public persona on the populist Evita.

Beyond that rather odd claim, the TNR piece paints a compelling portrait of Ukraine's current Prime Minister, and Presidential candidate ahead of next weekend's elections. The article charts Tymoshenko's rise from a modest beginning in a dim industrial city, to become one of Ukraine's richest oligarchs before recasting herself as a populist leader during 2004's Orange Revolution. The one theme that runs through the TNR piece though is Tymoshenko's drive first to succeed and now for power as she pursues the presidency.

Meanwhile the man currently holding the job, President Viktor Yushchenko, thinks his PM should just quit politics all together. "She should take a rest, at least for a while, because each month of her work results in a colossal poverty in our country," Yushchenko said at a campaign stop. Despite having been partners in the Orange Revolution, the two have since become bitter political adversaries. Ahead of next weekend's vote Tymoshenko is running second in the polls, while Yushchenko's numbers are in the low single digits thanks to the economic crisis gripping the country and many Ukrainians' belief that Yushchenko's government has done little to improve the situation.
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