Some pre-election events in Marganets
In the end of February 2002 it was announced about the arrival in the town of the leaders of two competing blocs: Sergey Tigipko, the leader of the bloc „For united Ukraine“, and Viktor Yushchenko, the leader of the bloc „Our Ukraine“. It was a marvelous day-off and I decided to attend the both meetings. On the eve of the meetings the local TV announced that the supporters of Yushchenko would not be admitted to the hall of the mining technical school. Yet, MP A. Zhir had already agreed on the rent of the hall with the school principal, so the meeting would be held on the square in front the school.
So, at 10 a.m. I went to the meeting with S. Tigipko to the miners palace of culture. Certainly, everything was organized as best as possible: music; elegant cars; an agitation bus; the tent, where they handed out agitation matter of big format and excellent quality, cellophane bags with the name of the bloc, programs of the bloc. The meeting began at 10 sharp. The presidium was occupied by the town mayor, administration of the main town enterprise „Marganets ore mining and processing enterprise“ (the owner of the palace of culture), members of the party „Labor Ukraine“ (candidates to the oblast council and to the mayors post). After a short introduction S. Tigipko was answering the question of voters almost for two hours. Then he made an effective and rather reasonable concluding speech. After this the less politically minded part of the audience remained for a concert. By the way, after the concert the enterprise buses transported people home (service!). The more politically minded part went to the meeting with the other political leader – Viktor Yushchenko. The meeting began at 13:30. It was held outdoors, but the weather was, fortunately, the weather was fine. There was no service to speak of: either big-format agitation leaflets, or music, or, what is most important, convenient chairs and the roof over our heads. Supporters of the bloc (and most of the audience were the supporters) attentively listened to the speakers: V. Yushchenko, MPs A. Zhir and A. Stoyan. „Every cloud has its silver lining“ – the open-air meeting had its advantages. The audience, who gathered to listen and see the legendary former prime-minister, was at least two times greater than the hall of the technical school could seat. Nonetheless, we returned home in low spirits. Upon the whole, it was indecent. Political struggle or not, but, I believe, people should be hospitable and benevolent.
A day later I went to the principal of the school to learn why the meeting in the hall was cancelled. I was interested, if our agreement is still valid. It had been concluded between the ecological organization „Zeleny svit“ and the school administration about holding in April in the same hall the ecological seminar. The principal answered that the meeting with Yushchenko was prohibited by the fire inspection. As to the agreement about the seminar, it will be permitted, but in another, smaller hall.
6 March 2002