Ukrainian candidates bid to burst each others' bubbles!

In just a few days voters in Ukraine will go to the polls in the fourth parliamentary election in the last three years. The country’s President, Viktor Yushchenko, dismissed the previous parliament in April, a move which caused months of tension between p

Ukrainian people often say they feel like puppets on a string when it comes to politics. However in the new satirical show, “Pupsnya”, they have swapped roles. Yuliya Tymoshenko, the Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovich, and President Yushchenko are delivering enough material to make this show run for years.

Promises delivered on the eve of this election featured in a special episode of “Pupsnya.” When characters are making promises, bubbles of different shapes and sizes blow from their mouths.

The biggest bubble of this election campaign is the social programme. All parties are trying to woo their voters with the promise of higher pensions and salaries. The presidential Our Ukraine party is promising $US 3,000 to families for the birth of a second child, but the Party of Regions loyal to the Prime Minister has pledged $US 2,000 more if they win the election. Meanwhile, the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc is hoping for the votes of Ukrainian women by pledging to stop military conscription from 2008.

The presidential Our Ukraine party slammed her idea as inadequate and concentrated instead on building closer ties with Europe, visa-free travel, attracting emigrés back home and strengthening  Ukrainian identity. The Party of Regions is focusing on fighting poverty and corruption.

As “Pupsnya” suggests, all parties are good at blowing bubbles but previous experience shows they are just as good at deflating them.

The teams are blaming each other for economic and political failures and quoting statistics to their voters. Although the 8% GDP increase for the first half of the year may sound impressive to a specialist, ordinary people can hardly relate to this when prices in the shops are constantly rising.