Saturday, September 16, 2006

Losing face

Viktor Yushchenko speaks out having lost power and public support

Viktor Yushchenko, having lost public support and the parliamentary election, under pressure from his masters now finds the need to speak out and criticize the newly formed government for not agreeing his policies. ( September 16, 2006) copy below.
In making his comments Victor Yushchenko also insisted that "the formation of a parliamentary coalition should be faster".
Where was the Viktor Yushchenko during the negotiations for the formation of an Orange coalition. Instead of constantly travelling abroad he should have been in Ukraine providing assistance and direction to his own party and their team of negotiators.
The delays caused by Our Ukraine not supporting Yulia Tymoshenko and the Socialist Party, their persistent undermining of the formation of an "Orange" governing coalition did not go unnoticed.
Yulia Tymoshenko and Olexander Moroz both had cause to publicly call on the President as leader of Our Ukraine to bring them to the table and honour the election commitments and unity of the "Orange Revolution" pact. He failed to do so, allowing negotiations to linger on and eventually collapse.
Having gave up the opportunity to form an Orange coalition, share power and responsibility with their coalition partners, and the opportunity to hold positions of major economic portfolios and influence Our Ukraine instead continued to delay. Delaying to a point where Ukraine was facing a major political and constitutional crisis.
A point when the socialist party, an orange coalition member could no longer maintain confidence or faith in the intentions of Our Ukraine to deliver on their commitments. Time was running out and something had to break.
Our Ukraine themselves were reported in the media as also negotiating with Party of Regions, at the same time it was negotiating with Yulia Tymoshenko and the Socialists parties, about the possibility of the formation of a broader governing coalition. They were even offered the role of Prime Minister at one stage.
As it turned out the Socialists, faced with the pending crisis and in the interest of Ukraine as a whole, acted according to their conscience and agreed to form the anti-crisis coalition and appoint a working democratic parliamentary government with Party of Regions and the Communist party.
The President's party "Our Ukraine" having failed to successfully negotiate the formation of a coalition in which they were a contributing member is now facing reality and consequences of their actions..
Ukraine's membership of NATO has been rejected, damages to the relationship with its neighbour Russia have began to be repaired as Ukraine moves forward.
The President should look closer at home and call on his own party to hold those within responsible for the decline of his party and his personal support.
The government and Party of Regions has been given a mandate and an opportunity to correct the mistakes of the past, they have a second chance it is up to them to do what Yushchenko failed to do, to win public support, unite Ukraine and provide stable responsible government. Come 2009 (or possible earlier) the President will face the electorate and they will then decide who is best to lead the country. Yushchenko has along way to go to regain the support and public confidence that he once enjoyed.

President of Ukraine criticised the new Cabinet

In a five-hour conversation with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Victor Yushchenko has voiced his concern over several steps taken by the new government and said the Cabinet must observe the National Unity Pact in its work.

“I invited the prime minister to give him my first political warning about some things certain government executives do, violating the [National Unity] Pact and stabilization agreements. Our meeting resulted in a joint plan of correcting such tendencies,” he told reporters at a mass media briefing on Friday.

He is convinced the National Unity Pact “gave all the political forces keys to implement these major political, economic and humanitarian tasks.” As President of Ukraine, he will thereby spare no effort to make sure that the key principles of this document – among them the unitary form of government, language policy and Euro-Atlantic integration – are secured not only as “common political agreements reached at the phase of finding political compromises and resolving the parliamentary crisis but also used as an action plan by the new Ukrainian government.”

President Yushchenko and PM Yanukovych spoke about some dangerous social and economic tendencies, nontransparent and often inexpedient dismissals and appointments, delays in the formation of a broad parliamentary coalition, violations of the rights of the opposition and attempts to revise Ukraine’s foreign policy, the president press office informed.

“Disregarding the law, the plan to raise the minimum wage on December 1, 2006, has been put off although the country has enough resources this year. This is a dubious and unnecessary revision of budget policy,” he said, adding that VAT reimbursement and tax pressure considerably complicated the dialogue between the government and businessmen.

“The 2007 draft budget has no signs of tax reduction whatsoever,” he said, claiming such a move could have helped legalize the economy.

The President also censured the Tax Administration for being apparently unfair in VAT reimbursement and said he had authorized Prosecutor General Medvedko to study the situation within ten days and “develop a mechanism of monitoring which would make it impossible to carry out such policies in the future.”

Victor Yushchenko also insisted that the formation of a parliamentary coalition should be faster.

“The healthy part of Ukraine’s political forces must understand one thing: given the constitutional changes, which were passed hastily, political forces and government should take responsibility for many economic, humanitarian, and social issues,” he said. “I urge all those who take part in the formation of positions of this or that parliamentary faction to accelerate this process.”

The President and the premier also spoke about the inexpedience of putting pressure on deputies. Yushchenko said the revival of the practice of forcing parliamentarians to join the majority perverted the March 26 poll results.

“I would like to wish the deputies to be responsible for their voters and positions they defended during the campaign and to face all attacks bravely […],” he said. “I clearly demand that the rights of the opposition should be protected and observed so that they can control the government…”

He characterized the prime minister’s attempt to revise Ukraine’s foreign policy as unacceptable and reiterated that the country’s course to join the European Union and NATO would not change.

Victor Yushchenko also said it was vital to pass bills based on the principles of the National Unity Pact and his anti-corruption laws.

The President is soon going to convene the National Security and Defense Council to discuss all these issues.