Victor Yushchenko has spoken at the Third Congress of the People’s Union Our Ukraine Party, whose honorary leader he is, according to the President`s press-office.

In his speech, the President said: “I have been and will always be with this party.”

He urged its members to institute profound reforms, believing they must first formulate a clear ideology which “could help Our Ukraine become a social factor.” He also demanded that they revise their statute and change the leadership of the party by renewing mechanisms of electing party members. 

Mr. Yushchenko recommended that delegates of the congress set up working groups to formulate proposals on how to tackle theses challenges and then discuss them at the second round of the congress.

The President said the party was committed to the ideas and values he appreciated, such as patriotism, democracy and European integration. He said Our Ukraine had been consolidating many liberal forces, consistently protecting national interests and implementing state policy since its creation. He thanked its members for supporting his program.

The Head of State said he wanted to unite the so-called orange forces “on the healthy political basis” despite the fact these forces do not see a number of key issues alike.

“The orange forces have lost their positions because of the faulty policy, often blinded by ambitions and faith that there is no responsibility, mainly personal responsibility,” he said.

The President criticized the party.

“Our strength lies in our ability to frankly and publicly speak about successes of the party and also problems in its work,” he said.

Mr. Yushchenko added that, as a political organism, Our Ukraine was going through “a serious inner crisis,” having failed to formulate simple and comprehensible ideas after the 2004 presidential elections.

“The only idea you have been reiterating like a spell is ‘We are the presidential party.’ I know this, I appreciate this but it is not enough,” he said. 

The President said the party was improperly built, existing virtually in some regions.

“I do not want the party to become a joint-stock company, whose major shareholders can monopolistically decide what the party needs, caring mainly about their private interests,” he said.

He said members of the party presidium were particularly responsible for its failures.

“I am convinced the delegates of the congress must estimate those who ruled the party,” he said.

Speaking about its future, the President expressed hopes it would become the center of Ukraine’s center-right parties.

“Why aren’t these parties our partners? Who should consolidate the democratic movement in Ukraine? I am convinced it is Our Ukraine,” he said.

Mr. Yushchenko later told reporters Our Ukraine should unite with such parties as Reforms and Order, PORA, People’s Party, People’s Movement and other center-right organizations.

“I wish these forces resumed their dialogue,” he said.