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Ukraine will gain success only as a country of politically and economically independent people

Ukrainians still lack faith in themselves and their own country. And there will always be a lack of WILL without this faith - the political will of society, the will of every citizen to exercise and maintain his/her rights.

On December 1, 1991 the all-Ukrainian Referendum took place: 90.32% of Ukrainian citizens, who took part in the voting, gave their support for theAct of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine.

15 years have passed since that day. What has changed in Ukraine?

The first thing we can confidently assert is that our country has withstood all the tests of independence, starting with the Ukrainian Independence Movement, The Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, Referendum, the first presidential elections, and the adoption of the Constitution.

With the adoption of the Constitution in 1996 the forming stage of the corresponding attributes and structures of the independent Ukraine was practically completed.

However, that time it was already clear that this independent country was in the first place lacking in democracy, which could very well be felt during the second presidency of Leonid Kuchma.

As a result of this, the Orange Revolution in late 2004 being a fact of public resistance established freedom of choice, free speech, the impossibility of stealing elections etc.

It is already apparent nowadays, that independence and democracy are of great concern to Ukraine. At the same time, the country is still separated, unstable and unpredictable.

That is why there is a crying need to form and implement the new political and socio-economic development strategy of Ukraine. A higher degree of human development in Ukraine should lay down the foundations for this strategy.

In other words, new life quality of citizens is to be achieved along with the introduction of social, economic and democratic European standards of human activity, state and society.

However, the present political elite has not yet proposed any feasible strategic plan on Ukraine`s future.

Instead, Viktor Yushchenko`s team, focusing its attention on such problematic issues as Holodomor or the recognition of the OUN-UPA  soldiers, does not make aware that despite their profound importance for the recovery of historical memory and reviving the feeling of national  dignity, these issues cannot be a nationwide consolidating idea for Ukrainian citizens today.

It might as well be apparent that one cannot unite the country actively promoting entry into NATO.

Viktor Yanukovych`s team has also failed to succeed in defining the issues of public significance, actively supporting the big business, giving preferences to several regions and taking a stand in favour of synchronizing the foreign policy activity between Ukraine and Russia.

And this, in its turn, created all the conditions for triggering the conflict of the last presidential elections: a combat between the pro-American Yushchenko and pro-Russian Yanukovych.

These two teams in their daily routine are struggling for power rather than for social values.

 

As soon as the authority of the President had been restricted, Viktor Yushchenko`s team `realized` that the working Constitution was not efficient, despite the fact that the team members voted for the adoption of the constitutional reform.

Yanukovych`s team, however, contrary to the conception of the working Constitution, craves for conferring additional authority on the government.

A dramatic proof of this is the adoption of the Law on the Cabinet of Ministers in the first reading, which was prepared by the government and prohibits consideration of any draft law which affects the revenue and expenditure side of the state budget without the consent of the Cabinet of Ministers.

In essence, this implies the urge of Yanukovych`s team to build a governmental rather than a parliamentary-presidential republic, as provided for by the working Constitution.

Another artificial conflict was stirred up as a sequel to the confrontation between the so-called `fair-dealing Orange politics` and `Donetsk bandits`.

The period of time after the Orange Revolution has shown that quite an ample quantity of Orange politics have proved to be not less disposed towards corrupt practices than the `Donetsk bandits`.

That is why such nature of political discussion makes the conception of two Ukraines still more intense and generally brings discredit upon Ukrainian politics.

Society is looking less stained by stereotypes and contradictions in the government in the mist of confrontation between the ruling elites.

Since the Orange Revolution society has become more conscious and able to defend itself.

No less importance is the fact that there has also been a change in the social structure of society, where the role of the so-called `middle class`, that is to say, economically and politically independent people, acquired more importance.

Therefore, the most important task at present is to further restructure the Ukrainian society, emphasizing the significance of a self-contained human in it, namely, a citizen who knows his/her rights and is ready to maintain them, an individual interested in the realization of his/her liberties, and a tax-payer, who not only pays taxes in due time, but is also ready and able to check on the efficiency of their use.

It is not just wrong of political forces to act solely in the interests of big business (and hence, of the rich) or in the interests of the poor, socially disadvantaged citizens.

Such false steps tend to sharpen the social conflict and destabilize the situation in the country, whereas a unifying idea should consist in the national strategy of Ukraine becoming a nation of successful people, who would form the basis of a stable country.

Ukrainian citizens should be provided with all the favourable conditions  for fulfilling their potential in economics, politics, culture or any other sphere in their own country.

Ukrainian people are to change their minds and realize that they are able to fulfill their potential without relying on the government assistance.

In this respect, the key task of the present government is to minimize the intervention of  government bureaucracy in the activity of economically independent people, and also to  necessarily implement the effective politics as to the socially disadvantaged citizens.

In this context, it is important to launch an informational campaign, which would popularize the fashion for successful people, enterprises and, finally, for prosperous regions of Ukraine.

Ukraine should finally cope with its own stereotype which suggests that it is politics that one can only be successful in: that is why this sphere has been entered by so many businessmen, singers, sportsmen, actors, - in other words, by those who have a too general idea about the specific character of politics in general or about the legislative policy in particular.

I am thoroughly convinced that in the near future we will learn to recognize success and not to envy or bother the popular and authoritative people of Ukraine.

Ukrainians still lack faith in themselves and their own country. And there will always be a lack of WILL without this faith - the political will of society, the will of every citizen to exercise and maintain his/her rights.

Nevertheless, 15 years of independence prove that Ukraine is capable of becoming a prosperous country of politically and economically independent people.

 

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Mykola Tomenko

Original article in Ukrainian translated by Anna Platonenko

Ukrayinska Pravda, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wed, January 24, 2007

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Mykola Tomenko is the Chairman of Family, Youth, Sports and Tourism Affairs Committee, and the Director of the Institute of Politics, Ph.D. Candidate in History

This article was monitored by the ArtUkraine Monitoring Service for the Action Ukraine Report, E.Morgan Williams, the editor.

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