Victor Yushchenko’s Statement on the First Anniversary of the March 2006 Parliamentary Election:

Ukraine held its first fair and democratic parliamentary election on March 26, 2006. 

My ultimate belief both before and after that vote was that one must adhere to democratic standards and preserve law and order.

However, I must admit that fulfillment of political obligations and responsibility for the country’s fate and people’s welfare have not become a crucial motive for many Ukrainian lawmakers. Certain political forces started manipulating the constitution: they have been misinterpreting and misrepresenting its clauses instead of acting in a lawful manner. 

In the past eight months, we have all been witnesses to deliberate attacks on the country’s constitutional order and a permanent power struggle violating the will of our voters. Political instability poses a formidable threat to national security, sovereignty and economic development. The country is losing the opportunities to uproot poverty, criminality and corruption, carry out policies aimed at improving social standards, introduce healthcare reform and satisfy the people’s needs.

The country has seen many cynical political intrigues in the past year, but what is truly threatening is the conspicuous tendency to usurp power. The parliamentary majority passed the illegal bill on the cabinet of ministers, which outlaws the government, violates the constitution and limits the constitutional rights of the citizens of Ukraine. 

The Verkhovna Rada launched an impudent and fearless campaign to entice some deputies into the ruling coalition despite the national law.  Under Ukraine’s constitution, deputy factions in the Verkhovna Rada form a parliamentary coalition within one month after their first session or within one month after the dissolution of the previous coalition of deputy factions.

I would like to emphasize that the constitution sets the deadline to form this coalition and defines its essence clearly as an entity of deputy factions not a body formed on the basis of individual or group membership.

What is happening in the Verkhovna Rada now is not just a rebirth of the coalition but a blatant revision of the will of the Ukrainian voters. It is a straight path to anarchy. 

All these actions create reasons to recognize parliamentary majority and its performance unconstitutional and the government illegitimate. I responsibly declare that the past year does not correspond to the expectations of the citizens of Ukraine and a few positive achievements have been devaluated by systemic political and legal violations. The fast development of negative tendencies proves again that last year`s promises and declarations were empty and false.

This must be immediately changed. As President, I demand that the parliamentary majority and its government stop acting unconstitutionally. I call on the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to immediately announce their rulings on the most controversial and important issues and insist that parliament pass a bill containing key agreements between the majority and opposition forces aimed at the fulfillment of strategic priorities of the country and its citizens.

The period of ineffective round tables is over now. Politicians must be responsible for what the do, otherwise the Ukrainian nation will speak out.