President Victor Yushchenko wants Ukraine’s new democratic majority to adopt a social budget after this month’s snap parliamentary elections, according to the President`s press-office. “We should start 2008 with a new democratic majority in parliament and this democratic majority with a new budget,” he said at a political rally in Ivano-Frankivsk on Sunday.
Yushchenko spelled out his social agenda, suggesting raising salaries, pensions and maternity benefits. He said it was important to make education affordable, particularly for orphans and those from families with many children.
The president said the state must support its book publishing industry and the Ukrainian language. “I am convinced we must at least double what we spend on this humanitarian and socially sensitive policy. We will do this next year,” he promised and stressed the need to start a “political discussion about how to use [our] resources, political will and economic capabilities to benefit the people.”
Yushchenko said all these changes could be introduced if the democratic forces formed a parliamentary majority. He reiterated his demand that Ukraine’s reelected parliament must repeal legislative immunity to uproot political corruption.
“I am convinced the choice that will be made on September 30 will eventually lead us to one of the biggest victories – to a democratic majority,” he said. “I am convinced that the democratic ideals the Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense bloc follows are an exemplary political goal, which lives in the heart of each Ukrainian.”
Yushchenko’s speech also focused on the country’s economic potential and EU integration. He said an agreement on enhanced cooperation with the EU would “fix Ukraine’s fateful ambition of direct EU membership.”
“Today Ukraine has a big chance and I would really like the Ukrainian community to use this chance.”