President calls on democrats to unite
He is confident Ukraine’s democratic forces will win the snap poll
President Victor Yushchenko is confident Ukraine’s democratic forces will win this month’s snap parliamentary election, according to the President`s press-office. “I have no doubt democracy will prevail. … We will have a democratic parliament and a democratic government which will want to have changes in the economy, in our social and humanitarian life. But we need to fulfill one requirement: we must all be united,” he said at a political rally in Lviv on Saturday.
Yushchenko said he did not idealize the democratic forces but added that they “have learned lessons from the past.” “I will not allow my team to repeat the mistakes of the past. I will not allow empty ambitions to develop. Those who have discredited Ukrainian democracy have left the democratic bloc. Today the democratic forces are engaged in a dialogue,” he said, praising Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense and BYuT for their joint actions.
The president said many people opposed their unity. “I know that lots of projects and pseudo-projects are being developed and clones produced to prevent the democratic forces from unifying,” he said. “But we will not let this happen. I am not afraid of anything on this path but betrayals. We must fight betrayal shoulder-to-shoulder.”
Yushchenko said the opponents of the unification were “working against Ukraine’s interests,” calling on Ukrainians to speak about national priorities, “the priorities which unite all the democrats.”
The president said he “deeply trusts” the team led by former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko. “They will repeal legislative immunity and will grab corruption by the throat. They are the best guarantee that the principle of equality before the law will dominate this state.”
He called on the Lviv community to support the democratic forces. “I would like to ask you to support my team, Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defense. As president and as a citizen, I am convinced I have the right to request you to do this, as they are the third force, patriotic and professional, which can effectively help me implement your plans.”
Yushchenko said again that the government of Viktor Yanukovych and his parliamentary majority “attacked the constitution, your freedom, our safety.” “The government put those immune lawmakers around it and forgot about the people, your needs and each of you. Parliament was destroyed by corruption and betrayal. This is why I dissolved the Verkhovna Rada and called a fresh election. Let us cleanse our government from corrupt politicians and corrupt games on September 30. … I know Ukraine will have a new democratic government which will bring changes into the life of the people, not politicians.”
It was announced during the rally that the pro-presidential bloc had collected three million signatures to repeal legislative immunity. Yushchenko thanked those three million citizens for support. “I want to ask other millions to step on our side,” he said.