Victor Yushchenko has said in Alchevsk he will contest this week’s Verkhovna Rada vote that overrode his veto and prolonged the ban to sale lands before the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, according to the President`s press-office.

      “I still have the right to send a letter to the Constitutional Court with a request to declare this vote unconstitutional,” he said.

      The President added that his veto “was an attempt to forewarn our parliament.” and said he was quite surprised to learn how some political forces had voted.

      The National Unity Pact stipulates that a land market will be created in Ukraine by the end of 2008, he said.

      Mr. Yushchenko described the vote as a “blatant violation of human rights, reminiscent of Stalin’s times.” He said the Constitution defined the right to use property as one wants as a fundamental right of individuals and thus there must be no restrictions for our citizens, farmers in particular. He also reiterated his concern the prolonged moratorium may result in murky land schemes.

      “I am convinced we will seriously jeopardize the development of agriculture by being unable to say whether the ban will be lifted or not in 2008,” he said.