Tymoshenko vows to cleanse Ukraine of corruption
The Prime Minister delivered a televised address to nation
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who returned to her job this week, vowed on Thursday to cleanse Ukraine of corruption and fulfill campaign promises to improve the lives of the ex-Soviet state`s 47 million people, according to Reuters.
Tymoshenko, the fiery advocate of the 2004 "Orange Revolution" who was fired after seven months as premier, said her new administration would work tirelessly to ferret out what she described as the illegal dealings of its predecessors.
"We are starting the process of cleansing the country. I will do everything to ensure that dirty, shadowy money will cease to be a major factor in Ukrainian politics," Tymoshenko said in a televised address.
Seated stiffly behind a desk alongside a blue and yellow national flag, Tymoshenko said her cabinet had started a country-wide analysis of corruption, reviewing the operations of those who were previously in power.
"We must find out clearly what they managed to do. I hereby guarantee that we will check every kopeck spent, every public tender, every license, every illegal act. Let no one be in doubt that you must answer for all shady, illegal deals."
Tymoshenko fell out with President Viktor Yushchenko during her first term in office as her government split into two camps, each accusing the other of engaging in corruption.
Her departure and the split in "orange" ranks produced dismay among liberals who had sought to advance the revolution`s ideals of moving closer to the West.
Tymoshenko and the president reconciled before a September election called to end three years of political turmoil and she emerged to lead an "orange" coalition with a tiny majority.
With her cabinet approved this week by parliament, including veteran reformer Viktor Pynzenyk as finance minister, she vowed to put order in public finances and amend the 2008 budget.
Sporting her trademark braid and a somber dark brown dress, Tymoshenko told television viewers there would be no disunity this time between the prime minister, government and president.
Parliament, she said, would proceed with a plan to lift the immunity of members and ministers would be subject to strict standards. Promises to return lost Soviet-era savings to depositors and do away with army conscription would be upheld.
"The ethic of my administration is very simple. Those wishing to work will do so. Those wishing to steal will be held accountable," she said.
"And that is all. There can be no alternative. I am in no way a naive person and understand full well that true order is precisely what is needed for the people themselves."