"I gave my word that no destructive steps will be taken towards the constitutional initiatives in question. I do not want to challenge these amendments, because I do not want 47 million Ukrainians to think that Yushchenko is thinking about preserving his authority," assured the president.I had thought earlier that it would be a good thing for him to repudiate the reforms because he was going to need all the power he could get. (I know, I know, that had the potential for making him a Ukrainian Putin and me a bit inconsistent. But if someone tells you one day to take an umbrella and on another not too, is it that his judgment is bad or does it have something to do with the weather?)
He might have been able to do it before, but clearly he can't do it now. And it might not be a bad idea anyway. Some reform is necessary and now might be as good a time as any. And to allow a president to take power to himself would not be moving in the right direction, even though it might be for good reasons and the person trustworthy.
Is there such a person really? Doesn't absolute power corrupt absolutely? Maybe not and yes it does but not in every single case. There are a few notable exceptions, George Washington for one. (Wasn't it Napoleon who said, "They expected me to be another Washington"?) But my argument was that the risk of ending up with the kind of system they had here was outweighed by the potential benefits that could come from effective and quick reforms. In other words, to risk that Yuschenko became another Kuchma was not much of a risk in the face of what could be gained if he did what he said he would do.
So I think he is right and I think he is doing the right thing. The "probably" is a nod to what I thought might be the good thing to do. Not realistic now even if it were the thing to have done.