Friday, December 21, 2007

Tymoshenko hits ground running

Newly elected prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko addressed the nation in a TV broadcast tonight. She pledged that within the next few days parliamentary immunity and privileges will be abolished, and management of the law-enforcement and controlling organs will be changed.

"We will certainly not try to shift responsibility for the situation in the country on our predecessors under any circumstances. These are not our methods. The acting government must bear responsibility for situation in the country," she said.

The new government has already begun an all-Ukrainian anti-corruption investigation into "the doubtful operations of the previous authority...We should know clearly what mischief they've caused, I guarantee, that we will check out each spent kopeck, each tender, each licence, each illegal act of privatization. Let no one be in any doubt - it will be necessary to answer for all the shady, illegal matters." she declared.

Furthermore, Tymoshenko added that all ministers and officials that have just been appointed to positions of authority will also have to pass the anticorruption investigation too. We will not have "our" protected politicians and officials. My prime ministerial ethic is simple and understandable: he who wants to work, will work, he who wants to steal will be held to account. That's it - no other alternatives exist," she stated.

Tymoshenko pledged to carry out all her pre-election promises. "We will build European-standard roads and housing accessible for each person. We will return savings and will abolish conscription into the army. We are capable of becoming members of the WTO, of conducting Euro-2012 in a worthy manner, and, possibly, even winning it. Nothing will prevent us from constructing harmonious, friendly relations with our neighbours, and with all strong and powerful states," emphasized Tymoshenko.

She said it is necessary to clear the road to new investments and enterprise, to pass new tax laws with lower and simplified taxes, to ruthlessly crush corruption, and finally introduce fair wages and pensions.

She said she will not permit anyone to destroy the unity between the President of Ukraine, the government and the democratic coalition in parliament.

The head of government issued a call all political forces to end squabbles, to end the blocking and fights in parliament, the war of compromising materials and mutual insults. "We do not need big scandals, we need a big Ukraine," she added.


Lytvyn's bloc and the Communists will not be joining Party of Regions in any shadow opposition government.

Communist leader Petro Symonenko said, "I am categorically against it."
Lytvyn's comment was, "There will be nothing in this shadow government apart from talking."

PoR leader Viktor Yanukovych had previously declared his intentions plans to create such a shadow government.


In response to Vladimir Putin's recent assertions of anti-Russian attitudes in Ukraine [see previous blog] the head of the Donetsk oblast state administration, Volodymyr Logvinenko, emphasized that the Russian-speaking population of his oblast, which comprise over 80% of the total, has not experienced any such pressure. "I don't have any examples of this," he declared.

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