President of Ukraine criticizes new cabinet

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sun Sep 17 14:14:32 UTC 2006

President of Ukraine criticised the new Cabinet

In a five-hour conversation with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Victor
Yushchenko has voiced his concern over several steps taken by the new
government and said the Cabinet must observe the National Unity Pact in
its work. I invited the prime minister to give him my first political
warning about some things certain government executives do, violating the
[National Unity] Pact and stabilization agreements. Our meeting resulted
in a joint plan of correcting such tendencies, he told reporters at a mass
media briefing on Friday. He is convinced the National Unity Pact gave all
the political forces keys to implement these major political, economic and
humanitarian tasks. As President of Ukraine, he will thereby spare no
effort to make sure that the key principles of this document among them
the unitary form of government, language policy and Euro-Atlantic
integration are secured not only as common political agreements reached at
the phase of finding political compromises and resolving the parliamentary
crisis but also used as an action plan by the new Ukrainian government.

President Yushchenko and PM Yanukovych spoke about some dangerous social
and economic tendencies, nontransparent and often inexpedient dismissals
and appointments, delays in the formation of a broad parliamentary
coalition, violations of the rights of the opposition and attempts to
revise Ukraines foreign policy, the president press office informed.
Disregarding the law, the plan to raise the minimum wage on December 1,
2006, has been put off although the country has enough resources this
year. This is a dubious and unnecessary revision of budget policy, he
said, adding that VAT reimbursement and tax pressure considerably
complicated the dialogue between the government and businessmen.

The 2007 draft budget has no signs of tax reduction whatsoever, he said,
claiming such a move could have helped legalize the economy. The President
also censured the Tax Administration for being apparently unfair in VAT
reimbursement and said he had authorized Prosecutor General Medvedko to
study the situation within ten days and develop a mechanism of
monitoringwhich would make it impossible to carry out such policies in the
future. Victor Yushchenko also insisted that the formation of a
parliamentary coalition should be faster.

The healthy part of Ukraines political forces mustunderstand one thing:
given the constitutional changes, which were passed hastily, political
forces and government should take responsibility for many economic,
humanitarian, and social issues, he said. I urge all those who take part
in the formation of positions of this or that parliamentary faction to
accelerate this process. The President and the premier also spoke about
the inexpedience of putting pressure on deputies. Yushchenko said the
revival of the practice of forcing parliamentarians to join the majority
perverted the March 26 poll results. I would like to wish the deputies to
be responsible for their voters and positions they defended during the
campaign and to face all attacks bravely [...], he said. I clearly demand
that the rights of the opposition should be protected and observed so that
they can control the government

He characterized the prime ministers attempt to revise Ukraines foreign
policy as unacceptable and reiterated that the countrys course to join the
European Union and NATO would not change. Victor Yushchenko also said it
was vital to pass bills based on the principles of the National Unity Pact
and his anti-corruption laws. The President is soon going to convene the
National Security and Defense Council to discuss all these issues.


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