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Yuriy Lutsenko: Maidan Must Become a Watchdog for Reforms

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Kyiv, 18 March 2014 – “Parliamentary election should be held in Ukraine in May this year, at the same time as the presidential election,” said Yuriy Lutsenko at a briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The politician believes that it is only with the new cabinet and the new parliament that a government of national trust and unity can be established to get through the hard times. “We shouldn’t succumb to Russia’s blackmail aimed at postponing elections in Ukraine to a later time. The dictatorship regime and military aggression in Ukraine created a chasm, which we must cross in one leap instead of trying to postpone the governmental reset. Today’s parliamentary majority is unstable and materialistic. Not so long ago, a large part of the MP’s were accomplices to the dictatorship. We cannot rely on this majority for the radical reforms that the country requires”, said  Lutsenko.

He also believes it appropriate to hold a nationwide referendum on the accession of Ukraine to the EU together with the May elections. “Maidan can only consider its mission accomplished after the EU Association Agreement is signed. However, the recent statement made by Štefan Füle about Ukraine’s full membership in the EU opens a unique, historic opportunity for us to get off this bloody Asian track”, said  Lutsenko.

“Signing of the political part of the Association Agreement can be considered a victory for Maidan, but Maidan should not leave until the government is fully reset. Maidan must become a watchdog for reforms”, the politician said. At the same time, he welcomed the disarmament of self-defense and removal of self-defence units from government buildings.

Lutsenko said that the program of the future President of Ukraine should continue Maidan’s ideas of the bourgeois, anti-criminal and anti-colonial revolution.

Lutsenko announced he would resume active political activity. After the enactment of the law on rehabilitation of political prisoners recently adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, he became a fully-fledged citizen of Ukraine, unencumbered by any court orders. Lutsenko said that he was currently having consultations regarding his possible participation in the election of Kyiv Mayor. The Third Ukrainian Republic initiative founded by Lutsenko will continue to work as a think tank but he does not rule out the possibility of creating his own political party.

Yuriy Lutsenko is a Ukrainian politician and public leader.  In 2005-2006 and 2007-2010 he was the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. He was a Member of Parliament during the 4th and 6th convocations. From 1999 to 2012 he headed the People’s Self-Defense party. In 2012, the then-oppositional politician was sentenced to 4 years in prison for abuse of office and misuse of public funds. The ECHR declared Lutsenko’s arrest illegal and politically biased. After he had been pardoned and released from prison in 2103, Lutsenko became head of the Third Ukrainian Republic initiative and one of Maidan’s public leaders.


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