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7 Jun, 2009 19:30

Timoschenko promises to become president and turn Ukraine into wonderland

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoschenko said she intends to win next year’s presidential election and promises a big constitutional change.

“I will run for the presidential election and will win. I believe Ukrainian politics are honest and clean. Power should be strong and not corrupt. I believe and I know Ukraine will be the country you imagined in your dreams – European and beautiful,” said the Ukranian Premier during her televised address to the nation.

She went on, accusing President Yuschenko and Viktor Yanukovich, the Party of Regions’ leader, of blocking the anti-crisis measures.

“The anti-crisis programme for the country, with more than 300 law projects, has sat in the Rada [Ukranian parliament] without any action for over half a year now. Adoption of those projects is blocked by Yuschenko from one side and by Yanukovich and his party from another side,” said the Premier.

Timoschenko has also accused Viktor Yanukovich, the Party of Region’s leader, of blocking the process of creating a coalition in parliament by unilaterally withdrawing from the talks earlier this week.

"Yanukovich has unilaterally withdrawn from the negotiations and thwarted broad coalition efforts," she said.

Together with the Party of Regions, the block of Yulia Timoschenko’s party was working on amendments to the state’s constitution, which were supposed to be passed following the national referendum.

The constitutional changes discussed by both sides included the election of the country’s president by the parliament and also an extension of the term of the current parliament.

Yanukovich, however, has announced that only the president elected by the Ukrainian people can lead the country on the road to reforms.

”This will be a president, elected by the people and not by the Rada,” he said. “I make this decision categorically.”

Yanukovich has also elaborated on the negotiations his party was holding with Yulia Timoshenko’s block.

”We were considering amendments to the constitution which would imply election of the president by the parliament and extending the term of the current parliament,” he said. “The goal was to give the new coalition and government time to fulfill the program of reviving the economy.”

The problem with the amendments, however, was the limited timeframe for making the changes, according to Yanukovich.

”These amendments would have been made too quickly,” he said. “This would mean that we would be unable to discuss them openly and transparently. And this would be a step back from democracy.”

The country will see presidential elections in January 2010. Victor Yushchenko, Yulia Timoshenko and Victor Yanukovish will be the major contenders for the presidency.