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16 Dec, 2008 10:40

Yushchenko: questioned and mocked

Yushchenko: questioned and mocked

Getting rid of their President seems to be an issue of primary concern for ordinary Ukrainians. At least that is what the leading question at the annual online conference between the President and the people of Ukraine s

“Dear Mr. President, could you please tell us, how much do we (simple people) have to pay you so that you, together with your parliamentarians, ministers and officials leave the country and don’t prevent Ukraine from developing normally?”

Nearly 73 000 people have voted for this question so far, making it the undeniable leader in the online Q&A.

Of the top 20 questions, submitted by and voted for by internet users, only a small minority do not carry negative connotations. The rest are actively mocking. The second question, with nearly 16 000 votes, asks the President from which side he prefers to start eating his chocolate bagels. Another 10 000 Ukrainians simply wonder which is the most preferable destination to emigrate from their home country.

Serious matters such as corruption, false justice and waste of resources are also dealt with, clearly pointing to Ukrainians’ problems with their government. The tenth most popular question, gathering over 8 500 votes, asks why the government has spent so much money on constructing a Holodomor memorial, when the same amount of funds could have made a significant difference to the lives of Ukrainian orphans or HIV patients.

This is not the first Q&A session that the Ukrainian president has held with internet users. However, its prototype, hosted in 2007, was much more lenient towards Yushchenko. The leading question put to the President last year was how to patch KDE2 under FreeBSD. The question makes reference to a quote popular among the Russian-speaking sector of the internet.

Then, Yushchenko was quick to answer that programming was a serious issue for the President's office and that any of those seriously concerned should contact his IT specialists directly. This time, however, it is doubtful that the leader of the Orange Revolution will be able to dodge the sore spots.

The conference between Yushchenko and his internet-using compatriots was scheduled to take place on the 16th of December. However, on the same day, the President's press office made an announcement, postponing the date of the broadcast.

The official government line on the issue is that the President's agenda for the day changed unexpectedly and that Yushchenko had a meeting concerning heat supplies around the country. However, various news agencies pointed out that nothing would have prevented him from conducting the meeting on another day the same week.

At the same time, the press service has assured the public that all the winning questions in the online vote will be voiced and answered in due course. Nevertheless, politologist Vladimir Kornilov suggests that the President and his press service were simply taken aback by the negative connotations of the questions. Kornilov suggests that Yushchenko may simply need longer to prepare his answers.

Some questions from the top 50:

Do you consider the fact that Russia agreed to Ukraine chosing its own president by itself an act of genocide agains the Ukrainian nation?

Dear mister President!
Here is a question to which you as the president may know the answer.
That's what we have today: both husband and wife are workers of the 'middle class' with average income level. We took credit to pay for the apartment, to get the car, other things. Now the salary is cut 50 per cent, and we face possible reductions and dollar going 50 up per cent. 
What shall we do to ourselves?
a) hang ourselves
b) drown ourselves

Dear Mr. President!
Please tell me truthfully – do you think, Mr. President, that after leading such a significant country to such a state, you still have the moral right to call yourself “President”?

Mr. President, isn’t it time for you to resign? Like an honest person.

How much do we have to pay Chernovetskiy [the mayor of Kiev] so that he takes you to Mars, together with your secretariat and the parliament?

Could you please tell us, are the Americans greedy, or are they giving you enough?

Viktor Andreevich, do you need a drill? (brand new)

Let’s declare a war against Russia and yield ourselves prisoners.

Will you re-calculate the parliamentarians’ salaries in accordance to the time they spent working this month?

Why do you always tell us what we need to do, but never do anything yourself?

Viktor Andreevich! Where will you flee with all the money you've stolen?

When will giant battle bees start protecting the Ukrainian state borders?

Mr. President! Do you ever suffer from nightmares?

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