Leonid Kravchuk (1934- ), Ukrainian President from 1991 to 1999
Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of the independent Ukraine, urged the current president, Viktor Yushchenko, to step down as head of the country on Ukrainian television. On Tuesday, in a live address to Yushchenko on the TV channel Ukraina, Mr Kravchuk said, “The true patriotism of a president… also means understanding a situation from within and making a responsible decision to step down. Such a step could stop an avalanche of problems, calm society, and give hope for a real way out of the crisis”. Kravchuk was elected the first president of the Ukraine in 1991 with 61.6 percent of the votes cast.
“Until recently, I thought the presidential elections should be held according to law. But, today, I have a different opinion. I have seen clearly that you are not giving most of your attention to the Ukraine’s problems, instead, you are thinking of how to stay in power”, Mr Kravchuk said. He also accused President Yushchenko of betraying the nation’s confidence and support, and destroying both the government and the parliamentary coalition. “The government has been almost destroyed. It is impossible to overcome the crisis without the government’s effective participation”, Mr Kravchuk said, adding that the only way out would be to hold early elections.
Vladimir Litvin, the speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, told another TV channel on Tuesday that he did not think that early parliamentary elections would be held in Ukraine and said Mr Kravchuk’s comments could “provoke another spiral of political confrontation in Ukraine”. President Yushchenko has been at loggerheads with Prime Minister Yuliya Timoshenko for several months as the former allies in the “Orange Revolution” jostled for position ahead of presidential elections due next year. The Ukraine is struggling with the global economic crisis and had gas supplies from Russia cut off for much of January after failing to agree a new gas contract. Although a 10-year supply agreement was signed barely a month ago, the state-run Ukrainian energy corporation Naftogaz has already warned Gazprom that there may be problems paying for deliveries due to non-payment by local utility companies.
25 February 2009
Yushchenko is in the deep kimchi but good. Wanna take bets on how long he is for this world (politically-speaking, of course)? Everyone smells the obvious… with the neocons out of power in Washington, Yushchenko’s Foggy Bottom sugar daddies (and his sweet sugar mama, Rice) are not in the picture anymore. Look for the Orangies to be tossed out by the locals. Yuliya Vladimirovna shall take the top spot, and watch her make a sensible accommodation with the Kremlin. The hardcore nationalists shall be given le sabot, and Yuliya shall save the Ukraine’s bacon by making a closer alliance with Russia. Give her credit… she is not only the foremost female politician in the world today; she is one of the best politicians full stop. Don’t sit down to play poker with her unless you have your wits completely about you… or you’ll end by wearing only your raggedy old socks and a smile. It’s not nice to fool Mama Yulienka….