Voices from Russia

Thursday, 3 April 2014

From a Ukraine for the Oligarchs… to a Ukraine for the People! Programme of Candidate for President of the Ukraine Pyotr Simonenko

00 NO TO FASCISM! 02. 03.04.14


In all the years since independence, the Ukraine as a state has never been so close to a loss of sovereignty and territorial integrity as it is today. The fight for power amongst the oligarchic clans sharpened to the limit all the problems that the oligarchy spawned.

The “new-old” junta is frantically looking for protection and support in America and in Europe, it sides with those who ruled in 2005, with the oligarchs who actually control our country. Under their rule, the oligarchy gained power, hiding the money that they stole from the people in Western banks. Their so-called “reforms” led to the destruction of the domestic economy, the destruction of the world’s best public health, education, and social welfare systems. The dictation of American and European “consultants” led to annual budgets that brought on social genocide.

With direct foreign participation and financial support, a bloody coup occurred in our country. Nationalist extremists, spiritual descendants of collaborators with the German fascists during the VOV, came to power, utterly deranging our relations with Russia, bringing us to the brink of a military confrontation. Our people need to know and understand that contemptible and selfish geopolitical and economic interests guide the West. In their plans, the Ukraine would only be a place where they’d rob the natural resources and use its territory to deploy NATO military bases. For the revival and preservation of a sovereign Ukraine, we need a well-balanced and independent policy that meets the interests of the entire multinational Ukrainian people.

If I become the head of state, I’ll exert all efforts to overcome the major threats facing the Ukraine:

  • The danger of the loss of statehood and the division of the country
  • The attacks of fascism and aggressive nationalism
  • An economic disaster and the reduction of the Ukraine to an effectual colony
  • The final destruction of the social gains of the Soviet era
  • The loss of the Ukraine’s defence capability
  • The spiritual and moral degradation of society
  • To fight the criminalisation of society, to protect the personal safety of citizens and guarantee their human rights

These threats developed over the more than two decades of the corrupt rule of the criminal-oligarchic system, they led the Ukraine to the brink of the abyss. Oligarch groups privatised government institutions, turning them into tools of private business for their private profit. The apotheosis of this system was the Yanukovich régime, characterised by shameless rip-offs, boundless greed, and unprecedented corruption, a grasping for unitary totalitarian power. Other oligarchic groups, who benefited from a powerful wave of genuine popular protest, overthrew him. In gratitude, the new junta paid off the oligarchs for their support, leaving whole parts of the Ukraine at their tender mercies, letting them “devour” the country. The oligarchic division of the country and the raping of its wealth led to even more outré actions, as they took aggressive radical nationalists, frank neo-Nazis, as their allies.

Today, the Ukraine is openly under foreign control from the West. That outside interference led our country to the brink of military confrontation with the fraternal Russian people. To eliminate the salient reasons why the Ukraine teeters on the brink of national disaster, a mere change of characters in the Ukrainian political operetta won’t do anything good. Without the elimination of the oligarchy as the powers-that-be, we won’t be able to overcome the systemic crisis in our country. Therefore, our main policy goal is the elimination of the oligarchic system and building a socially just state, responsive to the will of the people.


00 NO TO FASCISM! 03. 03.04.14


Restore democracy: The means to preserve the unity of the country

The head of state should act to preserve our statehood, lead its reconstruction, and to foster democracy. The oligarchy’s Constitution is a deceit; the country needs a new social contract in the form of a new Constitution, which would return democracy to the Ukraine, to guarantee Ukrainian citizens their civil, political, economic, and social rights. We must ensure the accountability of the authorities to the people, as that’s the crux of any proposed constitutional reform. The Constitution must become a reliable guarantor of the rights and freedoms of citizens, a barrier to arbitrariness, and a basis for political stability. To do this, we must complete the transition from a presidential-parliamentary to parliamentary form of government, in which we’d abolish the institution of the presidency. We need a number of irreversible changes to consolidate democracy, to separate business from politics, and to return control of the government to the people:

  • Restoration of independent organs of people’s control over the work of the state apparat, the introduction of a mechanism of review for ministers and deputies of all levels, allowing the principle of “no confidence”, extend the control functions of the parliament
  • Empowering oblasts, along with local and regional authorities, with real powers; abolition of regional, city, and district state administrations, with the transfer of their functions to Ispolkoms (executive committees) of popularly elected local Soviets
  • The election of Deputies of Soviets under a proportional system with open lists, which will separate business from government, as it won’t allow “fat cats” to buy mandates from party leaders and buy constituencies
  • Elimination of parliamentary immunity and privileges of Deputies and other senior officials
  • The adoption of a new law on popular referenda to give the people a real opportunity to exercise power directly
  • The Constitution would have to pass an all-Ukrainian referendum before it came into force

A revival of fascism threatens our country; the oligarchs nourished it to seize control of government power. National-Chauvinism, which is a modern form of neo-Nazism, has become one of the main threats to the unity and integrity of the country. Its outburst resulted in the severe crisis that sègued into the coup. The state ignores the activity of fascist thugs; they attack the legitimate rights and interests of citizens. The majority of the Crimean population wouldn’t put up with that, leading them to vote to secede from the Ukraine by an overwhelming majority. The current junta is entirely responsible for this blow to the territorial integrity of our state. Our country’s unity is continually under attack by the activities of radical nationalist extremists. To put an end to this threat, we should ban propaganda of fascism and political extremism, and outlaw organisations engaged in such activities. It’s impossible to end this permanent crisis, to prevent its recurrence, and to preserve the integrity of the country without recognising the fact that the Ukraine isn’t homogenous ethnically, economically, or culturally, or to exclude consideration of these differences from the implementation of our public policies. As an alternative to the disintegration of the country, the KPU proposes to carry out a phased transition of the Ukraine to a federal structure, with the necessary constitutional guarantees for its unity. For this, we propose specific measures:

  • Conversion of the Verkhovnaya Rada of the Ukraine in a bicameral parliament consisting of a Chamber of Deputies and of a Council of Regions (with a smaller number of deputies), enabling it to fully take into account the characteristics and interests of the regions
  • Reform of the electoral system; election of People’s Deputies by proportional system with open regional party lists, and members of the Council of Regions elected from single-seat constituencies
  • Widespread use of instruments of direct democracy (referendums, popular initiative, impeachment, recall of Deputies)
  • Vertical decentralisation of security agencies and a reform of the MVDU (subordination of regional MVDU components to their respective local Soviets)
  • Election of lower-level judges (district and city) in local communities
  • Creation of budgets from the “bottom-up” (create legislation necessary for the region’s share of taxes and fees to remain in the local budget)
  • Reform of the tax system (tax collection at the place of production, not at the place of registration of business entities)
  • Transfer all local issues (including the language issue) to the decision of the oblast and local authorities

An indispensable condition for the preservation of the territorial unity of the country is its spiritual unity. The state must protect the spiritual values ​​and national traditions of all the peoples of the Ukraine. To that end, we’d strengthen laws to protect cultural monuments, rescue historical truth from revisionism, and protect all languages ​​and cultures of all nations and peoples resident in the Ukraine. We must preserve and strengthen the status of the Ukrainian language as a state language, but the Russian language must have the status of a second state language.


00 NO TO FASCISM! 04. 03.04.14


For the revival, modernisation, and increase of the domestic economy

To overcome the crisis, to ensure the full development of the country, and to make a better life for the people is possible only on the basis of the recovery, modernisation, and development of the domestic economy. To this end, the Komparty proposes a concrete program of economic reforms, an Anti-crisis programme, the relevance of which has increased even more. It provides:

  • Return property to state ownership (nationalisation), in a lawful way, of strategic economic sectors that undergird national power (primarily military-industrial complex, metallurgy, electric power)
  • Return the mineral wealth and natural resources of the Ukraine to state control
  • Ban the sale of agricultural land (except land acquisition between villagers)
  • Modernise the economy, industry, agriculture, construction, and transport
  • Government support and preferential loans to domestic producers
  • Investment of no less of 10 percent of GDP in domestic basic science, advanced research, and technology development
  • Investment in rural development not less than 5 percent of GDP, government support of large-scale agricultural cooperatives, a return to guaranteed state orders for agricultural products, a ban on imported food products that have Ukrainian analogues, tightening controls on agricultural exports
  • Terminating the disastrous and crippling credit relations with the IMF
  • Revision of discriminatory conditions for the Ukraine’s membership in the World Trade Organisation (WTO and closing our economic borders to low-quality imported consumer goods
  • Implementation of competitive joint Ukrainian-Russian projects in nuclear energy, aviation, shipbuilding, and space exploration

We can meet these tasks can only if we can fill the state’s coffers in a reasonable and fair way. This means that the rich must pay more taxes.

Our suggestions:

  • Exempt those of modest income from taxation, introduce progressive tax on incomes of the rich and super-rich, introduce taxes on luxury items
  • Close “offshore loophole” in the budget, impose taxation on all capital deposited abroad
  • Introduce a state monopoly on the production of alcohol and tobacco products, with profits directed to social welfare, especially, healthcare
  • Honest and transparent public procurement system to minimise corruption in the allocation of budget funds
  • Tax cuts for businesses engaged in real production, who create new enterprises, who create new jobs, but not for those engaged in purchase and resale, nor for financial speculators
  • Cancel or lower VAT (Value Added Tax) for essential/staple goods and services


00 NO TO FASCISM! 05. 03.04.14


Proposals for solving the most pressing social problems

To overcome poverty and the crisis in property ownership, and to promote social justice, we believe:

  • Adoption of a new Labour Code to protect the rights of employees, set real guarantees for decent wages and working conditions, rest, and paid holidays
  • Annul as soon as possible all anti-people laws imposed on us by the IMF. Firstly, we must cancel the unconstitutional pension “reform”
  • Increase in the minimum wage based on the real cost of living
  • Indexing of real cost of living, all wages, pensions, and social benefits to keep pace with inflation
  • Maintain the existing system of benefits for the socially disadvantaged, strengthening it, and introducing more targeted assistance
  • Restore fair utility rates, rents shouldn’t exceed 10 percent of family income
  • Increase spending on health and education to the world average (5.6 percent of GDP), prohibit tinkering with the national healthcare system, and abolish all anti-people “healthcare” reform. Establish strict liability for violation of the constitutional ban on closing hospitals, polyclinics, and medical care points
  • Provide free high-quality public health care, private clinics can only be a supplement to a full public healthcare system
  • Guaranteed state care for all children and youth, free education for all, the elimination of a shortage of places in kindergartens, restoring recreation programmes and children’s holiday schemes, guaranteeing a first job to all graduates of higher education institutions


00 NO TO FASCISM! 06. 03.04.14


For an effective non-aligned foreign policy

The late 2013/early 2014 coup resulted in Ukrainian domestic and foreign policy coming under full Western control, especially, the USA. They openly directed the change of power in our country. Washington and Brussels actually decide the composition of the Ukrainian junta, they decide our state budget, they tell us what “reforms” to carry out, in short, they tell us everything that we can do, and what we can’t do. They know better than Ukrainians do about what’s “good” for the Ukraine and what’s “bad” for it. The Ukraine has become a hostage in the geopolitical showdown between the West and Russia.

Be aware that the era of free market and free access to the market is long over. The world sees a fierce competition for resources and for access to markets. In this situation, the Ukraine, with its natural wealth and resources, is of particular interest to the leading geopolitical players fighting over the division of the world. Communists know that the first priority of a country to assert its sovereignty and independence. Otherwise, it faces extinction and colonisation. The interests of the citizens of our country and the national interests of the Ukraine should inform our foreign policy. We mustn’t allow the Ukraine to become part of any military-political bloc, especially, NATO, as it’d led to a final loss of our sovereignty.

Our foreign policy priority should be to maintain equal and mutually beneficial relations with all countries, expanding the number of our permanent allies and partners. We must do everything that we can to restore good relations with the SNG countries, primarily Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. A neutral non-aligned status most fully meets the national interests of the Ukraine at this time.

The new Ukrainian junta is pulling our country into the EU. Meanwhile, European leaders don’t hide their intent to solve their countries’ economic problems by opening markets in the Ukraine, but not guaranteeing her membership in the EU, at least for the next 15-20 years. However, they want access to our resources. A sharp increase in imports from the EU and the introduction of European standards will require a lot of time and money. This will finish off the Ukrainian economy, which is on the brink of default. They’d destroy Ukrainian machine-building, light, and food industries, and our agriculture, too… they can’t compete with powerful foreign capital.

Our people need to know that the so-called European integration policy has close links with the IMF’s attempt to enslave the Ukraine. Its antisocial credit policy will result in further de-industrialisation of Ukraine and a complete dismantling of the remnants of our social safety net. An alternative to this disastrous course is membership in the Customs Union of the Eurasian Economic Community (TS EvrAsES), in cooperation with countries with rapidly developing markets and with great potential.  Primarily, that’s Russia, India, and China. I’d pursue this foreign policy if I became President of the Ukraine.


00 NO TO FASCISM! 01. 03.04.14


Everyone should have confidence that the state would protect their lives and rights

Of particular concern is that the state isn’t able to defend its interests, to protect itself and its citizens. After the collapse of the USSR, the Ukraine inherited the third-largest in the world nuclear arsenal. All of it was looted, stolen, lost, and abandoned. Twenty years later, the Ukrainian army is in ruins, and it’s unfit for action. Military equipment is utterly outdated; some of it doesn’t even work. To revive our Armed Forces, we have to start from almost scratch. We must make the military profession respectable again. This means that we must give military housing and a decent level of material and social security. We believe that our military-industrial complex should work primarily on implementing state defence orders, ensuring that our armed forces have modern military equipment and weapons.

Today, one of the most acute problems is that our citizens don’t feel protected. The state isn’t able to guarantee the people any of the basic constitutional norms. This applies not only to citizens’ rights to work, to free health care or education, but also to personal safety. On the streets of many cities, armed criminal groups run rampant, engaging in frank racketeering and banditry. Our security agencies are broken and demoralised. The first thing that I’d do is to ensure that the country follows the rule of law, not the law of the jungle. We’d disarm all illegal armed criminal groups, no matter what they called themselves, and bring their members to justice.

We hear a lot of talk about “freedom of speech” and “democratic values” from the junta; in fact, they impose censorship and persecute dissent. They arrest people for political reasons; they gin up fraudulent criminal cases against them. The new junta outlawed its political opponents without any reason. However, they give radical nationalist groups “Most Favoured Nation” status; in fact, they’re above the law. Our consistent position is that the Ukraine is a multinational state, where there should be no manifestations of superiority of one nation over another, of racism, or of any form of xenophobia. We shouldn’t only talk about the right of citizens to freedom of thought and of freedom of expression of political and religious views; we should hold ourselves strictly to them. We believe that the Ukrainian people will unite to overturn the oligarchy’s dictatorship; they’ll build a truly democratic and fair socialist state for the people. We’d eradicate poverty, corruption, social inequality, banditry, and ethnic intolerance from every corner of Ukrainian society. We’d honour the working man, whose mind and hands hold all the values ​​in the world. We’d return the country to the people.

Voters should cast their vote for the candidate of the Communist Party of the Ukraine!

27 March 2014


KPU official website


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