Tymoshenko Slams Yanukovych For Sabotaging Plans To Form ‘Unity’ Coalition, Launches Presidential Campaign

KIEV, Ukraine -- In a televised address to the nation that aired at 8 p.m. on June 7, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko slammed opposition leader Victor Yanukovych. She accused him of sabotaging talks to form a coalition that would have united four leading political groupings in the country, and helped to pull Ukraine out of economic recession.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

“I believed that on this day we would unite all major political forces into a unity coalition. All agreed to unite,” Tymoshenko said referring to plans to form a coalition including her Byut bloc, Yanukovych’s Regions party, the Volodymyr Lytvyn bloc and a part of the Our Ukraine political grouping.

“But unfortunately, Victor Yanukovych put a period on these plans. Without warning anyone, he put a cross, killing plans to unite our political forces.”

Tymoshenko also accused Yanukovych and President Victor Yushchenko of sabotaging her government’s attempts to deal with the economic crisis, saying: “The anti-crisis program of the government is being burned, on the one side by Victor Yushchenko and on the other by Yanukovcyh.”

“Unfortunately, betrayal and sabotage still dominate Ukrainian politics,” she added.

Tymoshenko also declared “I will run for president and will win.” She insisted that Yanukovych tried to discredit her by misleading Ukrainian voters earlier in the day when he suggested that he did not support plans for the new coalition to adopt a new constitution which would have stripped citizens of the right to elect Ukraine’s next president, shifting this authority to parliament.

Tymoshenko said it was Yanukovych’s party which supported such constitutional amendments and also sought a clause in the constitution which would have only allowed candidates older than 50 years of age to run. Yanukovych is over 50 years of age. This clause would have eliminated other candidates, including Tymoshenko and former speaker Arseniy Yatseniuk.

Tymoshenko said the “chaos” which has ruled in Ukrainian politics in recent years was the result of constitutional amendments which were adopted in the heat of the Orange Revolution. She reminded voters that she opposed these constitutional changes, which Yushchenko accepted back then as part of a political compromise that opened the door for him to become Ukraine's president.

Tymoshenko pledged to fix the “dis-balances” in Ukraine’s constitution after the presidential elections. She also pledged to continue seeking unity in Ukrainian politics, and would continue to try forming a broad coalition that would more effectively help Ukraine battle economic recession.

“To end the economic crisis, we need to end the political crisis. The crux of this political crisis is this political reform which I opposed. We needed to give Ukraine a European constitution,” Tymoshenko added.

Source: Kyiv Post