As President Victor Yushchenko told a Friday news conference for regional, central media chiefs and foreign journalists, he is ready to initiate a moratorium on checks and inspections of the mass communication media for the period of the election campaign and the 2006 elections.

"I think, we will hold many more such meetings before the elections and will elaborate mechanisms to secure journalists' independence and immunity to persecutions," the President said.

Though banning checks will be helpful, this mechanism must be complemented by other mechanisms, President Yushchenko noted.

The Head of State suggested that the journalists themselves prepare their proposals to this effect.

President Yushchenko promised to personally react to any facts of administrative pressure being brought to bear during the election campaign.

According to Yushchenko, he has sent dozens of cables to law enforcement bodies, regional governors to instruct them how to deal with political parties, NGOs, more importantly, with ordinary citizens.

As President told the gathering, he has called upon the OSCE not to discontinue its monitoring of democratic process in Ukraine until after the 2006 parliamentary elections.

In the President's opinion, now nobody can tell the people what political party they must support.

If somebody wishes to lose the elections and somebody's political presence in Ukraine, such a party of supporters could be best mustered with a whip.

As Yushchenko stressed, he is willing to resort to any mechanisms to make the 2006 elections fair, honest and transparent.

"I won't champion any political party's interests, I am the President of all the Ukrainians, not the president of Our Ukraine," Victor Yushchenko stressed.

"Those ideals, which made us stand on Maidan (Kiev Independence Square), including freedom of expression, democratic and transparent elections, are not subject to revision."


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