(BBC) Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko has pledged to implement a political reform that will devolve much of his powers to the prime minister and MPs.

Ukraine has seen a sharp decline in economic growth since Mr Yushchenko took power in January.

Viktor Yushchenko was sworn in as president in early 2005 after huge numbers of protesters forced a rerun of the troubled 2004 election, in what came to be known as the Orange Revolution.

But last month he sacked prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and her cabinet in a move that appeared to mark the end of the coalition that won the Orange Revolution.

What did the Orange Revolution achieve? Have much needed reforms been implemented? Should the Ukraine seek closer ties with Europe or a greater relationship with Russia? Send us your views and experiences.

President Viktor Yushchenko will be our guest on a special edition of Talking Point, to be broadcast in October. 
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion have been received.

The very fact that: much of this political turmoil has happened in the public eye, largely transparent to Ukraine's citizens and internationally, readily and openly analysed from various points of view in the media, and the fact that Yulia now has a real opportunity to win power back in the parliamentary shows that Ukraine has taken one huge step towards a true, transparent democracy, regardless of who the individual victors may be. The Orange Revolution should be seen an evolution and not simply a point in time. [Roman, Toronto]

True reform and change takes time! 9 months is not long enough to tell whether Mr. Yushchenko has been effective. Ukraine is in a unique position, and as far as foreign ties, it should try to have good relations with both Europe and Russia [Paul, New Jersey, USA]

The fragmentation of the coalition is a major setback, undoubtedly. Ukraine has no experience in self-rule; it has had no possibility to develop a political tradition of its own, other than one of resistance and struggle for survival and independence, since the 17th century. We may here be seeing only the inevitable growing pains of a country in the beginning stages of self-government, delayed by fifteen years of corrupt rule after the dissolution of the USSR. The programme of seeking closer ties with Europe remains the correct path; of course it has its own perils, and of course good relations with Moscow should be maintained. But a return to the Russian sphere of influence would be disastrous. The West should do all it can to facilitate the success of the Orange Revolution and the emergence of a stable and free Ukraine. [Stephen Reynolds, Hillsboro, OR, USA]

YES - The Orange Revolution has delivered! The Orange Revolution was about democracy, freedom of speech, and an end to tyranny. Now, one can walk the streets of many of Ukraine's cities and villages and witness people demonstrating and voicing their opinions without the fear that once existed. Talk shows, editorials, and other forms of mass media often feature criticism of the government. The people feel free to express their disillusionment and frustrations. They also celebrate their successes. Is this not a true expression of 'the will of the people'? A democratic society is not formed in a day, a month, or even a year. Instead of watching and critiquing from afar, we should all extend an open hand and offer our support and encouragement, and help this wonderful nation develop to its full potential! [Marta Chyczij, Canadian currently in Kyiv]

From the streets of Kyiv the euphoria of Orange Mania has given way to a sickening disappointment and complete distrust of the "new" authority in Kyiv. After standing toe to toe with Ukraine's most powerful thugs in a rigged election, the Orange revolutionaries have seen their President sign a "sweetheart" deal with Putin-backed Yanukovich and the nearly wholesale sacking of the "dreamteam" Orange government, to be replaced by people that the Kremlin and former President Kuchma lovingly endorse. Frankly, the people feel betrayed. The tough talk of rooting out corruption in the highest places of government have gone unrealized. The voices from December continue to echo throughout Ukraine for real justice. [Ken, Kyiv, Ukraine]

The Ukrainians got the leader they wanted and deserved [M Da Silva, Toronto, Canada]

The Orange revolution has delivered less and confused more. It was funny to notice how international media can make heroes out of any seeming revolutionaries in the East. The Orange revolution enthralled Western media and the mighty Time magazine only to be proven later as a hoax of a revolution as per Western expectations and presumptions! [Rajiv Thind , Christchurch, New Zealand]

What, you haven't noticed?! Seems to me that after the Orange Revolution Ukraine is doing as well, if not better, than Germany or Poland on the political front. And economic? Give it SOME time.
[R L Chomiak, Washington, US, and Kyiv, Ukraine]

So far Orange Revolution hasn't delivered much. Unfortunately most of the politicians it brought to power aren't much different from those that represented old regime of Kuchma.
Economical policy had failed as Yulia Tymoshenko had done nothing except repeatedly saying that her government is best Ukraine ever had. And despite all the words about fighting corruption in reality many of the new officials are very corrupt.
One of the leaders of the revolution Mr. Porshenko well used his new position to become one of the richest man in Eastern Europe. So one year after revolution situation doesn't look very good. We all Want to believe but it becomes more and more difficult. [Ihor, Lviv]

It showed the Ukrainian people that they can overcome the past. The reforms have not been implemented because of the high corruption in the government. The Parliament is what is in the way of reforms actually being accomplished.
There are too many people in the government who were supporters of Yanakovich and they are blocking the way for reforms to happen. Ukraine is still run by the mafia and until the mafia is broken the country will not be totally free. Ukraine should focus first on getting themselves together as a nation. Relations should be made with both Russia and Europe, but first they need to focus their attention on the issues that are plaguing their own country. It shouldn't be the EU or Russia before the Ukrainian people. [Colleen, Berrien Springs Michigan USA]

In the USA, it seems that following the Orange Revolution there is a new-found pride amongst Ukrainian-Americans. From pictures I have seen of concurrent protests all over the world, it seems that the revolution was more of an international awakening of Ukrainian identity in addition to a
desire for self-determination, a better standard of living, and the establishment of a true democracy in the Republic of Ukraine. [Joe Collins, Chicopee, MA, USA]

Ukraine may still have severe problems, however the people have learned that they have the capability to determine their own destiny. I believe that the centre of continental Europe is in Ukraine, therefore, geographically and I believe in reality Ukraine should be an integral part of Europe. Maybe Ukraine will finally cast off its derogatory name - " Little Russia" [Eugene Moroz, Concord MA USA]

Corruption from former soviet politicians and oligarchs in Ukraine is unfortunately still rife: The recent government reshuffle was a simple rearranging of the pigs at the trough, whilst those who stood on the maidan still look for real change. Amnesties for former corrupt, and in some cases
murderous, politicians at whatever level was a signal for many that little had in fact changed at the top. Gongadze's murderers still sit in office or relax in their dachas. Meanwhile former embarrassed Russian commentators and government officials gleefully see the demise of the Orange revolution.
It is time to bring out the guillotine and deal with this Ukrainian aristocracy the French way. [Ivan, England]

In Canada there is a continued perception that Yushchenko is on the right track. He radiates an aura of sincerity and of objectivity. Yes, stick with a closer relationship with Europe, by all means. Russia's historic contempt for Ukrainianism will not diminish until it is forced to respect Ukraine's desire for independence. Until then Russia will continue to expect Ukraine to be a colony of sorts. This is the opportune time to make a permanent statement, to Ukrainians, to Russia, and to the world. Sieze it. [Michael Zrymiak, Surrey BC Canada]

The Ukraine has only recently returned from the nightmare that was the Soviet Union. Old habits die hard. Ukrainians are intelligent, know how to work hard and all they have to do is learn to work together. That is our biggest challenge and the breakdown in the last government shows we're not quite there yet. [Leo Hura, Honolulu Hawaii]

I took part in the Orange Revolution and wrote about it for Political Affairs Magazine. If there is one thing that the movement accomplished, it was to prove to the old Soviet regimes that elections are no longer to be bought, bullied, or stolen. The people, if willing, will have their say.
Everything else is icing on the cake. Look for the same in Belarus in the near future. Power to the people. [Thomas Lohr, Denver CO, USA]

The Orange Revolution did nothing except to see that Ukraine has become more democratic yet politically divided. The problems of all this is greed of power and refusal of Mr Yushchenko's allies to co-operate together to build a Ukraine that is united, prosperous and democratic.
[Firdaus, Singapore]

During the past year, the global community perceived that Ukraine sought closer relations with the West, especially the European Union, while at the same time keeping Russia close at hand. What is the next step? Will Ukraine evolve into some kind of foreign policy bridge among the EU, the US and Russia, or will Ukraine find its own way by growing close to Europe and the West? [Fernando Zambrana, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico]

Mr. President, time and time again we in the West have hoped for meaningful reforms in Ukraine, and yet each time these hopes are dashed. What are you prepared to do to ensure the fulfilment of the promises of the Orange Revolution? Thank you, and Dyakuyu!
[Walter Salmaniw, MD, Victoria, Canada]

Ukraine's Orange Revolution galvanized what had previously been a politically apathetic and cynical population into action in defence of their electoral rights. It was about a flawed process, rather than flawed outcomes. In fact, many of the demonstrators in the square were not there to defend Viktor Yushchenko or Yulia Tymoshenko, but rather their own right to have their voices heard. As such, whether or not it "delivered" will be unclear until another election is held.
[Kristin Cavoukian, Vancouver, Canada]

Unfortunately Orange revolution did not bring anything. Ukrainian people were deceived once again. Ukraine will never achieve anything until they introduced legal and economic reforms. Until this happens power will move from one clan to another. [Ostap , Kiev]

It is not the politicians who will bring change. The Ukrainian people themselves must change. Corruption, cheating, criminalization; this way of life can only be eliminated by the people directly, not by a man waving an orange scarf. That is a fantasy that many outsiders would like you to believe. [Milic, US]

Victor Yushchenko has been going through a very rocky period and he has had to contend with accusations of sleaze which could lead to impeachment proceedings. So the future does not look so rosy. Pancha Chandra, Brussels, Belgium
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