Ukraine's President Victor Yushchenko addressed the nation on the occasion of Day of Freedom to remember the Orange Revolution, president's press office reported.
“This day is for all Ukrainian citizens no matter what political opinions they have. It unites us as a nation,” he said.
The President said the exploit performed by the ‘orange’ protesters “helped restore our self-esteem.”
“This personal deed put Ukraine among other nations that gave the world examples of freedom,” he added.
“Freedom of speech, freedom of meetings, freedom of choice, freedom of competition and business freedom have rooted in Ukraine,” he said. “We are becoming free. We must realize this fact. Freedom is like air: you feel it when you are deprived of it.”
Yushchenko enumerated achievements of the post-revolutionary Ukraine.
“The greatest of them is the democratic election. We had never had it before,” he said.
Speaking about the country’s development, the President said, “I have always thought and think now that our country needs two things: effective democratic government and reliable precautions to prevent authoritarianism.”
Victor Yushchenko has pledged to be committed to democratic principles and ensure them “irreversibly” and to continue reforms, maintain economic growth and foster national dignity.
“I have an action plan and know what Ukraine needs. My paramount principles are law and justice,” he said.
The President said he was going to initiate the continuation of constitutional reform to end “the conflict of powers” and secure the irreversibility of our democratic choice.
“We need a constitution of freedoms that are observed. If the constitutional dialogue of politicians dead-ends, I will ask the people to speak out,” he said.
Yushchenko said the implementation of judicial and law enforcement reforms was “the key to personal safety and security.” He said Ukrainians were only learning to enjoy their civil rights and political freedoms, facing the serious challenge of properly observing social and individual rights.
The President admitted that there was inflation, some risks of economic stagnation and slump, educational problems and formidable corruption.
“I will exercise my constitutional powers, employ mechanisms of the National Security and Defense Council and hold an open dialogue with the government and parliament to secure economic growth in the country and create fair living standards for you,” he promised.
He said he would continue the dialogue with the country’s major political forces aimed at nurturing national dignity.
Speaking about the reunion of democratic parties, Yushchenko said he would support a new political force which “will preserve the traditions of these parties.” He added he saw Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Yekhanurov, who led the two ‘orange’ governments, as well as those who work to benefit the country and its people, as his partners and allies.
The President promised to cooperate with the government of Viktor Yanukovych.
“With no diplomacy, I tell Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych: get rid of the politicians that want revenge and conflict,” he said, adding that it was incumbent on the government to preserve democratic freedoms and economic growth.
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