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President’s Day of Shame

06.06.2011    source:
Serhiy Leshchenko writes about President Yanukovych’s promise to show journalists his residence at Mezhyhirya and on the efforts of the local Village Head and a judge to prevent journalists from reminding him a year on that the promise has not been kept

A year has passed in which Viktor Yanukovych has failed to keep his promise.

On 4 June 2010 Yanukovych promised to remove all suspicion of corruption and show his possessions at his Mezhyhirya residence.

“Get ready, we’ll go right now”, he said with clapping from his subordinates.

However when the live broadcast on television ended, it transpired that nobody was going to show anybody Mezhyhirya because, Anna Herman said, there are no coaches in the President’s Administration.

They couldn’t find coaches for a whole year, and the story with Yanukovych’s Mezhyhirya turned into a symbol not only of corruption, but of numerous promises not kept.

On 6 June, on Journalist Day, members of the civic movement Stop Censorship had announced a peaceful gathering near Mezhyhirya in order to remind Yanukovych of the promise not kept.

The organizers informed the Novi Petrivtsi Village Council, however its Head, R. Starenkt applied to the court to ban the protest.

I had the opportunity yesterday to meet the cynical 30-year-old Village Head of Novi Petrivtsi. The local “Mayor” had curious argumentation.  He told the UNIAN information agency that he “took the decision in the interests of the Novi Petrivtsi community to turn to the court to ban the protest throughout ALL OF 2011”.

He explained that the event was planned on one of the village streets and “from the morning when local residents will be going to work, the protest will obstruct his fellow villagers”.

The protest near the residence can in no way obstruct villagers from going to work since villagers simply don’t walk around there.

There are signs 50 metres away from the gates of Mezhyhirya saying “No entry. Aside from Administration cars”. Which means the only “villager” who could theoretically be disturbed was Viktor Yanukovych.

The author also points out that one can see from the video demonstrated that there is easily enough room near the entrance to Mezhyhirya for the 30 journalists who were going to hold the peaceful gathering.

He also points out the bleep in the Village Head’s logic. By asking for a blanket ban, this includes weekends so what is his argument worth that this will disturb people going to work?

Judge Panova went even further, he notes, defending Yanukovych’s right … to rest.

“Taking into consideration the constitutional principles of defence of human rights to personal life, its inviolability, the right to rest outside working hours, the said gathering would infringe the mentioned personal human rights”, the court ruling states, as well as saying that this is Yanukovych’s residence.

In fact, the author notes, according to official registration records, Viktor Yanukovych lives in Kyiv at 15 Obolonska Embankment.  This is the address given on his income declaration and where he’s registered to vote.

So Mezhyhirya is not the President’s official residence, yet the judge made no effort to establish his place of residence. She simply copied out the application in her ruling.

The author suggests that none of these nuances are of interest to a judge whose initial 5-year tenure is to end in two years, and who doesn’t want any problems so that the Verkhovna Rada appoints her to a post with indefinite tenure.

The author says that the journalists, as part of their professional duties, plan to go to Mezhyhirya to check how the court ruling is enforced.

Slightly abridged from Serhiy Leshchenko’s blog

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