KIEV, Aug. 29 – President Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense party on Wednesday accused the government of plotting to split the group and spread confusion among voters one month before the Sept. 30 election.
The group reacted to the official registration of Pora, a small party that had been previously a member of the group, as a separate entity running for the Sept. 30 election.
“The goal is very simple – to split the only pro-presidential group ahead of the election,” Roman Zvarych, who represents Our Ukraine at the Central Election Commission, said.
Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense accused the Justice Ministry, led by Oleksandr Lavrynovych, a staunch ally of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, of secretly helping some members of Pora to re-register the party, allowing it to formally submit registration papers to the CEC.
“The Justice Ministry and separate members of the CEC approved the respective decisions under direct order from the Regions Party,” Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense said in a statement. “These decisions are illegal.”
Opposition groups have previously accused the CEC of bias, but the remarks accusing the government of involvement helping to split the pro-presidential group may have serious implication.
It may further escalate confrontation between Yushchenko and Yanukovych as pro-government groups plan to hold an emergency session of Parliament next week. Yushchenko said the session would be illegal.
Raisa Bohatyriova, a senior member of the Regions Party, on Wednesday cited the escalating dispute over the Pora as an example showing the pro-presidential forces cannot get united.
“As the situation shows the pro-presidential forces are not willing and are not capable of getting united not only with the Regions Party, but even between themselves,” Bohatyriova said.
At the same time, she called for joining forces after the election between the Regions Party and groups, such as Our Ukraine, that have supported the Orange Revolution in 2004.
“There is no alternative to unity,” Bohatyriova said. “Unlike the Orange politicians, we never say ‘never.’” (tl/ez)