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Monday, December 23, 2013

Ukraine: Protesters and opposition have created National Association “Maidan” during the fifth massive rally in Kyiv

Massive rallies in Ukrainian capital on 22 December
(Image: Batkivshchyna Party Facebook page)
22 December was marked by the fifth massive consecutive rally of Euromaidan – anti-government and pro-Europeans rallies and protests being held in Kyiv and all over Ukraine since 21 November, when Ukrainian government tool and unexpected decision to suspend preparation to signing of Association Agreement with EU. More than 100 thousand people have gathered in Kyiv Independence Square with tens of thousands continuing protests nationwide, particularly in Western regions of Ukraine.

Protesters demands ouster of Ukrainian current President Victor Yanukovich, resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his Cabinet of Ministers, resignation of VitalyZakharchenko, Minister of Interior, and holding him accountable for the violent dispersal of protesters on 30 November and on the following days. Protesters also demand total changes of political system in Ukraine with 2004 Constitution to be brought back in power and early presidential and parliamentary elections as well. Among the key demands of demonstrators remain the demands of release of all unlawfully detained protesters and activists and political prisoners as well, including Ukrainian ex-Prime Minister and prominent oppositional leader Yulia Tymoshenko. Protesters also call for the government to hear their demands that all the representatives of security forces and police and all the figures responsible for the recent dispersals and clashes with the peaceful protesters to be punished and the security forces and army to be withdrawn from the streets of Kyiv and other cities as well.

Massive rallies in Kyiv against government
(Image: Kyiv Post)
Euromaidan has also turned into National Association uniting political powers and groups, NGOs, intellectuals, trade unions, different civil organizations and citizens of Ukraine, as creating of the new civil organization was declared on Sunday, 22 December, in Independence Square. The new entity is called National Association “Maidan” and is aimed to represent the voice of Europmaidan and Ukrainian citizens willing to change the country and its political system. “Maidan” consists of politicians including leaders of oppositional forces, members of different organizations, intellectuals, artists, activists and other Ukrainian citizens. The list of “Maidan” has currently 37 names, but it is open and every Ukrainian can participate.

National Association “Maidan” is a non-party civil association aimed to start the purge of Ukrainian political system and changing of all its elements, according to the official resolution of the organization issued on Sunday during the rally in Kyiv. One of the most important tasks of the newly formed association is coordination of protests activities in the country and plan of the further steps. “Maidan” calls first of all for renewal of political balance in the country and bringing back in power 2004 Constitution of Ukraine.

Among the steps of the plan created and approved by “Maidan” are the following steps: new European law about prosecution guaranteeing independent decisions of the prosecutor and of the trials based on the law and not on the political views and sympathies; reformation of the structure of Ukrainian police; elimination of corruption in judiciary and all the state’s institutions as well; new Tax Law; improving of education system; Parliament representing the will of people etc.

Representatives of the civil sector of “Maidan” in their turn have declared their own demands as well. They stated that one of the main principles, on which forming of civil movement should be based, is a single candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections, and this person should take responsibility of reforming the country and signing Association Agreement with European Union, according to the resolution of National Association “Maidan” announced on Sunday from the stage by oppositional leaders who are also the members of the National Association.

Anti-government rallies in Lviv
(Image: Euromaidan Lviv Facebook page)
In addition to that representatives of “Maidan” declared that New Year and Christmas holidays will be celebrated in Independence Square.

Meanwhile the so-called “Anti-Maidan”, pro-government rallies of supporters of Victor Yanukovich and current government, has finished their action on Sunday claiming they’ve achieved all the goals. They also made an official statement explaining their decision to end the sit-in and rallies with the upcoming New Year and Christmas holidays which they are planning to celebrate in their homes with their families. Anyway the stage erected in Mariynsky Park, close to the building of Parliament, where the sit-in was located, was dismantled and the tents removed. People who participated in the rallies have left for their homes. There were also some reports that many of them were angry that they didn’t receive their payments for participation in the rallies, so they threatened to storm office of Party of Regions in order to get their payments, but there is currently no further information regarding this issue.