Vitaly Kononov, leader of Ukrainian Green Party, has started its pre-election tour with Cherkassy region. He met with students in Umani settlement, visited the oldest Ukrainian oak (which is over 1100 years old) in Kholodny Yar settlement - this powerful tree is still alive thanks to the greens’ care, – afterwards arrived in the city of Cherkassy, where he visited the local university and met with his voters in the regional theatre and carried out a press conference. In particular, the journalists were interested what position his party had on president Leonid Kuchma and why the party is sometimes called “pro-presidential.” V.Kononov asked to explain him, what it was in general “pro-presidential” party. According to him, the greens support the activities of the president which correspond with the party’s programme aims, and it did not support that ones which do not correspond with the party’s aims. “When Kuchma closes Chernobyl nuclear power station, the greens are a “pro-presidential” party, supporting Kuchma’s activities; though when the president finishes building of nuclear power stations in the city of Rovno or in Khmelnitsky, we are an “anti-presidential” party,” – he said. The leader of the greens also noticed (while answering the question about impeachment) that the question about the president should be solved “without revolutions”, at the next presidential election: “if you do not like the today’s president, elect another one!” Apropos, the Green Party has already met with counteraction of the administration resource. According to the second person of the Green Party, “we everywhere meet examples of ignoring the election law, the rights of the candidates and the electorate.” The most spread method of counteraction to the party’s pre-election campaign is spoiling advertising materials of the party, tearing off big boards and leaflets. Such incidents took place in Crimea, Rovno and Odessa. According to O.Shevchuk, the 2002 election campaign is “the most dirty of all carried out in Ukraine within the years of its independence.” Though, this does not witness the party is an opposition one: such methods are used in Ukraine against rivals without taking into account their ideology. V.Kononov told about concrete actions of the party (fight against illegal building of refuelling stations in natural zones of Ukraine, annihilation of overdue pesticide storehouses, placing of water-purifying equipment in some settlements etc.). At the same time, he noticed that not everything depended on the greens, and appealed the citizens to more actively defend their ecological and civil rights. According to him, Ukrainians’ low activity in defending their interests is still a serious problem: while the citizens themselves do not fight for environment’s purity, for their and their children’s health, any party cannot do it for them,” – he said. As an example Kononov mentioned German citizens’ activity, who do not want to resign themselves that overworked nuclear waste products return from France to Germany. The German greens have to carry out explanatory work, while telling that the waste are being legally returned to the country. Though, when through Ukrainian territory nuclear waste from Bulgaria are being transported, the Ukrainian greens have to make efforts to organize the citizens for protest actions, because people seem to be indifferent. According to him, now the transporting route of nuclear waste will be reviewed by the initiative of Bulgaria. Apropos, Moldavian parliament took a decision not to pass the dangerous load through Moldavian territory. Though it is not known, where the new route (through Black Sea) will be more save or not. Finally, the Green Party’s leader said, from global view, this waste will be dangerous everywhere, including closed defence complex Krasnoyarsk-26. In general, according to V.Kononov, the only way to solve ecological issues is to make citizens’ position more active: they should learn to more actively demand it from the power. Otherwise, all the defects could be written off to the greens. So, while answering a journalist’s question, why the greens cannot be seen near to Cherkassy zoo, where animals starve and live in horrible conditions, Kononov said he was against zoos at all. He advised the citizens of Cherkassy to close their zoo, if the city administration does not have money to keep it. Or the citizens should control spending budget money. “At least, you paid taxes, from this money, means must be apportioned for the zoo, - Kononov said. – I cannot understand how in 21st century animals can starve. This is an absolutely non-humane position.” The Green Party’s leader presented his pre-election programme and outlined top-priority issues, the main of which is the issue of control over ecological laws that have been already passed. “If our ecological legislation is kept, Ukraine will be one of the most ecologically prosperous countries,” – he said.
Andrei Lubenski PRAVDA.Ru Cherkassy Ukraine Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/02/25/37524.html