Let’s be responsible!
Appeal of the Initiative Group “First December” Regarding the election of the President of Ukraine
Українську версію читайте тут.
Shortly we will again be defending Ukraine’s future.
The challenge which history has prepared for us is extremely clear: either we prove to ourselves and to others that we have become a strong nation and are capable of achieving great goals, or we capitulate as a state, surrendering to the mercy of internal and external enemies.
During these five years, Ukraine has successfully defended itself against Russian aggression expending extremely large efforts and at the price of victims, protecting not only itself but also Europe from a geopolitical catastrophe. We are convinced that we can hope for international support only when we ourselves show our dignity and power.
It is also important that our collective choice be free and democratic.
However and unfortunately, as we see from the media, too many presidential candidates are promising anything and have, from its outset, decided that this campaign will be dirty, and believe that it will be detrimental to the candidates themselves to conduct it honestly. These candidates state that since everyone is resorting to abuse, then it is possible to save the country only when the candidate takes advantage of all opportunities, be they legal or immoral, to neutralize rivals. Thus, by “saving the state”, it is destroyed from inside the country.
Therefore, we stand for fair elections – elections without corrupt practices that will compromise us as a state which has declared its intention to be civilized. We are for open competition, therefore we strongly advocate for the conduct of compulsory direct TV debates by candidates in the second round. They will help choose a worthy bidder, not a “cat in the bag.” They will prevent the use of populism. They will encourage us to be responsible.
We need to be responsible!
This is what history demands from us. And responsibility for the type of elections lies not only with candidates and their headquarters, but also with us. In these days it becomes scary when you see the “servants of the people” transform democracy and universal suffrage.
The refusal of Ukrainians to deify power and adore their leaders is one of the prerequisites for freedom and democracy. However, the transformation of the election into a circus with its unbridled drive to destroy state institutions is the eternal cause of our national ruin. In the history of mankind, such circuses always ended in dictatorship, usually alien.
But when elections are the cause of irresponsible dderision, let’s be honest with ourselves: are we worth this right or choice? Or maybe our enemies are right, in their conviction that we will play with democracy, then destroy it and eventually calm down in a new dictatorship?
Ukrainians are a freedom-loving people who feel their dignity. Let us then remember that dignity imposes a certain civil and moral responsibility.
We are aware that our words are sharp and can hurt and those who do not deserve this rebuke. But the sharpness of our words come not from anger, but from the pain without which it is not possible to monitor the course of the electoral race.
So, we ask everyone who is full of the same anxiety as we feel: we need to mobilize at this historic moment and not let human irresponsibility destroy our freedom, which was gained through the human losses of Maidan!
That is the bitter truth.
And this truth must be answered by the one to whom we will jointly entrust the leadership of our state. As issues of security take on an overriding importance in this current situation, we believe that today Petro Poroshenko can best guarantee the security of the state. Against this background, we made our choice: on March 31, and then, if necessary, in the second round we will support Petro Poroshenko.
Having become president of Ukraine in 2014, he has achieved a great deal for the country’s national security, for its diplomatic successes, and raising its prestige internationally. His efforts to preserve and strengthen the economy, as well as the development of Ukrainian self-identity and national culture were also significant. Peter Poroshenko, through his adept diplomacy, clearly contributed to the fulfillment of the desire and the right of the Ukrainian people to have their own canonic Orthodox Church.
We are sorry that these important achievements are being distorted during this election campaign.
We also know about his mistakes: his half-heartedness in the fight against corruption and in reforming the law-enforcement and judicial systems. The problem of poverty remains acute, problems with social equality have deepened, and critical violations of the laws governing labor costs have taken place in the country. With regard to the “revealing” materials that are being reported these days in the media, their credibility would be greater if they were grounded on a larger base of evidence and not withheld specifically to be publicized just before the elections.
We did not collect our concerns;we tried to talk about them to the President himself, because they were not criticized by him. We now hope that the past five years, the President has been able to confirm that without a permanent dialogue between authorities and society, Ukraine’s successes could not even been dreampt about.
In supporting Peter Poroshenko, we count on his ability to take into account the difficult experiences in providing the state with leadership under extreme circumstances and to correct the mistakes of past years.
We do not see a convincing alternative to him amongst the other presidential candidates.
And we need to remember: the future of each of us, our families and of the state is to be decided during precisely these days.
Viacheslav Brioukhovetsky, Ivan Dziuba, Josef Zisels, Myroslav Marynovych, Volodymyr Panchenko, Vadym Skurativsky, Yuriy Shcherbak, Ihor Yukhnovsky, Yaroslav Yatskiv.
Translated by Myron Spolsky