BRAMA, Nov 18, 2004, 5:30 pm ET|
Victor Yushchenko’s address to the people of Ukraine on the eve of the election
Dear friends! Dear Ukrainian citizens!
Elections are coming to an end. We have walked a long way together. This is my final address to You on the eve of election. This is why I will talk about the main things.
First. I am grateful to You, dear friends, for 31 October. I thank all those who came to the polling stations, those who voted and those who were prevented from doing so. We have started to believe in our strength. We have shown to the government that we are not just an electorate but that we are citizens. We are the people! It was not Victor Yushchenko who won on 31 October; it was Ukraine. I am proud because it happened, proud that we have endured.
Second. We will all come to the polling stations on 21 November. This day will solidify our victory. Our final victory! 21 November is the last frontier and it is the most important one. Every one of us will be choosing his or her own morale, his or her Ukraine. Come out and vote according to Your heart.
In the first round I have won despite pressure and falsifications. The support of Oleksandr Moroz, Anatoliy Kinakh, and of the honest communists is a guarantee of the complete victory.
With me are worthy people, strong and courageous: Lina Kostenko, brothers Vitaliy and Volodymyr Klichko, Ruslan Ponomaryov, Oleh Skrypka and the “VV” band, Slavko Vakarchuk with the “Okean Elzy” band, Ruslana, Oleksandr Ponomaryov, tens and hundreds of famous and respected people.
We do not trust this government; do not trust the Central Electoral Commission, which had been fooling us for ten days by concealing the victory. The entire government body today has been transformed into a machine for falsifications. It is fabricating voter lists, preparing widespread fraud via absentee ballots, organizing mass “add-ins” of votes at voters’ homes, and substitution of election protocols at polling places.
The victory is with us – I am convinced of it with my every cell. However, we have to protect our victory.
The main events of 21 November: at polling stations and in Kyiv.
Sign up with volunteer teams at my headquarters, at the headquarters of Oleksandr Moroz and Anatoliy Kinakh. Ensure order and calmness at Your polling stations; wait till the protocols are made public.
We will hold a nation-wide vote count together at the Independence Square in Kyiv so that the entire Ukraine and the entire world could see how the people are voting and so that the Central Electoral Commission does not distort the will of the citizens.
Third. I know how difficult it is for you today because I see what the government is doing, how it applies pressure at every person in every town and village. It is pressuring doctors and teachers, entrepreneurs and heads of village councils, students and soldiers, government officials and law-enforcers, and, what is most cynical of all – pressuring clergy!
I see the government engage in widespread legal violations in order to preserve its cabinets and its loot all over the country.
I promise: We will protect our people.
We will reinstate all employees that have been fired for their political views. We will reinstate all students that have been expelled for participating in rallies or for wearing orange ribbons. We will investigate every instance of pressuring people and the Law will punish the guilty.
We will live in safely and peacefully after 21 November. Members of the law-enforcement institutions that the government is forcing to act against the Law and against their conscience will be safe too. Militia and courts will defend the rights of the common people. They will no longer serve oligarchs and those in power.
I, Victor Yushchenko, swear to you – it must be and it will be!
And one last thing. I have made my choice on 4 July and I will go till the end, till victory. You see how the government is resisting – brutally and cynically. But I will not be stopped by it. It will not prevent the people of Ukraine from fulfilling their legal right to choose their government. It is stated in the Constitution.
If the government does not rescind and resorts to falsifications, the people will not be silent. They will stand up for their choice. This is their right, which is also guaranteed by the Constitution. We will raise millions of citizens to defend the Constitution.
Next time I will address You as the president of Ukraine. I believe in it because I believe in your wisdom. I believe in Our strength. The people of Ukraine are united and this is why unconquerable. We are united in our desire to lead worthy lives. We are united in our desire to choose honest government. We are united in our readiness to defend our legal right.
The people of Ukraine will make their choice on 21 November. It will be done freely and without coercion in accordance with the Law. If anybody interferes, they will be repulsed. This is not a threat; this is a serious warning. We will defend the Law and the Constitution. We will not allow the usurpation of power in Ukraine. Truth is on our side and so is God!