Poroshenko urges Shokin to resign; calls to reload government (updated)

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has appealed to Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin to resign from his post.

As reported by Censor.NET, relevant information has been posted on the Presidential Administration website, official presidential Twitter, and Twitter of presidential press officer Sviatoslav Tseholko.

Below is the text of the president's address translated from Ukrainian by Censor.NET:

"Dear compatriots!

"In two years after the victory of the Revolution of Dignity, our country has made serious and confident steps towards European integration.

"We have launched a number of important and very difficult reforms.

"But people demand more.

"It is obvious that society and the government are not satisfied with the pace of changes.

"It is obvious that we need to step up positive transformations, get a second wind for proceeding with reforms.

"It stands to reason that from the beginning of the year, not only did we slow down but begin to backpedal.

"The government has lost the support of the coalition. In order to pass strategic decisions, we often have to ask for votes from non-affiliated deputy groups and independent MPs.

"Tensions between the government and the factions have grown to an extent that jeopardizes the existence of the coalition. Its collapse, in turn, will inevitably hurl the country into a deep and long-standing political crisis.

"Thus, the government team and all authorities, both central and local, are working under very difficult conditions. They are hostilities and destruction of massive part of industrial infrastructure. They also include aggressive closure of Russian market for our manufacturers and Moscow's blockade of our commercial transit to third countries. Finally, we face drop in world prices for key items of our exports.

"Objective outcome of such circumstances is multiplied by subjective mistakes. As a result, we are faced with a decline in living standards of citizens of Ukraine and, consequently, decline in people's confidence in government. According to opinion polls, 70 percent of voters support the resignation of the Cabinet. Neglecting this indicator is absolutely unacceptable.

"Current Constitution does not authorize the president to directly regulate relations between the coalition and the Cabinet of Ministers, and the more so to decide on personnel issues independently. But as the guarantor of the Constitution, as a person who assumed responsibility for the reforms strategy, I cannot simply watch what's going on. As long as responsibility is thrown over between the two buildings at Hrushevskoho Street [parliamentary building and that of the Cabinet of Ministers - ed.], the entire country is standing still and treading water.

"We are losing precious days, weeks, and months. And this is when we lag by years and decades from our successful neighbors!

"In order to get out of the stalemate situation, political will of the president, as well as joint responsibility of the head of state, the parliament, and the Cabinet are required.

"This morning I had a meeting and a talk with Prosecutor General. I offered Viktor Mykolaiovych [Shokin - ed.] to file for resignation.

"Viktor Shokin implemented reforms that had been opposed in the PGO in decades: depriving the PGO of general supervision, creating the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the State Investigation Bureau, etc. This is on the one hand. On the other hand, unfortunately, the PGO could not gain trust of the society. This is why the resignation of the Prosecutor General is on the agenda now.

"The same measures should be applied to the Cabinet. The Cabinet of Ministers has accomplished much in saving the country, stabilizing economic situation, and starting the reforms. However, the society has decided that there have been more mistakes than achievements, and refused to trust the ministers. Isn't it clear that successful reforms could only be implemented by Government which enjoys support of its citizens?

"In order to regain credibility, therapy would not be enough; surgery is needed. A moment for a partial reload of the government has been lost. There was too much talk around it. Now it's obvious that the government should be reloaded in full. As of now, the prime minister has an option to choose how this will happen.

"The Cabinet of Ministers should be reloaded on the basis of the acting coalition of Solidarnist, People's Front, Samopomich and Batkivshchyna.

"I particularly appeal to the People's Front and its leaders, together with whom we have traveled a difficult road, whom I have considered political partners and opinion allies and will keep doing so. Neither the fate of this government in general nor any personal ambitions of its members should impact the unity of our pro-European democratic team. We have created the coalition not for the sake of positions but for principles. At least this was our promise to the people, was it not?

"Appointments to the government should be made with the participation and support of all coalition factions on the technocratic reforms basis. These should be experts without political influence and lobbying interests.

"The task of the Cabinet is to ensure the GDP growth and begin the restoration of living standards, organize fair privatization, transparent management of public enterprises; implement strict anti-corruption steps to continue cooperation with the IMF and other international financial institutions.

"This will only strengthen our strategic course towards EU and NATO, towards strengthening of the country's defense capability, improvement of Ukrainians' well-being, strengthening of the democratic foundations of our parliamentary-presidential political system.

"I am convinced that the country has no spare time to plunge into the election campaign for the fourth time in less than two years, taking into account the external aggression.

"Inner political war of all against all is a dream of our northeastern neighbor. This is why I took the stage and voiced my vision of getting out of the crisis - in order to avoid the worst-case scenario.

"The dismissal of the Verkhovna Rada is not a responsibility, but the right of the president. I will exercise it only as the last resort, which we have no right to allow.

"The issue of restoration of confidence has to be decided within the parliament. Trust is the most important resource needed for solving issues of scale that our country is currently facing.

"I expect that the parliament makes quick and statist decision. I will follow.

"I hope for support by the society, dear compatriots.

"Glory to Ukraine!"
Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n374600