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Ukrainian opposition complains to EU about ‘repression’

The European Solidarity party decries “metastases of authoritarianism” spreading inside Ukraine

Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko’s party has appealed to EU leadership criticizing Kiev’s governmental “absolutism,” and called for the “restoration of the freedom of speech” and political plurality in the country.

Kiev authorities recently prevented the former president, who heads the European Solidarity party with 27 MPs in the 450-seat parliament, from leaving Ukraine to attend the Munich Security Conference (MSC), over alleged threats to his life – which he in turn decried as an “offense against democracy.”

Earlier this week, Oliver Varhelyi, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, shared Poroshenko’s letter in which he pleaded with Brussels to pressure Kiev to stop its “discriminatory” practices.

“According to the government’s logic, it is not the actions of officials who violate the rights and freedoms of Ukrainians that harm European integration, but those who, for example, apply for protection of rights, for example to the ECHR or other international institutions,” the party said in a statement published on the official website on Friday, criticizing Kiev’s “emotional and inadequate” reaction to the letter.

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FILE PHOTO: Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko.
Ex-Ukrainian president denounces travel ban as ‘offense to democracy’

The opposition lamented the governmental “absolutism” saying that the authorities act with “impunity” and are “used to a monologue and applause” rather than a dialogue, while reacting nervously to criticism.

According to the statement, the Ukrainian government remains “deaf” to the society, which results in “multiple mistakes”, making it impossible for the opposition to stay silent as the “metastases of authoritarianism” are spreading inside Ukraine.

“Why does a democratic country need an opposition that is silent?,” the party members said, demanding “open dialogue of the authorities with the society and opposition,” lifting the restrictions on the international travel for the member of the opposition as well as “the restoration of freedom of speech, the restoration of Ukrainian TV channels” and “the return of journalists to the parliament’s meeting hall and the broadcasting of meetings on the Rada channel.”

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RT
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The party also insisted that the security forces should refrain from putting pressure “on the mass media, business, public activists and the opposition” and called for the restoration of parliamentary control over the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. 

The latest travel ban is yet another episode in what appears to be a long-standing conflict between Poroshenko and Zelensky. Poroshenko lost the 2019 election in a landslide to Zelensky, who campaigned on a platform of making peace in Donbass, only to reverse course and seek NATO support in confrontation with Russia.

March 03, 2024 at 07:32AM
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