Yushchenko urged to resign as the President’s Party "Our Ukraine" back Tymoshenko

A group of West-Ukrainian intellectuals on Thursday urged President Viktor Yushchenko and politicians from the ‘democratic’ camp to renounce plans to run for presidency in the upcoming election and to offer their supporters to vote for Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, “who has more chances to win in January 2010.”Dr. Stepan Pavlyuk, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the chairman of the Congress of Ukrainian Intelligentsia of the Lvov Region said this at a news conference in Lvov.He said an appeal to Yushchenko and other politicians to unite around Timoshenko as a single democratic candidate had been endorsed at a congress of West-Ukrainian intellectuals in the town of Rakhov in sub-Carpathian Ukraine.The document that carries fifty signatures says the intellectuals view Timoshenko as the only candidate capable of running against the leader of the Regions Party, Viktor Yanukovich, who has huge electoral support in the industrialized eastern regions that are home to millions of native speakers of Russian.”It would be highly desirable for other aspirants from the democratic forces to weigh out everything and to take a pivotal decision,” the document says.The intellectuals representing the largely agrarian, traditionalist parts of Ukraine recall that Timoshenko withdrew from the presidential race in Yushchenko’s favor during the ‘orange revolution’ of 2004 when the situation was much the same.The political council of the pro-Yushchenko bloc ‘Our Ukraine/ People’s Self-Defense’ called on all the democratic forces back at the beginning of the year to nominate a united presidential candidate enjoying mass social support.Yuri Lutsenko, the leader of People’s Self-Defense has already made public his support for Timoshenko. A decision in the same vein is now expected from Our Ukraine, all the more so that a number of regional organizations of this party have come up with statements supporting the prime minister.However, Yushchenko told a news conference in Kiev with a note of self-confidence Wednesday that he will win he election.”I don’t have the slightest doubt about it,” he said.

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