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Lytvyn: Language bill would have suited if all amendments had been accepted

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July 4, 2012, 1:51 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

The bill on the principles of the state language policy passed by the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada would have suited both opposing parties if all amendments to it had been accepted, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn (in the center) said.
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The bill on the principles of the state language policy passed by the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada on July 3 would have suited both opposing parties if all amendments to it had been accepted, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn (in the center) said.

"The law on languages in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted in 1989 has become outdated and requires adjustments, taking into account modern realities. If we talk about the essence of the problem, all languages have the right to exist, but not at the expense of the official one. Over 2,000 amendments have been proposed to the bill initiated by [Vadym] Kolesnichenko and [Serhiy] Kivalov, and I personally proposed 10. If the amendments and adjustments that I proposed had been accepted in full, I believe this law would have met the spirit of the time and would have suited everyone, including those supporting a sole official language and those who call for expanding the rights of ethnic minorities in the national-cultural and everyday affairs," Lytvyn said in an interview published in the Ukrainian edition of Izvestia.

Lytvyn said he cared more about the essence of the bill rather than the time when it could be made into law.

Asked whether the language bill could result in the introduction of the second official language in Ukraine, the speaker said, "Nobody is formally proposing the introduction of the second official language."

"Moreover, the Ukrainian language's status has been emphasized, and the matter is mostly about increasing the role of the so-called regional languages," Lytvyn said.

"However, what should not be ignored is that the Russian language is stronger on the former Soviet territory. A lot are concerned that the Russian language's dominance would in fact make it the second official language in Ukraine, and it would in fact oust the Ukrainian language. Therefore, what is needed is broad dialogue on this theme and the understanding that people cannot be forced to love this or that language. It should also be understood that a language is a key element of the constitutional system in a country," he said.

Lytvyn announced his intention to resign on July 4 as a sign of protest against the way the language bill was passed on July 3.

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bkrevel July 4, 2012, 7:09 p.m.    

And the rats abandon the sinking ship.......!!!!!!!

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Roman Dawydiak July 5, 2012, 11:55 a.m.    

Those who laugh last, laugh best. The meticulously planned hijacking of the Verkhovna Rada by deputies from the Party of Regions in order to pass their Russian language legislation appeared to go smoothly. Just to rub some salt into the "wounded" Opposition legislators one of the key POR plotters, Mykhailo Chechetov, gleefully stated that it was similar to "playing with kittens". WRONG! The POR completely miscalculated the reaction of Speaker Volodymyr "the Chameleon" Lytvyn, who was conveniently absent during the illegal vote on the new language legislation. As it turned out Lytvyn was vehemently opposed to this vote and for more than one reason. First, it was performed without his consent (allegedly) and second, he could not support such a vote and then face his angry Ukrainian speaking constituents in Zhytomyr Oblast prior to the upcoming elections for a new VR in October. Therefore, he declared that he would not sign this legislation (because of irregularities dring its passage) and as such it could not be submitted to King Vitya for his final approval. In addition he offered his resignation as Speaker along with Deputy Speaker Mykola Tomenko from the Opposition. (Note: Only the Speaker can sign legislation to be forwarded to the President for possible final approval). If all of this was not bad enough for the POR, the Opposition while not being able to defeat any new legislation, can stalemate any further proceedings in the VR by refusing to register for a vote thus depriving the necessary quorum needed for any vote to proceed. On a further note, the Ukrainian President can dismiss the Verkhovna Rada but this would be meaningless since there is insufficient time to hold an election prior to the scheduled vote tabled for October 2012. So there we have it. No new language legislation and a bunch of eggs for Chechetov and Company. Who's laughing now?

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