Lutsenko says he's calm about his dismissal

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Jan. 28, 2010, 6:19 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
Yuriy Lutsenko, appointed on Jan. 28 by the Cabinet of Ministers the Acting Interior Minister following his dismissal as minister by parliament, has said he accepts his dismissal, and he promised to ensure public order after the second round of the presidential election. Ukraine's parliament voted onJan.28for Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko's dismissal, in a motion initiated by the Regions Party faction.

"I accept this decision [on my dismissal] completely calmly, and at the same time I accept the decision to appoint me acting [interior minister]," Lutsenko said at a press conference in Kyiv on Jan. 28.

He said that still he is responsible to the Interior Ministry and the entire country for ensuring a transparent election.

"The team is ready for further work, but it needs a leader..." the acting minister said.

Commenting on possible mass protests on the streets, he said he assumes such actions would not cause social disruption if the second round of the presidential election is held in an orderly way.

"If the second round is turned into chaos via the seizure of the courts and administrative buildings, the bribery of voters, an unreal turnout of 98%... then of course, there will be mass protests," Lutsenko said, and added that "any mass protests by Ukrainians will be protected by the Interior Ministry alone. I will personally protect their right to demonstrate" regardless of whom they support.

Lutsenko expressed hope that the second round would be held successfully, and said his task was to ensure this.
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