The Maidan Memorandum – The Next Objectives of the Orange Revolution

Oct 3rd, 2005 | By | Category: Human Rights, In Depth, Politics, Ukraine

The Orange Revolution and the election of Viktor Yuschenko as the President provided a significant mandate for the new agenda that is based on principles of democracy, individual freedom, free enterprise, and traditional Ukrainian values. The Maidan community is calling for a beginning of a large-scale dialog to form THE MAIDAN MEMORANDUM, which would serve as a roadmap to responsible lawmakers and the Government to implement those principles, and which could serve for citizens as an indicator for a progress in doing so, over the next half a decade.

The Orange Revolution ended the post-Soviet development stage in Ukraine. In December 2004, the people of Ukraine that are faithful to the ideas of honesty, freedom, and fairness, executed sovereign powers of the Constitution directly. The people did what the Government should have done but failed to deliver: they ensured and protected freedom and liberties of the citizens.

In delivering their historic mission, the people left the country’s maidans with the hope that the President and his Government will be guided by national interests, the Law, the principles of respect, trust, and solidarity that were the spiritual basis of the Orange Maidan in Kyiv. However, it seems that politicians, government officials, and lawmakers that were either elected or appointed to their offices, gradually return to practices of the recent past: to seek all the more powers, to convert them into personal gain, and to control all the more resources. The Government is composed of new people but it preserved the principles and practices used by the old, post-Soviet, ones. Instead of a dialog with citizenry, the Government is practicing giving out promises and cheap publicity. The people, it appears, is responding with distrust and apathy.

A combination of practical tasks to accomplish a transition to a government accountable to the public and to confirm political and civil achievements of the Orange Revolution are the next challenges of the Orange Revolution. Accomplishing these tasks will ensure impossibility of a return to the authoritarian or totalitarian government model, and it will create a solid basis for the development of civil society and a democratic, law-abiding Government.

THE MAIDAN MEMORANDUM includes solutions in such areas as human and civil rights, the judicial system, public affairs, national and local governance, national defense, and public finance. Each of the tasks is composed in a manner that allow for verification whether the task is accomplished or not.

The Maidan community is calling upon everyone to join in the discussion of THE MAIDAN MEMORANDUM: to itemize the tasks and to create programs of their realization. It is open to amendments and additions. The full text of THE MAIDAN MEMORANDUM is available for viewing and discussion at http://maidan.org.ua/go/memo .

The implementation of THE MAIDAN MEMORANDUM would take quite a while. But in order for the tasks to be accomplished, each citizen could make his or her personal input. Then, our expectations would come to life!

This Memorandum includes priority objectives in order to form an established, improved Ukrainian Democracy and Open Society in the aftermath of the Orange Revolution. Most of the objectives could be met by the 2006-2010 Verhovna Rada session and Mr. Yuschenko’s Presidency.

The Memorandum is based on the following Fundamental Principles:- A Citizen is permitted to do anything that is not directly limited by the Constitution and the Law.- A Citizen has only two liabilities before the Government: to obey the Law and to pay taxes according to the Law.- National and local Governments are prohibited from everything that is not directly allowed by the Constitution and the Law.
The Memorandum is seeking to confirm the following Shifting Paradigms:- FROM a Citizen who serves the Government – TO a Government that serves the Citizen.- FROM a Government as the owner of national property – TO a Government as the manager of national public property.- FROM a Government dominating over the Citizen – TO equal partnership between the Government and the Citizen; an equal play ground for the Citizen, the National Government, and the Local Governments, before the Law.- FROM the tendency of limiting civil and human rights – TO making it impossible to limit freedom and liberties of Citizens and Communities.

We hereby bring the following objectives to the attention of the Ukrainian Nation, the Political Parties, the Political Leaders, the Members of Verhovna Rada, the Social Leaders, and the President:

1. CIVIL RIGHTS

1.1. Legislative consolidation of the right of the people to free assembly and protest
1.2. The introduction of a system of direct legislative initiatives from the Citizens
1.3. The implementation of a system of a human rightsombudspersons for each oblast

2. THE JUSTICE SYSTEM

2.1. The abolition of the practice by the Government of seizingproperty without a sanction of the court.
2.2. The introduction of an effective system of direct appeals from Citizens to the Constitutional Court
2.3. The creation of effective organizational and legal mechanisms for Citizens to gain access to the justice system
2.4. Ensuring compulsory record-keeping of all court hearings using technical tools.
2.5. The implementation of a Jury System
2.6. Introducing elements of Precedent-Based Law
2.7. Ensuring administrative and financial independence of the Courts 2.8. The introduction of self-administration of the Courts

3. THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS

3.1. Ensuring guarantees of academic freedom in higher educational institutions
3.2. The removal of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The creation of a State Committee for Supporting Museums, Libraries and National Arts and Crafts. The creation of a State Agency of Tourism and Promotion.
3.3. The liquidation of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The creation of a Ministry of Transport. The creation of a State Communications Committee.
3.4. The liquidation of the State Committee on Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine
3.5. The creation of a public system for disclosing a full chain of ownership of print and electronic media
3.6. The liquidation of government-administered condominiums. The introduction of community administered condominiums
3.7. Ensuring equal operating conditions for governmental andnon-governmental schools.
3.8. The introduction of a viable national health insurance system.

4. LOCAL GOVERNANCE

4.1. The introduction of referendums on the early removal of local officials.
4.2. The creation of an effective mechanism for the early removal of mayors and elected heads of communities.
4.3. The creation of a system ensuring mandatory disclosure of all construction and zoning documents on the territory of communities and applications for allocation of land and tenders.
4.4. The creation of an effective mechanism for public debate on issues material to local communities.
4.5. The creation of a system for disclosure of normative legal acts on budgets, staff schedules, and government employee salary schedules at all Local Governments, as well as of financial reports of all municipal companies.

5. ECONOMY & FINANCE

5.1. The liquidation of Economic Courts.
5.2. The elimination of the Tax Police.
5.3. The elimination of the Value Added Tax, and its substitution with a national sales tax.
5.4. The introduction of a single social tax
5.5. The introduction of a mechanism for tax deductibility on donations for nonprofit activities related to culture, the arts, science, education, and religion.
5.6. Legislative consolidation of the right to minimize taxliability.
5.7. The introduction of a single registration “port of call” and one single liquidation “port of call” for businesses.

6. NATIONAL GOVERNANCE

6.1. The introduction of mandatory public and open competition when hiring civil servants and public administration employees.
6.2. The creation of a national system for disclosing legal acts of budgets, staff lists and salary breakdowns of all national public institutions.
6.3. The creation of a national system for disclosure of property and property rights owned by civil servants.
6.4. Making civil servants officials responsible for actions or inaction when handling information.

7. NATIONAL SECURITY & DEFENSE

7.5. Ensuring access to all archives of the Soviet secret services (those of the Cheka, the OGPU, the NKVD, the MGB and the KGB)
7.6. The transformation of the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) into an accountable specialized security service, designed using European models.
7.7. The liquidation of the Office of the Prosecutor General. The functions of supporting prosecutions and representation of national interests in court to be passed to the Ministry of Justice.
7.8. The liquidation of the Militia and the creation of the Police, based on a Euro-Atlantic model.
7.9. The creation of a National Bureau for Criminal Investigations.
7.10. The abolition of military draft. The creation of a professional Army, based on a Euro-Atlantic model.

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