The lessons of Ukraine

It is always a mistake to underestimate the feelings of the people. As a collective, the people represent the voice of God, which is shunned at one’s own peril.

This is because the collective represents integrity, transparency and wholeness, as opposed to manipulation; guile and subterfuge that always accompany bad governance, corruption and extreme graft.

 Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had discovered this reality in a very hard way as he was forced to sign an agreement that entailed early elections and more importantly constitutional reforms that reduced the president’s powers after un-armed protestors besieged Government demanding the changes to eliminate corruption and impunity.

The protesters are angry that massive corruption and impunity were allowed. They want Ukraine to move toward Europe rather than Russia, where communist authoritarianism embraces corruption including the manipulation of the Judiciary.

The protestors have made the point of capturing Yanukovychs’s rumbling compound which has been described as “an emblem of the secrecy and arrogance that defines Yanukovych’s presidency, painting him as a leader who basks in splendor while his country’s economy suffers and his opponents are jailed.

Constitutional reforms are among the core demands of the demonstrators who felt that the President had too much power, exercised undue authority over other arms of Government including the Judiciary and security services.

As if to prove the point,≠≠≠≠ moves have been  underway to release from Prison Yanukovych’s arch-rival and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who has served 2 ½ years on a conviction of abuse of office, charges that domestic and Western critics condemned as  political vendetta.

In a series of decisions, some forced by demonstrators who besieged the house, Members of Parliament voted to decriminalize the charges under which Tymoshenko was imprisoned. This could mean that she will be freed from Prison because the charge is no longer a criminal offense.

As expected these changes were a bit too much for the once all powerful President. He decided to flee Kiev for Russian-speaking east which is believed to be his main support base, as demonstrators and protesters took control of the Presidential Compound and residence.

The moral of the story is simple. Yanukovych should have listened to the voice of the people. This would have prevented the totally unnecessary death of several demonstrators, killed by security officers.

Ironically security officers including the Police, Army and intelligence have decided to keep away from the political fray and have issued a statement that they will support a Government that wille emerge from the current political turmoil.That Ukraine has difficulties is not in doubt. As it stand the country stands the danger of splitting into two  namely the Western Region that is considered to be close to the European Union and Eastern Ukraine which is close to Russia and accounts for  the country’s economic activity.

It is interesting that the two superpowers namely the USA and Russia are both agreed that political turmoil did not serve the best interests of the country and therefore supported the transition of power to a regime that would be more accommodating.

All this would not have come to pass had the President heeded the call for constitutional reform that would have limited his powers in manner that would serve the greater interest of Ukraine.