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    Only Communists can be regarded as opposition in Ukraine - Supreme Rada speaker

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    KIEV, June 11 (RIA Novosti) - Speaker of the Supreme Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) Vladimir Litvin believes only Communists can be regarded as opposition in Ukraine, because "they conduct more or less consistent policies."

    "Others make more noise rather than action," the speaker said in an interview with Kontrakty (Contracts) weekly publication, the Novosti-Ukraina agency reports.

    Litvin, who heads the People's Party of Ukraine, said, "today we can speak about a situational opposition to certain legislation or actions of the authorities."

    Calling a strong opposition "a blessing for the country," Litvin pointed out that until the 2004 presidential elections "it was extremely hard to work, but we adopted compromise decisions, those that satisfied the Ukrainian society. Today, any decision can be enforced."

    At the same time, the speaker predicts that closer to the 2006 parliamentary elections "many politicians who maintain neutral positions at present will attempt to distance themselves from the government and the president in order to build their platforms on the criticism of the authorities."

    Litvin does not discount the possibility that ex-president Leonid Kuchma might become a deputy.

    "I do not see him getting involved in big politics, but he might become a deputy," he said. At the same time, the speaker pointed out "there is no political force that might offer him to participate in the elections."

    Litvin said he would not "criticize Kuchma for moral reasons, despite it became a modern trend."

    "It will take time to evaluate all positive and negative aspects of his activities. It all depends on in which direction and how fast Ukraine will progress in the future. If the quality of life deteriorates, Kuchma will be remembered more. If it improves - he will be remembered less," the speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament believes.

    "I would not be sincere with you if I said there will be no attempts to use the administrative resource during the elections. It is widely used even today," Litvinov conceded.

    "There are many cases when people are forced to join the party that is associated with Viktor Yushchenko's name," the speaker underlined. At the same time, he expressed hope it was "not the policy approved by the President."

    "Such coercion is a habit of being a lackey, a desire to please the master," Litvin believes.

    In his opinion, during the 2006 parliamentary elections "people will vote for the government," because "according to the main provisions of the political reform, the composition of the parliament will determine the candidature for Prime Minister."

    The reform envisions the transition from the presidential-parliamentary form of government to the parliamentary-presidential form, the formation of the government by the coalition of parliamentary factions, and the extension of the parliamentary term from four to five years.

    The authority of the Supreme Rada will be extended, as well. It will receive the right to appoint the prime minister, defense and foreign ministers on recommendation of the president, and to appoint other members of the Cabinet on recommendation of the prime minister.

    The amendments to the Constitution will come in force on September 1, 2005.

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