15 December 2018

Today, the Opposition Bloc has held its VIII Congress, by which decision the Charter of the party has been changed. The Political Council has become a new governing body, and my friend and colleague Boris Kolesnikov has been elected as its head.

The Opposition Bloc represents the interests of voters all over Ukraine, and not just voters from the southeast of the country. We were, are and will be the only ideological opposition to the incumbent authorities. We consistently and fundamentally uphold our traditional values: we declaim against Ukraine’s accession to NATO, against re-writing the history and glorifying soldiers of OUN and UPA, against the discrimination of citizens based on language. We were the first ones to support the Minsk agreements. We did and keep doing everything to restore peace in our country.

A statement of support to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry was included in the final resolution of the Congress, which also condemned the authorities’ attempts to interfere in internal church affairs. With the majority of the delegates' votes, the Congress supported the proposal to nominate MP Aleksandr Vilkul as a presidential candidate from the Opposition Bloc at the next party Congress, which will be in January. We condemned the attempts of former party members to unite with other political forces without the consent of the Congress and the approval from the regional party organizations.

I suggest that all doubts about the legitimacy of the Congress should be considered as provocations. The Congress was attended by 148 delegates elected on behalf of 47 thousand members of 18 regional party organizations. This is more than two thirds of the total number of party members, which, according to the party’s Charter, makes the Congress duly empowered and authorized.

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