Ukrainian President Urged to Safeguard Stability

Christian Leaders Appeal in an Open Letter

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KIEV, Ukraine, DEC. 1, 2004 ( Ukraine’s president, as guarantor of the Constitution, must ensure the country’s stability amid the current institutional crisis, urge six Christians leaders, among them Cardinal Lubomyr Husar.

Orthodox Patriarch Filaret, Baptist leader Hryhorii Komendant, Pentecostal Bishop Mykhailo Panochko, Evangelical Bishop Leonid Padun and Catholic Vicar General Markian Trofimijak added their signatures to the cardinal’s in an open letter addressed to President Leonid Kuchma.

In the letter, published by the communications service of the Greek-Catholic Church, they express their perplexity to the institutional heads on the management of the political crisis.

Ukraine is in crisis over the controversial Nov. 21 elections won — according to official data — by the current pro-Russian Prime Minister Victor Yanukovich, but strongly contested by the supporters of his adversary, Victor Yushchenko, as the result of a huge fraud.

According to the six Christian leaders, «In times of general national trials, this authority of the head of the government takes on decisive significance. The dignified execution of this mandate lays the path to historical greatness for the president, and his inability to rise to the moment calls down upon him historical judgment and destines him to national disregard.»

«For Ukraine in general, and for you personally, Mr. President, such a decisive moment has arisen,» they added. «That examination of conscience which today you are forced to make is not simple and we are asking Almighty God to help you. However, to make such an examination is unavoidable.»

Ukraine’s opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko signed a deal today that obliged his supporters to lift their siege of government buildings, the Associated Press reported. But Yushchenko said his followers will stay on the streets until an agreement is reached on a new vote for the country’s presidency.

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