The Party of the Regions organisation in the Volyn region in the northwest of Ukraine has associated itself with the Volyn Regional Council's protest against the language bill which would allow other languages other than Ukrainian to be used as official regional languages if more than 10% of the people in any region are non-Ukrainian speakers.

The leader of the Volyn branch of the Party of the Regions, Oleksandr Bashkalenko, said that all 12,000 members fully supported Ukrainian as the single official state language and has signed letters to the President and to Parliament urging them not veto the bill and not allow any attempts to subvert the constitutional position of the Ukrainian language. The Party of the Regions has also issued a statement calling on all members of Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) to work together to protect the status of Ukrainian as the state language while upholding the freedom to use other languages.

Oleksandr Bashkalenko said that this was not a split against the Party of the Regions hierarchy, but other members of the Volyn party organisation have been more critical of their colleagues who introduced the bill, saying that the draft will be a long and boring pain in everyone's eyes.

Political commentator Taras Litkovych says that Volyn is one of the places which is protesting most vehemently against the bill, and that members of the Party of the Regions are paying attention to their potential voters in the run-up to the October elections. He also said that many have become members, not through conviction, but expediency, and that continued support of the language bill will cost them votes - and potentially political power. Their desire to hold on to votes is also evident in their support for the Regional Council's demand to Verkhovna Rada that the fighters of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army should be recognised.

To read the whole story (in Ukrainian) on the BBC Ukrainian website, click here.

Ukrayinska Dumka


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