The opposition believes the incumbent’s decision is illogical and dictated by his fear of his own people. The Freedom Day on Nov. 22 [the start of the Orange revolution in 2004 when thousands took to the streets] was first established by ex-Pres Yushchenko. Now the holiday will be moved to Jan. 22 to coincide with the Day of Unification of Ukraine, Yevhen Solonyna says, writing for Radio Svoboda Dec. 30.
Viktor Yanukovych cancelled the Freedom Day in response to “numerous appeals from the public.” Regions lawmaker Kolesnychenko says Yushchenko divided the country by establishing the Freedom Day on Nov. 22. Now, he argues, a new holiday will unite Ukraine. Yushchenko’s press secretary, however, believes the regime will fail to stop Ukrainian from marking this holiday on Nov. 22. Taras Stetskiv, BYUT’s faction member, says the new presidential decree actually puts restrictions on the level of freedom in Ukraine. The decree indicates the incumbent’s paranoia. “It is an intensifying paranoia of a person losing contact with the reality. The decree will be cancelled as soon as the criminal clique has been removed from power,” Stetskiv says. “For some, but not for the majority of Ukrainians, the Yanukovych decree may be a New Year present. The decree sends a negative signal to the public,” political expert Vitali Bala warns.