Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Viktor Yushchenko deserves Nobel Peace Prize

3rd February 2005

Dr Charles Tannock MEP, Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman in the European Parliament, has written to the Nobel Foundation to propose the candidature of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr Tannock, along with four other MEPs, was in the Ukraine during the Orange Revolution and witnessed first hand the extraordinary spirit of democracy and the love of freedom present in the gathered crowds who peacefully demonstrated in the bitter cold to protest their right to elect a president of their own choice.

Dr Tannock said:

"The right to democracy and freedom was very nearly stolen from the people of the Ukraine by the fraudulent manipulation of the results in the first and second rounds of Presidential elections.

"Awarding President Yushchenko the Nobel Peace Prize would reflect not only the desire for freedom by hundreds of thousands of people, but also his personal courage. He never failed in his duty to his people. Despite a serious attempt on his life by dioxin poisoning, he physically struggled in the face of serious ill-health to conduct a clean and honest campaign while at all times he faced a tremendous risk to his life and security by his brave open style of addressing the crowds all over the country.

"This award would act as a world-wide recognition of the deep-seated change brought about in the Ukraine, now a country set on a firm course of democracy, human rights and the Rule of Law. It marks the beginning of the Ukraine establishing itself as a modern, democratic, European state which will act as a beacon and role model for democratic reforms in a peaceful fashion without the recourse to violence.