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President Yushchenko (file photo) (epa)
21 November 2005 -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko promised today to build on economic and diplomatic successes to win a parliamentary election next year.
Yushchenko said his allies would regain public confidence enough to win the March 2006 election and hold talks on putting together a new parliamentary majority and government.
"We have to win the election," he said. "A victory in parliament will be the second victory for democracy after winning last year. After last year's victory, the next task is to win in parliament. There is still time for us to learn the lessons of what happened and achieve understanding."
He dismissed speculation that a reduction in his powers due to take effect in the New Year could ruin his plans to revitalize the economy and move closer to Europe.
Earlier today, Yushchenko has signed a decree making the anniversary of the country's Orange Revolution a new state holiday.
The presidential press service today said 22 November will be celebrated annually as Freedom Day.
On that date last year, mass protests began against election fraud. The protests led to the toppling of the previous regime and Yushchenko's election.