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Ukraine's Yanukovych vows to sweep 'windbags' out of power

RIA Novosti

29/01/201006:30

SIMFEROPOL, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - Viktor Yanukovych, the leading candidate for the country's presidency, has said only "effective" officials will stay in their offices if he becomes the president, while all "adventurers" and "windbags" will be dismissed.

Yanukovych, the leader of the opposition Party of Regions, won the first round of Ukraine's presidential vote on January 17, and faces runner-up Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in the second round on February 7. The gap between the two contenders is just above 10%.

The country's incumbent President Victor Yushchenko received just 5% of the vote in the first round.

Speaking on air of the state-run Krym television channel, Yanukovych said he would not "pursue" his political opponents, Tymoshenko and Yushchenko, by dismissing all officials appointed by the prime minister and the incumbent president.

He said he would rather create a "competitive environment" in order to reveal "effective managers" who would be able to "achieve positive results" in state governance.

In 2005, when Yushchenko took the presidential office and Tymoshenko became prime minister, some 30,000 officials of different levels were dismissed, according to Yanukovych's Party of Regions.

Yanukovych said many of those officials who were appointed to the vacant positions proved to be "inefficient."

"The could not work effectively, and as a result, brought the country to this collapse," he said, adding "adventurers, windbags, people who are unable to work efficiently will be swept out of power" if he wins the elections.