UGCC Head Calls Laity Not to Vote “Against All” in Presidential Elections
KYIV — On 28 January, 2010, at the press center of the Ukrainian House, Patriarch Lubomyr, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, commented on the address of the Synod of UGCC on the occasion of the second round of the presidential elections. The patriarch called all laity and people of good will not to vote for the option “against all” but to choose one of the two candidates.
“Not to vote or vote against all is not a choice, it is to a certain extent an escape; therefore, we do not approve of it,” said the hierarch.
He also stressed according to the information agency Inter-Media Consulting (IMK), that the church cannot prohibit the citizens’ right to vote against all but that one should not miss a chance to make a choice: “If we have an opportunity to choose, we should use it.”
According to Obkom.net, the hierarch noted in his comment: “We would like to the draw attention of laity, clergy, members of our church, and other people willing to listen to take an active part in the presidential elections. We call not to vote ‘against all’ but rather to declare who of the two candidates we wish to prudently and consciously elect as president.”
In answer to the question if the address of UGCC to the laity implies the support of one of the candidates, particularly, Yulia Tymoshenko, Patriarch Lubomyr responded that the church holds a neutral position.
“We refuse in any way to interfere in politics. I have no mandate from the Lord to point to a concrete candidate,” stressed the head of the UGCC.
After the press conference, the head of the UGCC met with Ukraine’s president.