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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT ENDORSES GOVERNMENT PROGRAM... The Verkhovna Rada voted 239-38 on 16 March to approve the government's action plan for 2004, called "Consistency. Efficiency. Responsibility," Interfax reported. The vote simultaneously acknowledged the performance of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's cabinet in 2003 as satisfactory. Most lawmakers from Our Ukraine, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc did not participate in the vote. A separate motion by the opposition to rate the government's performance last year as unsatisfactory was supported just by 109 lawmakers, well below the 226 votes required for approval. JM
...AND SUSPENDS MEDIA AUDITS AHEAD OF PRESIDENTIAL BALLOT. Also on 16 March, 294 legislators voted to impose a moratorium on official audits of media outlets in Ukraine during the 2004 presidential-election campaign, UNIAN reported. A similar resolution, which was proposed by Mykola Tomenko from Our Ukraine and Ivan Bokiy from the Socialist Party, was rejected by parliament earlier this month. President Leonid Kuchma issued an instruction to state authorities on 15 March to introduce a similar moratorium (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 March 2004). JM