Thursday, May 28, 2009

Poll: Ukraine's President, Viktor Yushchenko's support slumps to below 2%


Recent public opinion Poll held last week has Yushchenko on 1.6% placing him well beyond poll position and out of contention to win a second term of Office. Yushchenko who in 2005 enjoyed 52% support has been on a step decline with his public support dropping even lower then previous polls one month ago when he received 2.2%.

The main issue confronting the President is not if he loses office but when and how?

According to the poll there are only three main contenders to become Ukraine's next Head of State Viktor Yanukovych (24.8%), Yulia Tmochenko (16.6%) and Arseniy Yatseniuk (14.7%).

The Spoiler Effect

All other candidates are out of contention and instead of playing a positive roll on the outcome they have a negative roll minor Candidates such as Petro Symonenko (Communist Party - 3.3%), Volodymyr Lytvyn (Parliamentary Speaker 3.5%) and Victor Yushchenko (President 1.6%) are what is commonly referred to as "Spoiler Candidates"

Under Ukraine’s two round Presidential voting system, where only the top two candidates face off on a second round ballot, spoiler candidates deny voters deny their supporters a direct say in who should be the main candidate for the election. They take away votes form the three highest candidates in the process they act against their won best interest. Its a race to the top and if you can hold back a candidate from getting to the top two then you allow the others to win.

A Better Alternative

A more positive option would be to introduce Preferential voting. One Round – at half the cost of the two round ballot (Saving over 100 million dollars) Minor Candidates instead of having a negative impact on the outcome of the election play a positive role. They can recommend which alternative candidates votes support. Votes for minor candidates are redistributed according to voters nominated preference. If no single candidate has 50% or more votes, the candidate with the least votes is excluded and their votes re-distributed according to the voters nominated preference. This process is continued until one candidate has 50% or more votes.

This means that Yushchenko supporters will have a say on who is their preferred candidate as opposed to wasting their votes. They can decide for example to support Yatseniuk. This could see Yatseniuk out poll Yulia Tymoshenko in which case Yulia Tymoshenko supporters will then decide who will be elected Yatseniuk or Yanukovych.

Under the current two round voting system (At a cost of over 100 millions dollars per round) Yushchenko's supporters will have no say on who the two main candidates will be. Assuming that Yushchenko's 1.6% of voters would support Yatseniuk ahead of Yulia Tymoshenko they would along with Lytvyn and other minor candidate supporters would play a deciding role in the outcome of the election. King makers instead of sacrificial pawns.

The other significant advantage of introducing a preferential voting system is cost (saving over 100 millions dollars by holding only one round of voting and even more important with a one round system the results of the election is known in days as opposed to months.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ukraine's Proposed Presidential Election Frozen

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has ruled against an Autumn Presidential Election, Freezing the date for the election and throwing the country into further political and economic uncertainty.

The decision of the Constitutional Court comes as no surprise but is of no comfort to Ukraine's President, Viktor Yushchenko, either

Yushchenko's desperate attempt to cling on to power for an additional three months, will force Ukraine to the polls in the midst of Ukraine's bitter cold winter. With temperatures well below freezing a January Election is not going to improve Yushchenko chances of a surprise victory. Recent opinion polls indicate a public support for Viktor Yushchenko as low as 2.2%.

The last things Ukraine needs is a prolonged Presidential campaign.

The sooner Ukraine can go to the polls and elect a new head of state the better off Ukraine will be.

A prolonged campaign would only add to political and economic uncertainty.

If Yushchenko cared for Ukraine and upheld democratic values he would realise he can not win a second term of office and he would offer his resignation so as to pave the way for an early presidential ballot in Autumn.

Do not expect Yushchenko to act in the best interest of Ukraine. In fact we can expect that things will get worst as Yushchenko once again, in an act of desperation, seeks to destabilise Ukraine and try and force another round of Parliamentary elections.

In 2007 Victor Yushchenko unconstitutionally dismissed Ukraine's previous Parliament throwing Ukraine into seven months of political turmoil and civil unrest. In 2008, Yushchenko then sought to dismiss Ukraine's current parliament in order to prevent the parliament from reaching consensus and support for Constitutional change.

Yushchenko's planned Presidential coup was derailed when his own political faction rebelled and rejected his attempts to dismiss the Tymoshenko lead Government.

Recent events in Germany has seen one of the main leaders of the Presidential rebellion, Ukraine's Interior Minister - Yuri Lutsenko, forced to resign.

Those connected to the President are expected to use Lutsenko's resignation as a means to further destabilize Ukraine in the hope of resurrecting Yushchenko's proposed Presidential coup and the possibility of extending Yushchenko's term of office.

If Yushchenko is to try and make a move he will have to do so before July. Come July the President loses the authority to dismiss Ukraine's parliament. (Ukraine's Constitution Article 90)

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Poll: Yushchenko rated the least supported President in Ukraine's history

Poll: Yanukovych, Tymoshenko, Yatseniuk and Lytvyn top presidential election list

Today, 14:51 | Interfax-Ukraine
Published in the Kyiv Post

Poll: Yanukovych, Tymoshenko, Yatseniuk and Lytvyn top presidential election list
The list of leading presidential candidates includes Leader of the Regions Party Victor Yanukovych, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Head of the Front for Changes Initiative Arseniy Yatseniuk and Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn.

These are the findings of a poll conducted by the Inmark Center and announced by its director, Viktor Berest, at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday.

According to the poll, most Ukrainians are ready vote in the presidential elections. Some 32.5% said that they are ready to vote if the elections are held in the near future. Some 28.2% will "possibly" vote.

Among those who said they will vote, some 24.2% support Yanukovych, 15.2% will vote for Tymoshenko, 10.7% will vote for Yatseniuk and 9.3% for Lytvyn. Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko gained the support of only 2.2% of those polled.

According to the poll, Yuschenko tops the "anti-rating" of presidential candidates. When asked to name the candidate they least wanted to see as president, some 52.3% named Yuschenko, 34.7% named Tymoshenko and 25.9% named Yanukovych. Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn had the lowest anti-rating of 3.1%.

Berest also said that the ratings might change depending on the economic situation in the country, the financial resources of candidates and their access to the media.

"Time is working against Yanukovych and Tymoshenko," he added.

On the other hand, he was critical of Yanukovych's bid to become president.

"Yanukovych may lose voters because of his passiveness. I think he will not [win the elections]," Berest said.

The poll was held from April 21 to May 4 2009. Some 6,573 people over the age of 18 were interviewed in all the regions of Ukraine. The poll's average margin of error is 1.3%.

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