Sunday, January 31, 2010

One week remaining before the final circus parade

In just Seven days time Ukraine will go to the polls in what is their fourth national ballot since Viktor Yushchenko took office. Yushchenko having lost in the first round vote is now engaged in a campaign of revenge and has offered his support to his past rival Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych remains in poll position and is most likely to win next week’s final ballot. At the end of the first round ballot held on January 17, Yanukovych on 35.32% was 10 percentage points ahead of his nearest rival current Prime Minister and heroine of the Orange revolution Yulia Tymoshenko.

The decision as who will win the final ballot will be determined by the second choice vote of 36% who supported other minor candidates. The turn out on January 17 was also at the lower end of expectation and an additional 5-7 million Ukrainians (20%) could be motivated to cast a ballot in the final round.

Expectation is that Tymoshenko will fall short by 5% points.

Early results will show just how close it really is. A comparison of polling pace to polling place as the results come in will show the extent of the national swing and the expected outcome of the election. A clear indication just how close it is should be known within two to three hours of the results being reported. Exit polls will also foretell the expected outcome by 8PM on Sunday February 7.

Crowds will either gather in celebration or in protest. 

If the election result is close then Ukraine will face serious civil unrest. The winner will not stand by and allow the results to be overturned. Allegation and counter allegations of voting fraud in the first round of elections did not eventuate. No doubts these allegations will once again surface whether they have any basis of merit or not.

Democracy is not only about winning elections but maintaining confidence in the process and acceptance of defeat. The Events of 2004 and again in 2007 have left a serious public distrust and loss of confidence in the political process. Ukraine is on the verge of either taking a new direction or the possibility of total anarchy. A tinder box waiting to be ignited.

Ukraine's cold winter is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand it will reduce the extent of voter participation on the other it may help quell support and protest. Supporters of Tymoshenko will not be as motivated this time round as they were in 2004.

Yanukovych's support base on the other hand will not stand by and allow the election to be stolen from their grasp.

Any disputation over the election results must establish that any errors or omission in the conduct of the poll would have produced a decisive change in the overall result. It would be wrong to prosecute every single flaw in the administration of the ballot if the results would not alter had the errors or omissions not occurred.

One week remaining and the battle will not be over, it has only just begun.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

World outraged by Yushchenko's glorification of Nazi sympathisers

Yushchenko’s decree “legalizes state terrorism and murder” because Stepan Bandera led “the killings of school directors, teachers, and law enforcement officials.”

Ukraine's defeated Presidential candidate ,Viktor Yushchenko has in the dying days of his office declared  Stepan Bandera a national hero.  There was no consensus or legislative review of the presidents decree.

Bandera and his organisation of "Ukrainian Nationalists" supported Hitler and his invasion of Ukraine and Russia during the second world war.  His collaboration resulted in the mass murder of  thousands if not millions of people.

Yushchenko continues to bring himself and Ukraine into disrepute.   Viktor Yushchenko lost office when he was defeated having only received 5.45%  of the vote during the first round of the Presidential elections held on January 17, 2010.

Present day Ukrainian Nationalist  movement is headed by  Australian Stepan Romaniv.

Jews worldwide outraged by Yushchenko’s praising of nationalists


Source RT

The largest Jewish human rights organization in the US, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, joined the chorus of those who condemn the declaration of controversial nationalist leader Stepan Bandera as a Hero of Ukraine.


Mark Weitzman, head of government affairs at Wiesenthal Center wrote to Ukraine’s Ambassador in the US, noting that “it is surely a travesty when such an honor is granted right at the period when the world pauses to remember the victims of the Holocaust on January 27.”

Expressing his “deepest revulsion”, Weitzman also reminded that the late Simon Wiesenthal, who founded their organization, was born in Ukraine himself.
Earlier, Russian Jews similarly called Yushchenko’s move “a provocation promoting the rehabilitation of Nazi crimes” and “a challenge to the civilized world.”

Outgoing President Yushchenko, who lost the presidential elections on January 17, signed a decree conferring Bandera, the head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in 1941-1959, the status of a national hero.

Bandera’s supporters – mainly in Western Ukraine – claim he fought for Ukraine’s independence against both Soviet and German soldiers. However, many others in his country and Russia believe he was a war criminal who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII and killed innocent people.

The Federation of Russia’s Jewish Communities, or FEOR, in a statement issued Monday, said Yushchenko’s move “insults the memory of the victims” of Nazi crimes.

“The decree says Bandera was awarded ‘for his spiritual invincibility, fight for national ideology, heroism and self-sacrifice in a struggle for the independence of Ukrainian state’,” the document published on the organization’s website (www.feor.ru) reads. “Apparently, this way Yushchenko equates heroism and self-sacrifice to the mass murdering of the Jews and Poles that Bandera and his associates were widely practicing.”

The document authors believe “such a political gesture is a challenge to the civilized world, to everyone who fought against Nazism” during the Second World War.

Stepan Bandera

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Yushchenko's post election hero worship of NAZI collaborator under fire

Wiesenthal slams Ukraine award to nationalist

Today at 16:49 | Associated Press 
 
A prominent Jewish human rights organization has criticized the Ukrainian president's decision to give a posthumous award to a nationalist leader it describes as a Nazi collaborator.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement Friday that Stepan Bandera and his followers were linked to the deaths of thousands of Jews in World War II's early stages.

President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday bestowed the Hero of Ukraine award to Stepan Bandera for his role in fighting for an independent Ukraine. Wednesday was Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Mark Weitzman, the center's government affairs director, says it was a travesty to grant the honor as the world paused "to remember the victims of the Holocaust on Jan. 27."

A Yushchenko spokesman declined comment.

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The Superiority of Parliamentarianism

Extract from Open Democracy

Ukraine’s Window of Opportunity

16 January 2009


It should be noted that not only Moscow’s “political technologists,” but also a number of serious international political scientists advocate presidentialism, and see this form of democracy as superior to parliamentary systems – the world’s oldest democracy, the US, being the obvious example. However, concerning the specific challenges that young democracies are facing, study after study have shown that the stronger a new republic’s parliament is the better the chances are that genuine political pluralism will survive and that the novel system of government will consolidate.

Notably, these findings are not outcomes of theoretical considerations by experts who may have a preference for this or that form of government. Instead, the inference that parliamentarianism is better for an emerging democracy than a presidential or semi-presidential system is based on empirical research and results from more or less wide-ranging cross-national investigations. The conclusion for a country like Ukraine is that, in order to become a more stable and effective democracy, it should transform sooner rather than later into a parliamentary republic. While political conflicts will continue to be fought ferociously in such a system, they will happen within the parliament, and not between parliament and president. Coalition building will become the major feature of the political process, and replace such strategies as brinkmanship, intimidation and bluffing prominent during intra-executive confrontations in semi-presidential systems. Parlamentarians able to build bridges between political opponents and not ideologists whipping up their political camps will take center-stage. Apart from that, for Ukraine, simply saving the costs of another round of elections, and having only one national poll every four years will help to save much money and energy that is dearly needed to further reform and stabilize this young nation-state.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Poll: Yanukovych 55.9 to Tymoshenko 40.7

Angus and Read is reporting a poll undertaken by the Kyiv International Sociology Institute.

It shows 

Viktor Yanukovych
55.9%
Yulia Tymoshenko
40.7%
Against all candidates
3.4%
Source: Kyiv International Sociology Institute
Methodology: Interviews with 2,002 Ukrainian adults, conducted from Jan. 4 to jan. 13, 2010. Margin of error is 2.5 per cent.


This poll is hard to believe because for one it is missing the informal vote which was recorded at 1.65% not to forget Vasyl Protyvsikh vote (0.16%) in the first round, which often is rolled up into the Against All (2.21%) classification, The Poll also does not include the estimated participation rate which is equally important.

Our Analysis of the first round vote indicates that the poll will be much more closer then the 15% gap indicated. For Yanukovych to to increase his vote by 20 percentage points and Tymoshenko only by 15 percentage points would indicate that she would only pick up a fraction of Tigipko's support base and less then 60% of Our Ukraine's 12% to 14%, 40% of Lytvyn and none of the Communist block.

We believe Yulia Tymoshenko will collect more, the Against All quota will be twice that indicated in the poll and that in the final outcome Yanukovych will win by a 5% margin (44% to 49% with 6% against all - +/- 1%).

Yanukovych's challenge is to go above the 50% mark although that is not required.  Under Ukrainian law the winner of the second round is the highest polling candidate.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dispelling part of the myth of east versus west in Ukrainian politics.

When analysing the outcome of Ukraine's elections you need to take into consideration the distribution of population. Ukraine's western regions are less populated then in the East or South. This is clearly shown in the first round total vote distribution map.

Donetsk is the most populous region with just over 10% of the total vote. followed by Kyiv region (which is divided administratively into two regions - Metro Kiev and the Oblast Kiev), next comes Dnipropetrovsk then Lviv and Kharkov, Lugansk and Odessa. Crimea.

It is with the overall population/total vote distribution in mind that you can then  look at the distribution of each candidates political support.

The maps below show the  distribution of the five main candidates shaded to reflect the percentage of the total vote recorded for each regions.  It is only by displaying the correlation to the total vote that you can get a true indication of the extent of each candidates support

Maps that show you the highest polling candidates based on the percentage of each candidate in relation to the regional vote are misleading.  The Ukrainian presidential election, unlike the US system where state delegation plays a major role in the outcome of the election, is not based on regions. Ukraine is a single state electorate that encompasses the whole country.  A regional map based on percentage per regional total  seriously as opposed to the overall total vote seriously distorts the statistics presented as each state is not equal in size and/or number of constituents. As candidates often have a broad base it is for this reason that we only present maps showing the percentage of the total vote  not regional summaries.








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10 days countdown to final battle - Tymoshenko remains the underdog

Can Tymoshenko secure a deal with Sergei Tigipko to go on and win the final election?  Whilst in theory it is possible the odds are against Tymoshenko who remains the underdog with Viktor Yanukovych retaining poll position.

Problems facing Tymoshenko
 
1. Tigipko does not have a natural constituency, he is not able to influence voters choice as to who is their preferred candidate in the second round ballot.  they voted for him personally not his party/organisation.

2. Most if not all voters have already decided who they will support. The second round is a wast of time and limited resources. Ukraine should have adopted a single round preferential ballot system, had they done so  the results of the election would be known by now.

3. Review of Tigipoko's support distribution indicates that his votes were located  in the South East and Kviv metro regions. His votes came predominately from Party of Regions, The Socialist Party and the Communist Party (See the various Swing charts comparing the 2004 Presidential and 2007 Parliamentary elections)  Most of these votes will return to Yanukovych as a second choice candidate.

4. Tigipko is playing the field and has a bet each way

5. Tymoshenko needs two out of every three votes allocated to minor candidates in the first round in order to make up the 10% short fall. This is a big ask. It is not impossible but it is very difficult.

6. All the various public opinion polls had Yulia Tymoshenko remaining 10% behind Yanukovych in a run-off ballot. Tymoshenko did pick up an additional 5% points that were not recorded in the opinion polls. But to make up a further 10% shortfall will be even more difficult.

All analysis shows that Tymoshenko will fall 5% points behind Yanukovych.

The main reason is that an additional 5% are expected to either not vote or will vote "Against all" in the final ballot.

7. Yushchenko, Yatsenyuk and Hrytsenko are advocating an "Against all" option. Whilst most will not follow their advice, the fact remains that an Against all vote will favor Yanukovych. Under Ukrainian law the highest polling candidate wins. An against all vote will not count.

Tymoshenko has a very tough battle ahead with less then 10 days remaining before the final poll.

Even if she can manage to pull off a victory it will be a very tight margin. Anything less then 0.5% will be subject to a challenge. At best Ukraine will remain bitterly divided.

To add to it all there is talk of forces out there, Georgian, that are hell bent on disrupting the final ballot. This action will only play into the hands of Viktor Yushchenko who is the only one that would benefit from such action. Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, can not afford to see Ukraine take an independent stand that would weaken his position back at home.  If Ukraine falls. Georgia will be next to tumble.  Various commentators have accused Georgia of plans to disrupt the ballot in Ukraine thus keeping Yushchenko in office should he have an excuse to call a state of emergency "Plan B"

With all that is at stake one and the one billion dollar cost of the presidential campaign one has to seriously question the merit of a direct election of head of state.

Ukraine would have been better off if its head of state was elected by a two-thirds constitutional majority of Ukraine's parliament. At least the person elected would have represented a substantial majority of Ukraine whilst maintaining stability and democratic values.  Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Moldova, Greece, Switzerland  Czech Republic and India all elect there head of state by a vote of their respective parliament.  Canada, Australia and New Zealand's head of state is appointed by the Queen of England on the recommendation of their prime-minister.
 
Ukraine would also be better off it it abandon the Presidential system in favor of a democratic European Parliamentary model of governance.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

The race has only just began.

Viktor Yanukovych (34.32%) did not win the first round. He is the highest vote holder only. In order to win he needed 50% or more votes.

Both Yulia Tymoshenko and Viktor Yanukovych will progress into the second final round,

If you combine Tymoshenko (25.05%), Yatseniuk (6.96%) and Yushchenko (5.45%), Hristenko (1.20%) and Tyahnybok (1.43%) - "The Orange alliance" they represent collectively 40.1%

Tigipko (13.06%)
Communist (3.55%)
Lytvyn (2.35%)
Others (1.78%)

Against all (2.2%)
Informal (1.6%)


The two round voting system is a endurance race not a sprint. The campaign has just began.   

Yanukovych is in poll position and Yulia is the underdog.

Yanukovych has been holding back his money and resources knowing full well he will be in a final contest ballot.

Much depends on what Yushchenko does and who his supporters will back in the final contest.  We can assume that the Communists Party will back Yanukovych but not all. Lytvn will split 50/40/10 giving his low turnout he will not want a Parliamentary election soon so he might prefer Tymoshenko. He has some influence over his support base.

Tigipko on the other hand has no natural support base his vote could split 40/40/20

If the "Orange alliance can hold ground then it is a close race.  But asking for solidarity is not something that will not occur naturally.

The odds are Yanukovych will be the highest polling candidate in the final ballot by 5% but he will fall below 50%.  The level of against all could be the difference between a very close battle and victory for Yanukovych.  Hrytsenko has ready called for an "Against all" vote in the second round. Will they listen? Only 2.2% plus 0.16% for Vasily Protyvsih support the "Against all" option  in round one

No matter the outcome the presidential election will continue to divide Ukraine and over 50% will not be represented.

The sooner Ukraine abandons the presidential system and follows in Estonia and Latvia lead by adopting a full parliamentary democracy the better.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Eonconmist review

The Economist has an excellent article in review of Ukraine's modern political history

The Swing analysis between the 2004 presidential election, 2007 Parliamentary election and last Sundays vote shows that there has been little overall movement in voters support/allegiance in Ukraine. Whilst in theory the election could be close much of it depends on the split of secondary alternative support from Minor candidates who did not make it into the final round ballot.

Ukrainian banker turn presidential candidate Oleh Tihipko (Whom two of my good friends in Kyiv who work in the banking sector voted for) spent over 100 million dollars in his campaign with much of his support coming from Kyiv and the Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine. Dnepropetrovsk being his strongest region. (See voter distribution maps below).

The real issue and problem with Ukraine finding its stability, was its decision to retain the soviet style presidential system. Had Ukraine adopted a parliamentary model as did all other Soviet Communist countries (Estonia and Latvia in particular), that are now part of the EU, Ukraine would have been much further down the track to being a stable independent nation.

Viktor Yushchenko has consistently opposed Ukraine adopting European values and European models and a parliamentary system of governance. His dismissal of the parliament in 2007 which caused seven months of political and civil unrest, was primarily aimed to prevent moves afoot to remove the president from power. In 2008 he again sought to undermine stability in Ukraine's parliament following attempts by the Tymeshenko government to reform Ukraine's constitutional structure and consider a parliamentary model.

In 2004/5 as part of the agreement to hold a third round re-run ballot Ukraine took a significant step towards a parliamentary system but left in place as a compromise a president with significant and counter productive powers in place. Power that would only work provided the president and parliament were reading from the same page or even the same  book.

In 2007 the Parliamentary Assemble of the Council of Europe recommended that Ukraine become a full parliamentary democracy in line with other EU states.

Viktor Yushchenko instead has proposed that Ukraine take a backward step and revert to a presidential autocracy where the President would appoint the government and have absolute power and control over the Parliament and the courts.

Ukraine is at a cross roads, It needs to relay the foundation stones and rebuild it's democratic structures. Adopting a European parliamentary system along the lines of Estonia and Latvia would be the best option.

As long as Ukraine retains the soviet style presidential system it will continue to falter and suffer ongoing power struggle and conflict of authority between the president and the people's democratically elected parliament.

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Analysis: Swing Table 2004 to 2010 and 2007 to 2010 (first-round vote)


showing the swing from 2004 to 2010 (first round votes) based on the percentage of the total national vote for each candidate/group per region for each election.

Yanukovych, Moroz and Symonenko are direct comparison, candidate to candidate.  We have combined  the vote of Yulia Tymoshenko, Yatseniuk, Yushchenko, Tyahnybok, Hrytsenko and Kostenko in order give a comparison to Yushchenko's 2004 vote.  (We are not sure if we did the right thing by including Tyahnybok, You be the judge - Private Feedback Welcome) It is just indicative but it does give some idea where the vote to other candidates came from and went. Tigipko in particular.

Update: We have also produced below a  Swing comparison with the 2007 election results. Yushchenko, Yatsenyuk, Hrytsenko and Kostenko have been combined to represent the comparison to OU-PSD (Our Ukraine) result in 2007.


You can down load the xml files behind the Virtual Electoral Map and import the data into MS Access if you want to do your own "what if" analysis.

If enough people ask we will zip the files up into two packages Presidential and Parliamentary

Enjoy


Click here to view Virtual Election map


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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

100% Counted - Yanukovych 10.28% lead over Tymoshenko in first round





The first round ballot results show Viktor Yanukovych, leader of the Parliamentary Opposition, with 35.33% leading Yulia Tymoshenko, Prime Minister of Ukraine, who is on 25.05%.

Yanukovych has a lead of 10.28% over Tymoshenko both will face off in a second round ballot scheduled for February 7, 2010.

In order to win the election Yulia Tymoshenko would need to pick up two out of every three alternative "secondary" votes from minor candidates supported in the first round ballot. This is a huge task and is unlikely to be achieved as a number of defeated minor candidates including Viktor Yushchenko and Anatoliy Hrytsenko have indicated that will be advocating that their supporters vote "Against All" in the second ballot. Every additional vote for  "Against All"  option is effectively a vote for Yanukovych as it will make it that much harder for Tymoshenko to breach the 10.4% gap.


Click here to view the Virtual Electoral Map

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Over 99 percent Counted



Candidate
99% Counted
Viktor Yanukovych
35.38%
Yulia Tymoshenko
25.01%
Serhiy Tihipko
13.05%
Arseniy Yatsenyuk
6.95%
Viktor Yushchenko
5.45%
Petro Symonenko
3.55%
Volodymyr Lytvyn
2.35%
Oleh Tyahnybok
1.43%
Anatoliy Hrytsenko
1.20%
Inna Bohoslovska
0.41%
Oleksandr Moroz
0.38%
Yuriy Kostenko
0.22%
Liudmyla Suprun
0.19%
Vasyl Protyvsikh
0.16%
Oleksandr Pabat
0.14%
Serhiy Ratushnyak
0.12%
Mykhailo Brodskiy
0.60%
Oleh Riabokon
0.03%
Against all
2.20%


If the above vote held in a parliamentary election this would translate into


Party
Seats
PoR
178
BYuT
126
Tigipko
66
Y-Front
35
OU
27
CPU
18

450

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Circus of bad performing clowns

The biggest loser was of course Yushchenko who only managed to secure 4.87%.

Preliminary analysis of the polling results indicates that Yanukovych is in a strong position to win the second round ballot.

Tigipko's Thirteen percent was mainly concentrated in the South Eastern sectors.(with over 82% of the protocols counted Tigipko secured 1.86 percent of the overall vote from Dnipropetrovsk,  Kyiv Metro - 1.1%, Kharkiv - 1.08% , Odesa - 0.9% )

Yanukovych also has a stronger then expected showing in some of the Western regions. The cold weather and voter disillusionment had also contributed to a lower then expected turnout

All indications are that Yushchenko and Our Ukraine having lost the election are now embarking on a "trash and burn" Take the ball and run exercise in advocating that voters to vote "against all" in the run-up ballot. Such a proposal would have a serious negative impact and would only secure a win for Yanukovych who is already in poll position.

Our Ukraine's childish "Sour Grapes" politics only serves to undermine Ukraine's democratic development and confirms that the presidential election is nothing but is a circus parade of bad performing clowns.


Ukraine would have been much netter off if it adopted a single round preferential ballot or better still if the President was elected by a constitutional majority of the parliamentary vote.

Progressive Election Results
86.58% Counted 12:20PM


Click here to view

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Election Results: 50% Counted

At just overt 50.36% of the polling places counted: (11021832 votes)

Candidate 50% Counted
Viktor Yanukovych 36.75%
Yulia Tymoshenko 24.47%
Serhiy Tihipko 13.05%
Arseniy Yatsenyuk 6.79%
Viktor Yushchenko 4.85%
Petro Symonenko 3.67%
Volodymyr Lytvyn 2.43%
Against all 2.23%
Oleh Tyahnybok 1.30%
Anatoliy Hrytsenko 1.17%
Inna Bohoslovska 0.43%
Oleksandr Moroz 0.42%
Yuriy Kostenko 0.22%
Liudmyla Suprun 0.19%
Vasyl Protyvsikh 0.17%
Oleksandr Pabat 0.14%
Serhiy Ratushnyak 0.13%
Mykhailo Brodskiy 0.06%
Oleh Riabokon 0.03%


Progressive Election Results


Click here to view

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Virtual Electoral Map - 44.18% counted


Click here to view

Our Virtual Map is up and running and we hope to update it every 30 minuets.

Update: 44.18% counted

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Official Results: CEC to publish results early Monday morning

The first official results of the Ukrainian presidential election will be available in six- or seven hours, member of the Ukrainian Central Election Commission (CEC) Donchenko said.

As soon as they become available will be updating our online virtual tally board.

Link to official results: Tally Board

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National Exit Poll:

The Democratic Initiative a US funded think tank update

National Exit Poll data as of 23:00 of the results of voting by the constituents of Ukraine on January 17, 2010:

Candidate Democratic Initiative National Exit Poll
Viktor Yanukovych 31.3%
Yulia Tymoshenko 27.1%
Serhiy Tihipko 13.4%
Arseniy Yatsenyuk 7.8%
Viktor Yushchenko 6.0%
Petro Symonenko 2.7%
Volodymyr Lytvyn 2.4%
Oleh Tyahnybok 2.1%
Anatoliy Hrytsenko 1.6%
Oleksandr Moroz 0.5%
Inna Bohoslovska 0.4%
Serhiy Ratushnyak 0.2%
Liudmyla Suprun 0.2%
Yuriy Kostenko 0.2%
Vasyl Protyvsikh 0.1%
Oleksandr Pabat 0.1%
Oleh Riabokon 0.1%
Mykhailo Brodskiy 0.0%
Against all 2.8%

The National Exit Poll 2010 Consortium is made up of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) and the Oleksandr Razumkov Ukrainian Center for Economic and Political Studies organized the conduct of the National Exit Poll 2010 on the day of the presidential elections in Ukraine on January 17, 2010.

12,349 respondents were interviewed at 240 polling stations. On average 74 voters were interviewed at each polling station.

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Exit Polls

Summary of exit polls

Candidate Research & Branding Ukrainian Institute of Social Studies ICTV Savik Shuster Studio Inter TV channel
Viktor Yanukovych 37.7% 34.7% 35.0% 34.7% 36.6%
Yulia Tymoshenko 26.1% 24.8% 25.7% 25.0% 25.8%
Serhiy Tihipko 11.6% 11.5% 13.4% 13.2% 13.5%
Arseniy Yatsenyuk 7.9% 8.9% 6.9% 7.1% 6.6%
Viktor Yushchenko 5.1% 5.4% 5.6% 5.8% 5.2%
Petro Symonenko 3.0% 3.1% 3.2% 3.0% 3.2%
Volodymyr Lytvyn 2.1% 2.2% 2.3% 2.5% 2.0%

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Yushchenko loses office as Ukraine falls in line with expectations

It is over. Ukraine has spoken and in doing so had sounded a strong rejection to President Victor Yushchenko's polices of divisions and destabilization, ending his five years of terror and betrayal of democratic values.

It cost over one billion dollars and still is not yet over, but the first round of voting in the Presidential election has delivered Ukraine a massive victory and a sound defeat for Yushchenko.

The results of the exit polls reflect early predictions and the 2007 Parliamentary results.

Victor Yanukovych leads the race with 34.7-37.7% of the vote followed by Yulia Tymoshenko with 24.8-26.1%

In what was seen as a referendum on Victor Yushchenko's term of office Yushchenko has only managed to return 5.1-5.8%.

The first round was not even close. Our Ukraine failed to win support, Yushchenko was never in a position to come close to out polling Yulia Tymoshenko. Combined Our Ukraine only just held on to their 12% to 14% they won in the 2006/2007 election.

Whilst it is still too early to make a definite prediction on the likely second round results odds are that Yanukovych will go on to win the Presidency But Tymoshenko has proven that she is capable of giving him a run for his money. The fact that she is in the upper end of expectations down from her 2007 Parliamentary is a encouraging.

The reality is that the direct election of head of state is not worth the cost, time and problems it has caused. Ukraine would have been better off electing its head of state by a constitutional majority of the peoples democratically elected Parliament.

The other change that would have been beneficial is if Ukraine had adopted a single round preferential voting system the whole election would be over and Ukraine would know the outcome by now.

Still its time to celebrate Yushchenko's term of office and reign of terror, division and destabilization has come to an end. This is a great victory for Ukraine and democracy itself even at a cost one billion dollars.

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Insider polling

Analysis: by Adrian Karatnycky
New Atlanticist Policy and Analysis

The Atlantic Council, Wash, D.C., Fri, 15 January 2010

NEW YORK - Ukraine votes in the first round of presidential elections on Sunday, January 17th. 

Ukraine does not permit the release of polling data in the two weeks prior to the contest.  But I have obtained reliable polling data from colleagues, based on polling conducted last week for internal use by campaign officials, which suggests that Viktor Yanukovych leads incumbent Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko by 8 to 10 percent, a narrowing from two weeks ago, when Yanuokvych led by 12 to 15 percent:

Candidate
Support
Viktor Yanukovych
34.00%
Yulia Tymoshenko
24.50%
Serhiy Tihipko
12.50%
Arseniy Yatsenyuk
6.50%
Viktor Yushchenko
5.50%
Petro Symonenko
4.00%
Volodymyr Lytvyn
3.50%
Oleh Tyahnybok
2.00%
Anatoliy Hrytsenko
1.00%
 Others (Against All)
6.50%
 sum
100.00%

UkrToday Comment: The above insider poll is within expectations (+/- 2%). It shows a win for Yanukovych and Tymoshenko with both main players shoring up their vote in the last two weeks and a dramatic loss of support for Yushchenko

Incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko, the vastly unpopular head of state and failed leader of the "Orange revolution" of 2004, will struggle to reach 5 percent support and may finish as low as 5th.

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Presidential Polling opens in Ukraine


Polling has opened in Ukraine to elect Ukraine's next head of state in what has been touted as being a referendum on incumbent Viktor Yushehnko's last five years since the events of 2004 Orange Revolution

Viktor Yushchenko has seventeen candidates, four from his own political faction, running against him.  Yushchenko is expected to lose in the first round of voting with his rival Viktor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko making to the second round of voting scheduled for February 7, 2010.

Polling closes at 6:00PM tonight and first exit polls are expected to be announced at 8:00PM

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Presidential election to be a referendum on Yushchenko's term of office

First round vote on Viktor Yushchenko's fate to be determined today in what is a referendum on his term of office.

Seventeen candidates in total are running against him, four from his own political faction.

Yushchenko's party Our Ukraine normally receives around 14% of the national vote.  The polls have him pegged on around 4%.

Yushchenko has never been in a winning position even with 14% he would not be re-elected. The combined support of all candidates associated with Our Ukraine is less then 12% according to the recent polls. That's 2% less then the 2006 and 2007 Parliamentary elections.

Yushchenko's forces are divided.  Every vote for another candidate is one vote less for Yushchenko. He will be judged on the extent of his support  and every percentage point he falls below 14% . His first hurdle will be to out poll Yatseniuk.

Arseniy Yatseniuk has lost a lot of ground over the course of the campaign.  He started out with around 11% to 14% and headed south to a low of 6%.

Voting commences at 8:00 AM local time and end at 18:00.  The first exit polls are expected to be released at around 20:00 Kyiv time.  Voting will still be in play in Canada and the United States.

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Voting has commenced

Sunday January 17, 2010.

Polling has commenced:

08:00 Polls open in Ukraine.

07:00 Polls open in Russia

03:00 Thailand

00:00 Vladivostok.and Japan is eight hours ahead.
-01:00 Australia, Australia's Capital Terrority is nine hours ahead of Ukrainian time

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

24 hours before the celebrations begin. Vote out the old and bring in the new.

In 24 hours time Ukraine should know the outcome of the 2010 Presidential election.  Yushchenko will have lost office and the two highest polling candidates will progress to the second round of voting.  According to rumours the ballot papers for the second round have already been printed and distributed.  All expectations are that Viktor Yanukovych will face off against Yulia Tymoshenko in what will be seen as the battle of the titans.

Ukraine will begin to celebrate the news that "The president is defeated long live the new president".  Only 2 more hours before the new year really starts with a tigers roar.

If your are undecided who to support we suggest you make your vote count and vote for Tymoshenko in the first round.  Why you may ask. well we feel that Tymoshenko will most likely support Ukraine adopting a parliamentary system of governance.  In our view this is the main criteria and step forward that Ukraine can make.  One important step forward one giant step for Ukraine. A vote for any other candidate is a wasted vote. And a vote for Tigipko would be dangerous and indecisive.

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UPDATE:Yanukovych a sure bet?

Betting on the outcome of the presidential election is a safer bet then a horse race.

NO MORE BETS: 8:00AM - Betting has closed as election is in play.

UPDATE: 4:10 Kyiv time
The betting score is now  Yanukovych 2/5, Tymoshenko 17/10, Tigipko 8, Yushchenko remains on 24 with no change in all other candidates


According to the latest betting score 

Candidate
Bet Score
Viktor Yanukovych
5/11
Yulia Tymoshenko
11/17
Serhiy Tigipko
9
Viktor Yushchenko
24
Arseniy Yatsenyuk
49
Volodymyr Lytvyn
99
Petro Symonenko
99
Inna Bogoslovska
299
Oleh Tyahnybok
299
Anatoliy Hrytsenko
299
Others
299

The punters are betting on a Tymoshenko win with Yanukovych offering the best odds for someone who is guaranteed to be in the final round contest.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Mixed signals on Ukraine's constitutional future

Ukraine's president has to much power. Powers, as we saw, that were often misused and abused.

The 2004/5 constitutional amendments were a step in the right direction and yes they were a compromise.

The president powers should have had less power.

Both Tymochenko and Yanukovych have been giving mixed singles.  One hand they say they support Ukraine adopting a European model of parliamentary democracy on the other they advocate a return to Presidential authority.

The fact remains that the presidential system has and will forever fail Ukraine, dividing the nation and in the process undermining its independence and stability.

The previous parliament and government lead by Viktor Yanukovych was stable and effective. There was no basis or legal grounds for its dismissal. But so would have been  a Orange coalition had Yushchenko and Our Ukraine not sold it out.

Tymoshenko's government has never been given a chance to govern. It was undermined by Yushchenko at every step. Yushchenko weakened the government and prevented it from governing.

In 2007 the Parliamentary Assemble for the Council of Europe (PACE) in considering its report on the democratic institutions of Ukraine rightly recommended that "It would be better for the country to switch to a full parliamentary system with proper checks and balances and guarantees of parliamentary opposition and competition."

In the end no matter who wins the presidential election the losing party/candidate will soon rethink their position. Yes they need to say now that they support a strong president, but once that position has escaped them they will hopefully soon advocate a more democratic parliamentary system of governance.

The reinstatement of presidential authority as proposed by Yushchenko would set Ukraine back a further 10 to 15 years and will prevent Ukraine from ever being considered as a member state of the European Union.

Yushchenko's proposals would see the president have absolute power and absolute control over the Government, the parliament and the courts. Power that should not be placed in the hands of one individual.

Based on existing polls at best the newly elected president will represent 32% of Ukrainians if Yanukovych is elected president. 20% if Tymoshenko is elected and even less if Tigipko manages to make it to the second round.

None of the prospective candidates will have a majority in the first instance. None will hold a majority in the Parliament.

If Yanukovych is elected he will most likely seek to ride the wave and call fresh parliamentary elections in May at which Party of Regions will win close to an absolute majority. They will have their pick of coalition partners in order to form a new government.

Unless they form an alliance with Tymoshenko it is unlikely they will hold a two-thirds constitutional majority which is required to amend Ukraine's Constitution. Without two-thirds there is no legal way in which much needed constitutional reforms can be implemented.

Both Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko and Party of Regions tied to implement constitutional reform and establish Ukraine as a parliamentary system but negotiations between the two failed find common ground or agreement on the detail.

They must for the sake of Ukraine and its democratic future try again.

It will be a wise man or woman who is elected head of state and manages to give up presidential power for the sake of the nation. This is the sign of true strength. The strength to do what is right in the longer term and best interest of the nation not the perceived short term interest of the individual or political party that holds office.

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Huntington theory: Shift in power

The Moscow Times has a brief, yet interesting, summary  of the potential outcome of Sunday's Ukrainian Presidential election.

It glosses over the shift on power and the balances that will remain, in the short term at least.

It does make a strong point in its closing paragraph

... whoever wins will likely change Ukraine’s constitution, which as currently constructed virtually guarantees perpetual conflicts between the president and prime minister. Experts generally agree that a presidential system is worse than a parliamentary one, but they also agree that a mixed presidential-parliamentary system such as Ukraine’s is by far the worst.

The best option would be for Ukraine to adopt a full parliamentary model in line with other European States.

The question is who will undertake this challenge and sacrifice presidential power and authority for the sake of the nation.  The answer to this question is the person who should be elected president
 

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First Round Presidential campaign comes to an end

Campaigning in the first round of the presidential election concludes tonight at 12 midnight Kyiv time

The election has been pretty much a non-event.  No real earth shattering poll busting events over the last two weeks, Certainly not enough to warrant a change of expectation in the outcome of the election.

There has been a lot of two and throw bantering, allegations of corruption, vote rigging and deals done.  The most dramatic being a deal between Yushchenko and Yanukovych to secure a place for Yushchenko's men in the inevitable changing of the guard.

Come 12 midnight the campaigning comes to an end.  Well that depends if you consider a Party of Regions proposed rally on the 16th not part of the campaign.  Polls open at 8AM on Sunday January 17 and close at 6PM.  Early results should begin to be known at around 9 to 10PM with a good indication of the likely outcome by 4PM on the Monday.

Then it starts up again with the two highest polling candidates battling it out at the final round of voting scheduled for February 7.  Why the did not opt for a single round preferential voting system is anyone's guess? A preferential system would have produced the same outcome and the results known in days as opposed waiting weeks and another round of voting.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Buying Property on the moon. Votes for sale election scam

There are reports in the media that advertisements have been placed where Ukrainians have offered to sell their votes for a sum of 100 to 500 hryvnia.

Whilst this is good media copy (designed to sell news more then votes) the suggestion that anyone would be in a position to sell their vote let alone someone buying it is beyond reason and reality.

The reasons are simple.  In order to influence the change in the election you would need to buy 5 to 10 percent of the electorate. - One to two million votes. There are not enough votes out there for sale, at a cost of 500 million to  one billion.

Second and most important you would never know if the vote you had bought was delivered and who failed to deliver it.

This is a joke, an electoral scam that is no different then the candidate that changed his name to "Against all".

A bit like selling/buying property on the moon it can never be realized.

Jamestown Foundation has published this summary of vote allegations
Quote:

Andry Portnov, a key legal adviser to Tymoshenko, told 5 Kanal on December 8 that there were no reasons to expect massive irregularities. He also said that Tymoshenko’s party was happy with the current election law and did not plan to propose any amendments to it.

People directly involved in the election process have appealed for calm. Oleksandr Chernenko, the leader of the Committee of Voters election watchdog, noted that TsVK’s decision on home voting was fully in line with the election law for which Tymoshenko’s party had voted in parliament (UNIAN, January 7). TsVK Chairman Volodymyr Shapoval warned against making unsubstantiated accusations of ballot rigging. He said he knew of no cases involving an official accused of election irregularities being named or their guilt proven. He called on the law-enforcement bodies to provide names and open criminal cases if they found anything (Interfax-Ukraine, January 11).

Aleksandr Torshin noted. that Tymoshenko’s team had more than enough registered observers to prevent irregularities (Interfax, January 7).

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Election Day Weather forecast

The long range weather forecast for Kyiv January 17, 2010

 

10-Day Forecast





High /
Low (°C)

Precip. %

Tonight
Jan 10

Rain / Snow

90 %
Mon
Jan 11

Rain / Snow
1°/-4°
90 %
Tue
Jan 12

Snow Shower
-3°/-10°
70 %
Wed
Jan 13

AM Snow Showers
-7°/-12°
30 %
Thu
Jan 14

Cloudy
-8°/-12°
10 %
Fri
Jan 15

Cloudy
-8°/-11°
10 %
Sat
Jan 16

Partly Cloudy
-8°/-11°
10 %
Sun
Jan 17

Sunny
-8°/-11°
10 %
Mon
Jan 18

Partly Cloudy
-5°/-11°
10 %
Tue
Jan 19

Cloudy
-3°/-7°
10 %
Last Updated Jan 10 12:14 p.m. Local Time

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Reality bites - Third place not second best - It is a loss not a win

Western Ukrainian Media (zik.com.ua) has a good overview commentary on the outcome of the first round.  Much of it reflects what we have been saying for  months. The first round of voting is not a contest and third place is a losing position.  Yushchenko will come fifth at best behind Yanukovych, Tymoshenko Yatseniuk and Tigipko.

Even if Ukraine had a preferential voting system Yushchenko would still lose out with a maximum support of 10% to 12%. In a preferential voting system Tigipko might have had a chance of coming up the middle but this is just theory as Ukraine sadly does not use the single round preferential voting system.



Quote:
Andry Yermolayev: no point to discuss the third runner.
In 2009 politicians and the media did everything to focus the attention on two favorites, Tymoshenko and Yanukovych, who will probably make it to Round 2. As regards the third-place runner, it is no use to forecast who he will be. In the presidential election only the first place matters.

Igor Zhdanov: major wrangling to come after round 1
The course of the election is clear to me: Viktor Yanukovych will win in the first round, leading Tymoshenko by about 10%. As regards the third-place runner, the favorite, Arseny Yatseniuk, has lost much ground and has to compete now with Serhy Tihipko.

Much to the chagrain of Orange voters, Viktor Yanukovych is set to win in the first round. The main wrangling, however, will be in the second round. The win there will depend on how both favorites will attract voters. There are many disheartened voters and many candidates who balkanize voters. Tymoshenko faces an uphill battle as she has to rally the balkanized voters.

The incumbent will find himself in a very ticklish position. Since he is certain not to make it into the second round, he will have to make a difficult choice either to support Tymoshenko or Yanukovych or to call his electorate to vote against all. I rule out that he will support Tymoshenko.  Nor will he openly back up Yanukovych.  Most probably, he will call to vote against all candidates. In doing so, Yushchenko will play out a very simple scenario since voting against all actually means to vote for Yanukovych.

Mykola Mykhalchenko: 6-7% gap in the first round
It is clear that other candidates won’t be able to join the two forerunners, Tymoshenko and Yanukovych.

Volodymyr Fesenko: no other candidate but Tymoshenko and Yanukovych in Round 2
It is quite clear that only Tymoshenko and Yanukovych will vie for the highest office. The third place may go to Tihipko or Yushchenko. The third place has a symbolic meaning – it is a claim for the future, for the parliamentary elections. A third-place winner can bargain with Round 1 winner for posts.

Viktor Nebozhenko: in Round 2 Tymoshenko will outstrip Yanukovych
Tymoshenko and Yanukovych will make it into the runoffs, with Yanukovych leading by 7-10% of the vote. In Round 2 Tymoshenko will not merely catch up with Yanukovych, but will surpass him, winning the presidency. The third place will be contested by Yatseniuk and Tihipko, with Yushchenko being in the 5-th position in the race.


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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Doing deals with minor candidates

There is a lot of talk around that this deal or that deal has been made. Whilst deals are possible in seeking political positions or appointments the fact is they can not deliver. Most do not have loyal natural constituencies. They can not direct their supporters to transfer their votes.

Tigipko, who is expected to come in third behind Tymoshenko and Yanukovych, support base will split between Tymoshenko and Yanukovych in the second round. The same with the Communist and to a lessor degree Yatseniuk.

Yastensenik can not transfer his support to Yushchenko many would opt to support Tymoshenko is he pulled out at the last minute. Yushchenko himself can not direct his own support base which in the second round is expected to also split down the middle in the second round

Example "Split analysis"

Using the survey conducted by U.S.-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems and financed by the United States Agency for International Development. and a conservative split based between Yanukovych, Tymoshenko and Against All

Candidate
Poll
Split to
Yanu kovych
Split to
Tymo shenko
Split to
Against All
Viktor Yanukovych
31.2%
100.0%
31.2%




Yulia Tymoshenko
19.1%


100.0%
19.1%


Serhiy Tihipko
4.8%
40.0%
1.9%
40.0%
1.9%
20.0%
1.0%
Arseniy Yatsenyuk
4.7%
25.0%
1.2%
50.0%
2.4%
25.0%
1.2%
Volodymyr Lytvyn
2.8%
30.0%
0.8%
50.0%
1.4%
20.0%
0.6%
Viktor Yushchenko
3.5%
20.0%
0.7%
50.0%
1.8%
30.0%
1.1%
Petro Symonenko
3.8%
40.0%
1.5%
30.0%
1.1%
30.0%
1.1%
Inna Bohoslovska
0.7%
40.0%
0.3%
40.0%
0.3%
20.0%
0.1%
Oleh Tyahnybok
1.8%
5.0%
0.1%
75.0%
1.4%
20.0%
0.4%
Anatoliy Hrytsenko
0.7%
20.0%
0.1%
60.0%
0.4%
20.0%
0.1%
Others
2.4%
40.0%
1.0%
40.0%
1.0%
20.0%
0.5%
Against all





100%
7.9%
Will Not vote







Not sure







 sum
83.4%

38.8%

30.7%

13.9%
Total of Vote


46.6%

36.8%

16.7%

This is not a prediction but it does show the extent of the split in voters' intentions in a possible second round outcome based on the primary round vote. There never is a 100% transfer rate from one candidate to the another. If you wish you can do your own "what if's" to determine the max min split in order to produce a change in the result.  Tymoshenko would have to improve her primary vote and work hard on securing a higher percentage split then that allocated above in order to make up the 10 percent shortfall.  Don't rely on the "Not sure" 11.6% as they would even out across the board to produce an expected participation rate of around 83% and as such not listed in the above split analysis.

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Seven days remaining: All over but for the shouting

With seven days until the January 17 Ukrainian Presentism election there has been no catalytic event or shit in public opinion.

There is no real contest at this stage of the election.

Viktor Yanukovych is assured to progress into the second round with Yulia Tymoshenko in second place.

There has been a lot of political banter about a deal between Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych with Yushchenko seeking a safe haven for his "leading lights" team of political elite to ensure that they still have a job come February.

Yushchenko is set to be the biggest loser with 17 candidates running against him. 16 candidates including Yushchenko will not make the grade and will fall well below the 10% mark and at bes5 manage to secure 5%.

Yushchenko has tried hard to force other candidates to pull out in the hope that it would bolster his fledgling support. Even if he managed to have Yatseniuk and Hrensko pull and their supporter's to back him (a big ask given the extent of Ukraine's resentment and disillusionment in Yushchenko's term of office) with a total of only 12% Yushchenko would still be below Yulia Tymoshenko. Even if Ukraine had a preferential voting system Yushchenko would lose out.

In theory it is possible under a preferential voting system for Tigipko to come up the middle provided that Yushchenko and his associates backed him.

But the fact remains that under Ukraine's flawed two round first-past-the0-post voting system only the two highest polling candidates will make it to the second round.

Yushchenko supporters are getting desperate and like something out of scene from Captain Corelli's Mandolin Yushchenko's faithful have turned ugly and have began attacking their past allies, engaging in a seek and destroy mission as they face inevitable defeat. Some are now even denying that they supported Yushchenko, such is the curse of Peter when he denied knowing Jesus when the cock crowed thrice.

Their attack on Taras Kuzio and poor Gene Nelson (a rather low minded insignificant, if not confused, social commentatos who once shared the same bed and love of pig fat delights) has been appalling to watch. Gene become the victim of the latest hunt attack.

It's getting nasty out there as the President's faithful foot soldiers have stooped to the lowest of lows attacking anyone and everyone that dares criticize their beloved leader or who portrays him in any way negatively. The extent of lies, abuse and denial they have resorted to is beyond belief. A sharp reminder of what the end of the world may become like as man turns on man and civilization breaks down into a "Lord of the flies" tribal culture.

Thankful these extremist diaspora and a few other supporters represent a very small minority less then 0.5% and most are based in the USA unaware that the cold war ended decades ago.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

All Ukraine wants for Christmas is a new President

The 2010 Orthodox Christmas of the Death, Blind and dumb

As Ukraine celebrates the Orthodox Christmas there is little change in Christmas expectations and the countries hopes and dreams for a true democratic state.

Ukraine's Christmas will be 10 days late this year. Whether it is Yanukovych or Tymoshenko in the box is yet to be seen.

Viktor Yushchenko is set to lose office and his efforts to force candidates from his own faction to withdraw have fallen on death ears. The sound of one candidate clapping.

With less then 10 days remaining Yushchenko ties to issue directives but no longer commands any authority with all pundits expecting him to lose office. Yushchenko stands accused of lying  and the courts have found him guility of libel as he merclessly attacks his estranged partner, Yulia Tymoshyenko, who he is targetting ahead of any other candidate and supporting Yanukovych in the process.

Ukraine's leading candidate Viktor Yanukovych is cruising to victory. Free from attack Yanukovych, has gone on the defensive, releasing a series of policy statements establishing Ukraine as a independent democratic state.

Ultra nationalist candidate, Oleh Tiahnybok, leader of the all-Ukrainian Freedom association has declared war on Crimea sparking  mass protests whilst  Yushchenko tries to oust him from the election.

And other candidates proposed unification also falls on death ears.

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