Friday, February 26, 2010

Bye Bye Yushchenko: Our Ukraine once again threaten coalition stability

With Viktor Yushchenko finally removed from office. not before he managed to make some rather controversial appointments in the days before his departure, the president's party Our Ukraine-Peoples' Self Defence have signaled that they will be entering negotiations with Party of Regions and Boc Lytvyn to form a new governing coalition

Our Ukraine try to resurrect 2006's failed negotiations for a boards coalition and again on their terms.


A new governing coalition can only be formed with the support of either Bloc Tymoshenko or Our Ukraine Peoples' Self Defense. (Article 83 of Ukraine's Constitution limits formation of a governing coalition to factions not individuals)  This has given both parties considerable power and influence in the "new" government.  Our Ukraine are demanding a new premier and have proposed that they hold the prime minister's position.  They have effectively revisited their actions of the past.  In 2006 Our Ukraine triggered then collapse of the Orange revolution by refusing to support an Orange coalition whilst trying to negotiating a coalition with party of regions.  Their failure to support an Orange government back then cost them government and was the start of their own demise and betrayal of those who had supported Yushchenko;'s election.

The movement of truth and decision is soon at hand. Moves are afoot to fold a vote of no-confidence as early as next week upping the anti for negotiations

If Our Ukraine decide to support the no confidence motion then the fuse for the destruction of the government and dissolution of the parliament would be lit and Yanukovych will have the authority to dismiss the parliament after 30 days if a new coalition can not be formed.

Tymoshenko has tried to short circuit the horse trading by calling for a vote of no confidence in the government sooner rather then later a move that will place pressure on all sides most of whom would not want to see a new round of public elections. Lytvyn and Our Ukraine included.  With the level of voter fatigue so high all parties will suffer in the polls.

Yanukovych is also not prepared to hand over power to Our Ukraine who have little to offer and have proven in the past to be an unreliable coalition partner.  A coalition between Our Ukraine and Party of Regions would not be stable and fought with many conflicts.  It would also add strength to Bloc Tymoshenko should an election be forced in the not too distant future.

The other option, which if it can be achieved would deliver much more positive results would be a broad coalition that involves Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko although battered by the experience and outcome of the presidential election is not yet defeated.  She still commands a position of considerable power not just in government but within the parliament. Without Tymoshenko's support much needed Constitutional reform will be difficult if not outright impossible to achieve. Tymoshenko also has the means of calling a snap election in October by once again resigning her mandate and canceling the elections list should a coalition between Our Ukraine and Party of regions be formed to topple her government. 

A vote on the  future of Ukraine's government is expected to take place next week and it is then that Ukraine's Parameter must decide its position form a new coalition and face elections or keep the existing government and still face elections.

With Yushchenko removed from office Our Ukraine face the real prospect of being a divided force and one that will not survive the next election.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Yushchenko offers trade: Language and bases for coalition of Unity

A sign of things to come

Victor Yushchenko offers compromise to support a new governing coalition, if  Party of Regions gives up Language and the Russian Black Fleet .

Our Ukraine but not Peoples' Self Defense would join Party of Regions in a coalition without the Communist Party.

ITARTASS reports:

"Viktor Yushchenko, the outgoing Ukrainian president, promises always to be a partner for the new president." - interview with the Kiev-based Inter TV Channel on Sunday.


This coming from a party that rejected and refused a compromise to allow the Socialist Party's Olexandr Moroz to hold the Speakers position back in 2006.  A decision that signaled the end of the Orange revolution.

Yushchenko goes on reported as saying "Ukraine needs political stability, the pragmatic creation of a parliamentary majority and the formation of a government as soon as possible." ... "I have three things to advise you: unity, unity and again unity, both in politics and the nation."

A bit much for a President who constantly undermined the Orange revolution and the stability of the governing coalition. A president who was not known for his compromises when it came to the need for stability.
 
It still is unclear if Our Ukraine can peel off and go it alone as a separate faction. Our Ukraine was not elected to the parliament as a stand alone organization and as such a coalition that includes Our Ukraine alone does not conform to the imperative mandate provisions of Article 83 of Ukraine's constitution.


Meanwhile, whilst Yushchenko was quick to travel off around the world in a victory tour and leave behind the politics of Ukraine struggling to chart a path and new direction., Victor Yanukovych has been quick to avoid Yushchenkno's mistakes by being not seen as a spendthrift president.  His inauguration will be rather low key event without major ceremony or pompousness.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Party of Regions and Our Ukraine in Coalition Talks: Agreement on the table

If anyone had any doubts about a deal cut between Yanukovych and Yushchenko should take note.

Lexisnexis has reported that a coalition agreement has been drawn up between Party of Regions and Our Ukraine - details of the terms of the agreement have not been made public.

QUOTE:
"The opposition Party of Regions, whose leader Viktor Yanukovych won Ukrainian presidential elections, and the Our Ukraine - People's Self Defence pro-government bloc drafted a coalition agreement, the Zerkalo Nedeli (Weekly Mirror) writes on Saturday.

The draft document was submitted to parliament speaker Vladimir Litvin and faction members. First vice speaker Alexander Lavrinovich represents the Party of Regions in talks."

Lytvyn has issued a press release that a statement on the governing coalition will be made on March 2.

Under the terms of Ukraine's constitution a governing coalition must comprise factions (not individuals)  who represent a majority of the parliament. (Article 83 of Ukraine's Constitution) A coalition of factions representing a majority of the parliament can only be formed with the consent of either Bloc Tymoshenko and or Our Ukraine-People's Self Defense party.  With Yushchenko removed from Office Our Ukraine has a real incentive to try and retain their jobs and any influence in Ukraine's Government.  There has been an ongoing power struggle within Yushchenko's faction to support a coalition with Party of Regions.

Could it be that they have won agreement and if so would it seriously split the faction? In which case Yanukovych will not be much better off then Yushchenko was with Tymoshenko in charge.

A new government or a spill and a new election ?


Any agreement that involves Our Ukraine and or supports Yushchenko in anyway will, without doubt, be detrimental to Ukraine's best interest.  We will have to wait until Match 2 to find out what has actually transpired.

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Tymoshenko withdraws in the face of defeat

Tymoshenko has withdrawn her legal challenge to the Ukrainian 2010 Presidential election paving the way for Yanukovych inauguration on February 25.

Tymoshenko was never going to win the court battle and her allegation of corruption in the court process is another example of how one day she places her faith in the people of Ukraine and the system only to reject that faith when it is obvious she was not winning.

Tymoshenko has suffered a loss as a result of her actions the question is to what extent.

With February 25 out of the way and Yanukovych instead as President the next challenge she will face is a vote of no confidence in her government.

A number of factors will come into play not the least that if fresh parliamentary elections are held Ukraine will once again enter into a period of instability and political campaigning.  many existing members of parliament will not be returned if fresh elections are held. Lytvyn runs the risk of falling believe the 3% representation threshold as does Our Ukraine.

last minute efforts to try and secure agreement and support for a brad coalition will fail as a new coalition can only be formed with the agreement of either bloc Tymoshenko or Our Ukraine - Peoples Self Defense.  Under Ukraine's current constitution (Article 83) it is factions not individuals that form the governing coalition,  If both Tymoshenko and Our Ukraine-Peoples Self defence reject a brad coalition with party of Regions then the supply of no confidence is the next attempt if that fails Yanukovich needs to palan for a forced election in October.

Fresh parliamentary elections will deliver the balance of power to Tigipko who will be in a strong position to decide who will govern Ukraine.

This will deliver government but will not resolve the main problems of instability facing Ukraine and the need for Ukraine to adopt constitutional reform.

A coalition between Tymoshenko and party of regions would be the way to go but it is hard to see such an alliance coming into existence.  The opportunity for such has been lost.

Ideally Ukraine would amend its constitution and then hold fresh parliamentary elections, but this is also unlikely to happen in the near future.

The good news is that some February 25, Viktor Yushchenko will no longer be in office.

The sad news is that Yanukovych now he has been elected President will not want to give up power and will most likely no longer support Ukraine becoming a full Parliamentary system of government.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Yushchenko’s Presidential decree has caused turmoil

International reaction

Yushchenko’s decree has caused turmoil and provoked a strong reaction not only in Ukraine, but also abroad. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the awarding of the Hero of Ukraine to Stepan Bandera as unacceptable:
“Any glorification, recognition given to the people who participated in vile actions against people, innocent people, my own people, is something we cannot accept,” the Israeli prime minister said in an interview with Interfax and Kommersant daily.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Taras Kuzio: No better final epitaph could have been written for Yushchenko.

Yushchenko Facilitates Yanukovych’s Election and Buries the Orange Revolution
 
Taras Kuzio

Two major myths promoted by President Viktor Yushchenko in Ukraine’s 2010 presidential elections were that there was no difference in policies between the two main candidates, Viktor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko, and that both were “pro-Russian.” These myths helped defeat Tymoshenko by 3 percent in an election where every vote counted.

Several pieces of evidence point to the Yushchenko-Yanukovych alliance that facilitated Yanukovych’s election. For instance, the lack of criticism by Yushchenko of Yanukovych preceding the elections (Ukrayinska Pravda, February 10). Yushchenko never criticized Yanukovych’s pro-Russian policies on energy (gas consortium, return to non-market subsidized prices, and revival of the corrupt RosUkrEnergo); Russian as a state language; the extension of the Black Sea Fleet base beyond 2017; opposition to NATO membership, and the Party of Regions alliance with Russian extremist nationalists in Odessa and the Crimea. 
Yushchenko and the presidential secretariat levelled daily abuse at Tymoshenko, accusing her of “treason” 
and vetoed a record number of government policies.

Moreover, a draft agreement was leaked in December 2009 by a staff member in the presidential secretariat that revealed plans for a Yushchenko-Yanukovych alliance (UNIAN, December 25, 2009; EDM, January 5, 

6). The Ukrainian media discussed the issue of Yushchenko becoming prime minister under President Yanukovych (www.comments.com.ua, December 4, 2009).

In the event of a Our Ukraine-Peoples Self Defence (NUNS) – Party of Regions grand coalition being formed, the Yushchenko loyalist Yuriy Yekhanurov might be offered the post of prime minister (Ukrayinska Pravda, February 8-10). Prime Minister and Our Ukraine leader Yekhanurov led the negotiations with the Party of Regions after the March 2006 elections for a grand coalition that collapsed. Yekhanurov was the head of the State Property Fund in the 1990’s and the oligarchs are his creation.

The Party of Regions and the NUNS faction, together with the Communists and Volodymyr Lytvyn bloc, sought to remove pro-Tymoshenko Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko. The vote was supported by NUNS deputy Petro Yushchenko. Similarly, between rounds one and two Yushchenko vetoed the cabinet’s December 16, 2009 decree appointing General Hennady Moskal as Crimea’s police chief (UNIAN, February 2). Moskal, who is a deputy in the pro-Lutsenko Peoples Self Defense group in NUNS, was praised for halting election fraud in favor of Yanukovych in round one. “The Party of Regions, who is as thick as thieves with Yushchenko, controls the administrative resources on the peninsula,” Moskal said (www.zik.com.ua, February 11). The Tymoshenko campaign found evidence of fraud in the Crimea in round two (www.vybory.tymoshenko.ua, February 10).

Meanwhile, between rounds one and two Yushchenko removed the Kharkiv and Dniproptrovsk governors who had expressed support for Tymoshenko and had refused to provide administrative resources for Yanukovych’s campaign. Yushchenko also removed six ambassadors where there had been few votes for Yushchenko in round one (Ukrayinska Pravda, February 10). The Tymoshenko campaign will contest in the courts the election results in the Crimea, Donetsk, Zaporozhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk (www.vybory.tymoshenko.ua, February 10).

Only five days before the second round the Party of Regions, the pro-Yanukovych wing of NUNS and the Communists, passed changes to the election law. President Yushchenko quickly signed the law, ignoring a plea to veto it by the Committee of Voters (www.cvu.org.ua, February 4), independent experts, and Tymoshenko (Ukrayinska Pravda, February 3, 4).

These changes were widely condemned because they changed the electoral rules in the middle of the elections. If the changes were deemed so important, they should have been demanded by Yushchenko prior to round one. Yushchenko’s actions proved that he had forged an alliance with Yanukovych, Kyiv expert Volodymyr Fesenko said (www.politdumka.kiev.ua, February 4).

What was left of Yushchenko’s reputation, in Ukraine and abroad, was effectively destroyed by his support for the electoral law changes, because they undermined his role as the constitutional guarantor of free elections and his election campaign slogan of having brought democracy to Ukraine, Kyiv expert Ihor Zhdanov said (www.politdumka.kiev.ua, February 4). Oleksandr Tretiakov, a long time ally, resigned from the Our Ukraine party in which Yushchenko is its honorary chairman.

Most controversially, between the election rounds Yushchenko signed two decrees giving hero status to Organization of Ukrainian Nationalist leader Stepan Bandera and to honor members of various Ukrainian national liberation movements in the twentieth century (www.president.gov.ua, January 28). The decrees, immediately condemned by Russia, helped to additionally mobilize pro-Yanukovych voters in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. Professor Myroslav Popovych claimed the decrees “disorientated” Eastern-Southern Ukrainian voters and mobilized them against the “Orange” candidate, Tymoshenko (Ukrayinsky Tyzhden, January 29-February 4).

The timing of the two decrees was odd, as they were not issued prior to round one, when they could have given Yushchenko additional nationalist votes from supporters of the Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok. The decrees could have been issued at any time during his presidency, as he did with an October 2007 decree giving hero status to Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) leader Roman Shukhevych (EDM, October 23, 2007). A decree in honor of Sich Sharpshooters, a Ukrainian unit in the Austrian army in World War I, was issued on January 6 before the first round.

Finally, Yuriy Shukhevych, the son of the UPA commander, led a campaign in Lviv with other nationalist leaders in support of Yushchenko’s call to vote against both candidates in round two. Evidence was provided by Tymoshenko in an appearance on Inter television (February 5) that these appeals were published in Lviv newspapers with financial assistance from the Yanukovych campaign.
 
Anti-Semitic leaflets appeared in Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk (witnessed by this author) urging voters: “Do not vote for that Jew,” a reference to Tymoshenko’s father’s alleged ethnicity (the leaflet was reproduced on www.rferl.org, February 3).

The irony of Ukraine’s 2010 election campaign is that the nationalist candidate, Yushchenko, long vilified by Russia, likely facilitated the election of the pro-Russian candidate, Yanukovych, Moscow’s favourite in the Ukrainian elections (EDM, January 22, 27, 29). Yushchenko, brought to power by the 2004 Orange Revolution, effectively destroyed the Orange Revolution himself. The Revolution, long the personal object of hate by the former Russian President Vladimir Putin who saw it as one of his personal policy failures, was buried by that very person (Yushchenko) so despised by Putin.

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Netanyahu sees no justification for Bandera glorification in Ukraine


Netanyahu sees no justification for Bandera glorification in Ukraine

  Interfax-Ukraine

Moscow, February 17 (Interfax) - The awarding of the Hero of Ukraine decoration to Stepan Bandera is unacceptable, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. Any glorification, recognition given to the people who participated in vile action against people, innocent people, my own people, is something we cannot accept, it's simply unacceptable," he said in an interview with Interfax and the Kommersant daily.

On January 22, Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko, who lost the election, awarded the Hero of Ukraine to Bandera, the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, accused by many of abetting the Nazis during World War II.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yanukovych Declared President-elect

The Ukrainian Central Electoral Commission has officially declared Viktor Yanukovych the victor  of the 2010 Presidential election.  Under the provisions of Ukraine's constitution Yanukovych must be worn in as President within 30 days.

Having won the election in October 2004 and lost the it in a re-run election in December that year Yanukovych will be given a chance to show the wold that he can act in the best interest of Ukraine.

Yulia Tymoshenko's attempts to declare the election null and void will fail. Everyone is against her, the hardest thing she will find is that the OSCE and PACE backed by all the Exit Polls have confirmed the result and election as being fair and a true refection of the people of Ukraine.

Will Tymoshenko seek to disrupt Yanukovych swearing in ceremony?  This is yet to be seen.

The good news is that Ukraine has less then 30 days before Viktor Yushchenko is ousted form office.  He has been extraordinary quite of late with most people already assuming he has let the building.  We blame Yushchenko for most of the ongoing political crisis and division that has plague Ukraine over his term of office.  Yushchenko was without any doubt the worst president and history will record him as such..

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dissecting the vote: Zakarpattia and Ternopil

Two interesting outcomes in the final round vote that have not been widely discussed in the English media is the outcome in Zakarpattia and Ternopil. We are not sure if it has been been discussed in the Ukrainian media

1. Viktor Yanukovych was the highest polling candidate in Zakarpattiia previsoully Our Ukraine/Yushchenko were the highest. (See 2004,2006 and 2007 election results) District 74 місто Берегове (Beregove - a Hungarian community located near the border)

2. The other interesting observation is that Yanukovych actually went backwards between the first round and the second round in Ternopiil.  In the first round Yanukovych received 6354 (0.26% of the national vote) in the second final round, with less number of candidates, Yanukovych recorded only 5370 (0.21% of the national vote)  Why Yanukovych went backwards in the second round is any ones guess but we think this  would make interesting reading.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

100% Counted - Yanukovych 3.48% lead over Tymoshenko in final round


The Ukrainian Central Electoral Commission had registered all polling places' results.

The Commission has until February 17 to officially declare the results of the election and then within 30 days the president elect Viktor Yanukovych should be sworn into office as Ukraine's next President.

CandidateVotePercentage
Victor Yanukovych 12,481,268 48.96%
Yulia Tymoshenko 11,593,340 45.48%
Against All 1,113,51 4.37%
Informal  305,844 1.20%
Total vote 25,493,503

Virtual Election map


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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

99.91% Yuankovych increases marginally his lead to 3.5%

Counting is progressing slowly with the total number of protocols edging to 99.91%.

Yanukovych 12,468,061 48.95%
Tymoshenko  11,584,767 45.48%
Against All 1,112,299 4.36%
Informal  305,278 1.19%
Total  25,470,405

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The districts of shame: Missing protocols

24 hours  after the polls closed the following Obslasts/Districts have not submitted their polling return protocols. (What is the hold up? why does it  take to long to count a few votes ?- its not a difficult task)

RegionDistrict NoPercentage counted
Crimea 1 94.44%
3 83.13%
6 90.99%
9 56.41%
10 97.43%
Volyn Oblast 19 98.66%
Zaporizhia Oblast 77 98.87%
Kyiv Oblast 93 98.33%
Luhansk Oblast 109 87.05%
110 91.66%
Lviv Oblast 120 95.28%
Odesa Oblast 141 98.28%
145 97.84%
Kherson Oblast 189 90.41%
Cherkasy Oblast 203 93.49%

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Back to the future: Yesterdays villain becomes today's hero

Victor Yanukovych, contender in the 2004 Presidential  election and former Prime-minister of Ukraine 2006-2007 has become President elect  winning over 48% of the national vote three percent more then his rival the hero of the Orange revolution Yulia Tymoshenko.


If there is a villain in this election it was out-going disgraced president Viktor Yushchenko.  Yushchenko received only 5.45% of the vote in the first round of the presidential elections.  He is widely seen as a failed president who divided Ukraine and did not live up to expectations.  Yushchenko demonstrated the futility of the presidential system. His term of office will be remembered as a complete failure.

If Tymoshenko has anyone to blame for her loss it is Yushchenko.  His inability to accept the will of the people and the majority opinion of his own political alliance was his downfall.  He espoused the words of democracy yet his policies and actions where far from democratic.  Yushchenko had advocated an Against all option and 2% more voters then the first round did just that.  Yushchenko destroyed any sense of unity and set the clock back 5 years or more.

Viktor Yanukovych who claimed he had originally won the Presidential election in 2004 received the same level of vote that he had recorded in the ill-fated 2004 second round giving credence to the belief that the 2004 ballot was not as flawed as some made out.

The parade may be over but the entertainment and celebrations has just began.

Losing the battle but not yet the war.

Tymoshenko is expect to concede defeat.  Yanukovych may have won this round but Tymoshenko did well to receive the vote she did.  She can hold her head up high and continue to maintain a presence in Ukraine's political scene for some time to come.





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Circus Parade comes to an end: 99.45% counted - Yanukovych by 3%

IN what tuned out to be a closer match then expected Viktor Yanukovych, former prime minister and presidential hopeful in the 2004 "Orange revolution" has won the 2010 Presidential election  by a 3% margin.

As of 20:30

VotePercentage
Viktor Yanukovych12,372,73748.81%
Yulia Tymoshenko11,562,11245.61%
Against All1,108,5824.37%
Informal1.19%
Participation25,346,43269.30%

Turn out 2% more punters voted this round then in the first round event

The  outcome was in line with exit polls closest margin and in spite various protests by Yulia Tymoshenko Yanukovych, runner up in the final 2004 contest  is expected to be declared the winner of the 2010 parade. 

The conduct of the election has received the all important stamp of approval by the OSCE.


There will not be a repeat of the events of 2004.  The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into to.  Any attempt to overturn the result will fail and will only cause more harm and resentment then good.  Falling below 50% of the vote Yanukovych's win can not be seen as a total victory.  


Virtual Election map


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Limited mandate: Time for reflection and cooperation not confrontation

Victor Yanukoych's slender majority is not an absolute mandate he failed to break over the 50% threshold.   Tymoshenko's'  support is never the less impressive and indicates the extent that Ukraine is divided.

Yanukovych must acknowledge the support given to Tymoshenko's candidacy and reconsider his policy of confrontation and the proposed dismissal of Ukraine's parliament.  He must make every effort to find common ground and to once again join Tymoshenko at the negotiating table and seek a strategic alliance that is in Ukraine's best interest.

Yanukovych has a limited mandate only.   He can only claim the right to represent 33% of Ukraine (48% of 69%).

In making a conciliatory jester Tymoshenko must also concede the election which all the exit polls had  confirmed Yanukovych's slender win.

With Yushchenko removed from office there is hope.  Hope that Ukraine can find a way forward without another round of elections and ongoing political confrontation.

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Poll: 75% counted Yanukovych still holds the lead - Tymoshenko's has nothing to be ashamed of.

The morning after 6:00AM

With Over 80% of protocols recorded Viktor Yanukovych on 48.68% has maintained his lead over Tymoshenko who has 45.67%.  A closer then expected margin of 3%. The number of participants is estimated to be 65%. The Crimean vote (33.62% counted) is still to be included. All other regions have over 67% registered.

Its all over but for the declaration of the poll.  Tymoshenko will maintain that that she had been cheated out of office. The reality is she did well to secure as many votes as she had given the extent of competition against her.


The outcome of the election will give cause for Yanukovych to think twice before pursuing a fresh parliamentary election.  Yanukovych could not hold on to the 50% psychological victory.  His win is not a triumph but as they say winners are grinner's and he will be sworn into office.  There will be no Maidan or Orange revolution II.  Sure Yulia will scream and continue to try and  undermine Yanukovych's victory But she will not win any overwhelming support if she does.

The only loser is Yushchenko, His dwindling support base did not follow his lead or advice the against all vote (4.48%) showed little change.

The closer then expected result, and the fact that Ukraine remains divided as ever, is a clear indication that the presidential system has once again failed to unite Ukraine.

Over one billion dollars has been spent on this election and what has Ukraine got to show for it? Its future is just as cloudy as it was before. The only difference is that Yushchenko has been removed from office and his opponent in 2004 has won the election by a slender but decisive margin.

The challenge and test of character will be if Yanukovych can reach out and negotiate a successful transition and constitutional change that would see Ukraine put an end to the abuse of Presidential authority and embrace a European parliamentary system?

If there is to be another round of national elections it must only occur following the implementation of reform.

Virtual Election map


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Back to the future: Yanukovych still on track with 70% of the vote

Count Update: (8-Feb-2010 4:30AM)

Over 70% of  protocols counted Yanukoych extending his lead as more voptes from tjhe populous East are registered.  Yanukovych (49.08%) Tymosnenko (45.27%)  Against All (4.49%) Informal (1.15%)

Total votes counted. 16,940,350 (46.31%)


Count Update: (8-Feb-2010 4:15AM)

Tymoshenko has opicked up some ground in the last hour but this is due to outstadning protocols in Western being submitted later then in teh East.  There is still a lot of Crimra and Luhanst votes to be registered in the East which will see the scales tip back in Yanukovych's favour.  Current split Yanukovych (48.99%) Tymsohenko (45.37%)
 

Count Update: (8-Feb-2010 3:15AM)

With just over 52% of the vote counted the turn-out looks like being lower then in the first round at approximately  60%-62%  Yanukovych has been showing a consistent lead at 49.65% and Tymoshenko on 44.73%

A scan of the protocols registered shows that Western Ukraine votes are taking a little longer to  be registered but they will not make up the short fall.   The estimated number of Against All (4.51%) and informal ballots  (1.12%) is on target.

Total number of ballot papers recorded to date is 13,007,237 (32.81% of enrolled)

The outcome is as expected and in line with our lower end estimation (5%) - See our minor candidate split table analysis which challenged the Angus Read KIIS poll. The lower end is due to the lower then expected turn-out. When the count is finalised we will produce some swing charts comparing the first round with the final round and also with the 2004 Presidential election. so you can see where the vote changed.

Virtual Election map


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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Back to the future: Yanukovych set to win - Official Result start to trickle in.

 Exit Polls have already called the election not the official results are confirming what we all know.  Yanukovych to be Ukraine's next President.  Yanukovych is expected to exceed the 50% margin with a Comfortable lead.

Live results now posted on Virtual Election map


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Early Exit Polls are predicting 5% to 8% win to Yanukovych as expected.

Inter Tv is reporting Yanukovych winning by a margin of 5-8%  Which is the margin we have predicted all along.  Official data is expected to start coming in in the next hour.

Update:

Interfax-Ukraine exit poll: Yanukovych leads among voters in Kyiv, regional capitals
Today at 20:32 | Interfax-Ukraine  Kyivpost

Victor Yanukovych is leading among voters in regional capitals and the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol, according to an exit poll conducted by Interfax-Ukraine reporters on site at polling stations.

According to the poll, Yanukovych received 51% of votes, while Tymoshenko got 41% with 8% votes against both presidential candidates.

A total of 3,100 people took part in the poll in 23 regional capitals, and the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol.

National Exit Poll: Yanukovych has been elected the next Ukraine’s president

Today at 19:56 | Staff reports Kyiv Post
 
National Exit Poll 2010 found that 48.7 percent of voters chose Yanukovych, the Party of Regions leader.

Incumbent prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko finished close with 45.5 percent of the vote, according to the exit poll. The Democratic Initiatives’ National Exit Poll is a single Western-funded poll and is considered to be the most independent of all.


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Judgement day - Let the poll begin

Ukraine goes to the polls today. Voting had commenced first in Australia and then Japan as it sweept the globe, the Russian continent and Asia.  Next comes Ukraine where the bulk of the votes will be cast followed by Poland, Turkey, Europe, England then Canada and the USA.

Polling opens 8:00AM and closes 6:00PM (Local time)

Exit polls giving an indication of the first results are expected to be released by 8:00PM


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Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Circus Parade Finale - Revolution II the other side - Ukraine's Blue Movie

It may be frustrating and at times boring but the Ukrainian 2010 Presidential parade never ceases to amaze. Ever since 2004 when Viktor Yushchenko was crowned head clown in a blaze of orange the world has look on and watched a state it its making.  More exciting the formation of galaxies or the explosion of a quasar star and the birth of a black hole.  Viktor Yushchenko who once held the support of 52% of the nation lost in the first round elimination parade and only managed to secure 5.45% support. A team of would be spoiler candidates stood against him making sure he would not be a final contender.

Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's Prime Minister and version of Evita "Don't die for me Ukrainiana"  versus Viktor Yanukovych,  back to the future "return of the dark horse villain".

Most Cossackwood watchers and critics  have already awarded the event to the "Dark horse" who has odds less then  three to one.  Even the attention seeking antics of Ukraine's own  version of Evita have not managed to sway the critics to support her plea for recognition.

By this time tomorrow (8:00PM) we will know who has won. Will there be a sequel to the Orange revolution II with its theme song Dances with Wolves or will it be Road kill and squashed orange juice at the dinner on the maidan with Cossack dances jumping for joy at the rebirth of Yul Brynner's career - Ukraine's version of the President and I mixed with  a touch of "Taras Bulba"

Already the supporters of the main performers are staking strategic positions to underpin their Viktory or protests along the cat walk.  The attack of the blue berries will not be outdone by the rotten oranges as the fruit cocktail recipes are brought to market.

The only winner in this parade of circus clown is the media who have never been denied an angle or a story to write about. The beginning of the end, the start of World War III, Armageddon and Babylon all rolled into one.

Sit back relax and watch the events unfold as the sporting night of the black sky dawns. We will be bringing you the all-Ukrainian judges judgement day,  virtual reality live results as they are unfolded and are published, translated and republished on our updated electronic tally board "voters map"



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Friday, February 05, 2010

Polish president condemns Yushchenko's Ukrainian nationalist leader’s heroization

Source: ForUA

Polish President Lech Kaczynski has said a decree by outgoing Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to declare Stepan Bandera, whom many see as a Nazi collaborator during WWII, a national hero, runs contrary to the historical truth


Bandera was a leader of the Ukrainian national movement in Western Ukraine and headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in 1941-1959. The Soviet authorities accused him of numerous acts of murder and terrorism and authorized his assassination by the KGB in Munich, Germany, on October 15, 1959.

“An estimate of activities of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army is categorically negative in Poland,” Kaczynski said in a statement.
He said the OUN and the UIA “carried out large-scale massacres” of the Polish people in eastern territories of the former Rech Pospolita, and “more than 100,000 Poles died just because they were Poles. “These killings raise unambiguous protest in Polish society,” he said.

“The Ukrainian president’s latest actions are aimed against the process of historical dialogue and reconciliation. Current political interests defeated the historical truth,” the president added.
Previously, Yushchenko awarded the Hero of Ukraine title to another leader of Ukrainian nationalists, Roman Shukhevych.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Party of Regions Statement: Yulia Tymoshenko is Lying about the Election Law

4.02.2010, 09:54


The hysterical statement by Tymoshenko on claiming that yesterday actions by Verkhovna Rada to amend the election laws to protect the right to vote are undemocratic and undermine the integrity of the elections is outright deceitful.

The legislation passed by the Verkhovna Rada yesterday was submitted on the 27th of January and was meant to fix a deficiency in the current election law regarding the organization and operations of the District Election Commissions (DECs) and Precinct Election Commissions (PECs). Under current law there is a 2/3 quorum requirement for the PECs and DECs to function, including opening the polls on election day and counting the ballots. In the Second Round of a Presidential election, each of the two candidates proposes 50% of the members of the DECs and PECs. This allows one of the parties to undermine the process by denying a quorum. The Second Round of the Presidential election is the only election where this is possible because in all other elections the composition of the committees is made up of representatives of all participating parties or candidates. No party in these other elections is in a position, by itself, to deny a quorum.

The current election law does not provide for situations where one party’s representatives do not appear at designated times to open the polls or count the ballots. In these situations, the PECs can be viewed to be technically prohibited from opening the polls or counting the ballots for lack of a quorum.

The legislation passed by the Verkhovna Rada on February 3 deals with this deficiency by creating a mechanism that will ensure a quorum and allow the people to vote and the ballots to be counted.

The only situation in which the new amendment comes into effect is where one party denies a quorum by withholding its representatives from the work of the PECs or DECS.

In fact this happened in several oblasts this week. In Odessa, Donetsk and Crimea, BYUT representatives were absent at DEC meetings called to organize the Sunday elections.

The intent and impact of this legislation is solely to protect democracy and the right of the people to be heard.

Tymoshenko understands this and is deliberately lying about the impact and intent of the legislation in order to deceive the people and the international community. Her baseless threats to disrupt the election are a cover for the fact that she knows she is going to lose decisively on Sunday and thus is trying to discredit the election process for the Second Round.

This is consistent with her behavior in the First Round when she promoted bogus exit polls, and claimed massive fraud where none existed.

She can avoid any impact of the new law by simply having her people show up at the DEC and PEC meetings and do their legally mandated jobs.

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Statement by Yulia Tymoshenko regarding changes to presidential election law

Dear compatriots!

Several hour ago an extraordinary events took place in the Verkhovna Rada. Three days to the elections, the presidential election law was amended, thus fully destroying the presidential elections – making them fraudulent, dishonest and uncontrollable.

This was done because Yanukovych doesn’t believe in his victory, and wants to achieve this result only through fraud.

Until these unacceptable changes were made, election commissions were formed on a parity principle – half of the commission representing Yanukovych, and the other half me. And this gave hope that the results would be monitored and controlled.

However, the amendments to the law, which were made in violation of all parliamentary rules, essentially destroyed parliamentarism and equal control over the elections. And now, according to this law, members of election commissions can be kicked out without a court ruling and the commissions can be comprised of members from only one candidate

I believe this threatens the elections and completely destroys democracy in the state. This destroys the choice the people must make in the presidential elections.

I will now take extraordinary measures. First of all, I will ask the President of Ukraine – if he feels that he is the guarantor of the Constitution, and that he is responsible for the continuation of democracy in our state - to veto this law immediately. If he does not veto it, then I will assume that the President is a party in all the ongoing processes to destroy honest elections.

I have invited the G-8 ambassadors to a meeting in several hours. Tomorrow I will invite all ambassadors here in Ukraine to inform them that once the law is signed, elections don’t exist, they have no meaning, because everything, every figure, will be falsified. Tomorrow I will also hold a press conference for representatives of foreign media.

I want the whole world to know who is destroying Ukraine’s young democracy. I want the whole world to know that the end has come to honest elections in Ukraine. I want the world, all organizations and democratically-minded individuals in our country to make their assessment.

I will fight for the previous version of the law to remain in force, and for elections to take place in Ukraine.

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Tymoshenko shows sign of hysteria over new law

Ukraine's outgoing President Viktor Yushchenko has signed the new law on the Presidential election and a hysterical struggle for power has played out with Tymoshenko trying to prevent the publication of the law by commanding the Government printing presses in a desperate pathetic attempt to prevent the promulgation of the law.

The basis for Tymoshenko's opposition on the new law is questionable as is her reaction.  The issue of concern over the quorum requirements only comes into effect if she and her party are planning on disrupting the election by not attending meetings and fulfilling their obligations. It only becomes an issue if Tymoshenko does not participate.  She is not being denied the right of representation. Tymoshenko's is being hysterical and is losing international respect at a fast rate of knots.  Party of Regions and the Parliament is not at fault in supporting this change.

Tymoshenko's latest hysterics and call for a new Maidan is a cover up for her impending loss.  Her campaign has been negative and she has not made any headway over the last two weeks and her polling no doubts shows she is about to lose on Sunday.

The International community will not back her on this one.  Her best bet is to campaign for constitutional reform and the removal of presidential power.  She may have even lost that opportunity.

QUOTE:

"Jens-Hagen Eschenbaecher, a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's election monitoring body, pointed out that the amendments won't affect the outcome of the vote if both camps act in good faith, as they did in the first round of voting Feb. 17."


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Tymoshenko bursts into tears and refuses to participate in the final parade.

This latest gaff of Tymoshenko's has ruled her out of contention.  Three days before the final parade the clown will not go on. Instead of facing the audience she has walked off the set.  She can not make a comeback and may even have to give up her role in the other show.

There is no logic or justification for the primadonna stunt she has tried to pull other then the fact that she knows she can not win.

Even Yushchenko who was in a unwinnable position from  the start did not admit defeat before the first round ballot.
 
The Presidential circus parade  has cost over one billion dollars to stage.

Yanukovych was criticized for not participating in the the lead up parade and now Tymoshenko is refusing to go on and participate in the final parade.  She did the same thing in Ternopil when she pulled out of that race.

In the process she has betrayed not only those who supported her but Ukraine.  She will not be able to recover from this latest disaster. And any hope of a revival or principle stance has gone.  I doubt if she can even remain as Prime-minister for long.  All Ukraine can do now is hope that Yanukovych puts the interest of Ukraine ahead of his own.  With surrender come humiliation and defeat


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The Election is over: Tymoshenko admits defeat

Ukraine's incumbent Prime-minister and candidate for the president Yulia Tymoshenko has admitted defeat and declared the election is over.

Faced with knowing that she has lost the campaign she has embarked on another display of Yuilaism where she has sought to blame things that have nothing to do with her failure to win the election as the reason for her loss.

She failed to win confidence of the Ukrainian people,  her antics today will  only reduce her standing.

The amendments to the law on elections reduced the quota required to hold meetings of the regional election committees.  This is not a big deal and was deemed necessary to prevent misuse and abuse by political factions/candidate representatives walking out knowing that their candidate had lost the election.  A lower quorum does not prevent her or her team from attending meetings or fulfilling their duties.

Tymoshenko is using this latest change as an excuse to justify her loss as she has been making unsupported, false allegations of election fraud throughout the election.  Her allegations of fraud in then first round were unproven and she failed to make headway in the second round.

Even the hired Georgian paramilitary have packed their bags and headed back home, not needed.

With the events of today we will have to review our estimates of a 5% loss and increase Yanukovych margin to 8% to 10%  possible even higher after today.

Tymoshenko best bet would have been to campaign for Constitutional change and the removal of power from the president.  In hindsight she should have nominated Hryhoriy Nemyria as BYatT's candidate and Yulia remained as Prime minister.

The extent of her expected loss will make it that much harder for her to say on as Prime Minister. She may have lost much more then the election, an election that should not have been.



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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tymoshenko cries wolf over election law amendments

Tymoshenko runs the risk of embarrassing herself on the world stage, giving her opponent, Yanukovych, a free kick at an open goal

The Ukrainian parliament has amended the law of the Presidential elections by reducing the quorum for meeting of the Electoral Commissions regional broads from two-thirds to fifty percent.  The amendments were designed to limit concern that the various candidates would seek to delay and disrupt the consist of the election by breaking quorum. 

Tymoshenko was quick to falsely claim that the amendments would undermine the validity of the election.  They do not.  In fact the amendments that were approved  place a greater expectation on the candidates and political parties to fulfill their obligations by participating  in the deliberations of the electoral commission.

The amendments are not unreasonable and are in line with western democracies standards and expectations. 

Tymoshenko runs the serious risk of not being taken seriously by her constant objections and unsubstantiated claims of falsification.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Voting "against all" is not an option: Vote for one or the other and provide a clear mandate.

Ukraine must make a choice between the best of two evils.

Voting against all serves no purpose.  A vote against all would only exacerbate Ukraine's problems and cause further instability and hardship.

The whole concept of the presidential system is seriously flawed, the direct election of Ukraine's head of state only serves to divided Ukraine not unite it.  Ukraine would be better off if it abandoned the presidential system and adopted a full European parliamentary system of governance.  But this is not the case now, like it or not Ukraine's next president will be elected on Sunday.

Voting "against all" is an option that Ukraine can not afford

It is in Ukraine's best interest that the person elected has a clear mandate.  Ukrainians must vote for one or the other. Tymoshenko or Yanukovych.  To do otherwise is putting at risk Ukraine's future and stability as an independent nation.

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Ukraine's chief Rabbi ready to give up state order to protest against Bandera award

13:50 | Interfax-Ukraine

Ukraine's Jewish community is outraged by the decision to confer the title of Hero of Ukraine posthumously to nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, with Chief Rabbi Moshe Reuven Asman of Ukraine and Kyiv saying he would give up his Order of Merit in protest.

"The chief rabbi has asked our lawyers to find out how the order could be returned from a legal point of view," Asman's aide David Milman told Interfax on Feb. 2.

"This position is shared by the entire Jewish community. Everyone is outraged. [Outgoing President] Viktor Yuschenko could not venture this step as long as he was hoping to remain president," he said.

"This award is a call for war, as war was Bandera's credo," Milman said.

Yushchenko conferred the title of Hero of Ukraine, one of the country's highest honors, to Bandera on Jan. 22, which marks the Day of Unity. This title had earlier been conferred on Commander of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army Roman Shukhevych.

Asman was elected Ukraine's chief rabbi at a meeting of the Jewish communities on Sept. 11, 2005.

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Ukraine: A tinder box waiting to be ignited

Part of democracy is the ability of a state and political force to accept defeat as well as they accept winning.

Sunday's presidential election could end in civil unrest as the losing party refuses to accept the out come of the election.

There are reports of planned military style action designed to disrupt the final ballot in the making. Reports of para military agents imported from Georgia, Poland and  Lithuania by Ukraine's Prime-minister, the possible engagement of Tatars in Crimea and plans for mass protests and civil action to arrest power.

To add to the tension Ukraine incumbent president, Viktor Yushchenko, who was defeated in the first round of voting, is waiting in the sidelines and could be called on to declare a state of emergency if things appear to be getting out of hand.

If Sunday becomes Ukraine's Bloody Sunday Yushchenko may use this as an excuse to declare a State of Emergency and implement a planned presidential coup.  It is even feasible that Yushchenko and his forces may consider it in their interests to fuel the perception of civil unrest in order to prolong his term of office.

Should Yushchenko not be able to maintain law and order and ensure the transfer of power to whoever is declared the winner of the election then he should be replaced and a caretaker president appointed without delay.

The potential for civil unrest depends on just how close Sunday's ballot is and whether the losing party will feel cheated and has the ability to motivate a civil protest movement.  It is unlikely that the people of Ukraine will take to the streets as they did in 2004, but there is a real threat of an orchestrated military style provocation and takeover by various interested parties.

It has been suggested that the dismissal of Ukraine's Interior Minister was part of the planned provocation action.

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Sixth session: Parliament convenes regular session

The Ukrainian Parliament has convened its sixth regular session. It's commencement has triggered a number of events.

Missing but not forgotten


Constitutional reform - Removal of parliamentary immunity from Criminal prosecution.

The main issue that should be before the parliament is the proposed amendments for Ukraine's constitution that removes Parliamentary immunity for criminal liability.  Amendments to the Constitution were agreed to and forwarded to the Ukraine's Constitutional Court for review.

Under the terms of Ukraine's Constitution (Chapter XIII) the Parliament had to wait until the next regular session before it could finally pass the the proposed amendments.  With the commencement of a new session these amendments can not be passed.

Strangely enough there is no mention of the proposed amendments on the agenda papers and the constitutional Court has still not delivered its decision.  These amendments should have been before the parliament this week and adopted prior to Sundays final presidential ballot. 

The media have been silent and have not raised this issue. Why?

The forced dismissal of Ukraine's parliament not an option until October

With the holding of the Sixth regular Session then provision of Article 90 of Ukraine's Constitution can not be activated until October. The Parliament can only be dismissed if the 30 days following the failure of the parliament to convene it scheduled regular session.   Even if Party of Regions their mandate on mass and cancels their electoral list as did Tymoshenko back in in 2007, the parliament can not be dismissed until 30 days following the next regular Parliamentary session which is scheduled to start in September.

The only other option for early Parliamentary elections is if a motion of no confidence is passed in the government or the governing coalition is terminated according to the rules of the Parliament.

The next six months could prove to be another challenge to Ukraine's political stability and constitutional order.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Election Day forecast

Weather outlook for Kyiv Sunday February 7  

Day


Snow
High
1°C

Precip
70%
Last Updated Monday, Feb 1, 8:41 AM Local Time

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Yushchenko's undemocratic Constitutional reform

Based on analysis of the first round presidential vote held on January 17.

Yulia Tymoshenko was the highest polling candidate in 15 Oblasts/regions including Kyiv Metro region with 4.8 Million votes

Viktor Yanukovych was the highest polling candidate in 11 Oblasts/regions including Svestopol with a total of 6.8 million votes.

Oblasts and regions are not equal in size or the number of constituents. The smallest region has less then 500,000 voters and the largest over 3 million.
  
Under Yushchenko's proposed Senate Tymoshenko (not including the additional senator representing Ukrainians abroad and the ex-offico ex-presidents' seats for life) would have elected 45 Senators (3 senators per region) and Yanukovych who had 1.4 times Tymoshenko's vote would have elected only 33 Senators.

The remaining 12 million (over 50%) constituents would have been unrepresented.

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