Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tymoshenko Drops Challenge, But Political Drama Continues In Ukraine

On Saturday, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko dropped her legal challenge over the results of the country’s presidential election, which she lost by about 3.5% to former President Viktor Yanukovych two Sundays ago. In dropping her lawsuit though, Tymoshenko made it clear that her actions weren’t because she suddenly accepted the results of the vote – which international observers declared free and fair – but rather because she said she thought she could not get an honest hearing in Ukraine’s courts on her charges of massive voter fraud during the February 7 elections. But in doing so Tymoshenko has shown that this ongoing drama isn’t about what’s best for Ukrainian democracy, but rather it’s all about what’s best for Yulia.

Few poll watchers in Ukraine expected Tymoshenko’s challenge to succeed; in addition to the blessing the election received from monitors from Europe’s OSCE, world leaders have lined up to congratulate Yanukovych on his victory – a stark contrast from 2004 when international pressure over what appeared to be a rigged vote forced then-President Yanukovych into a runoff with his challenger (and eventual winner) Viktor Yushchenko. But in withdrawing her challenge, Tymoshenko decided to cast doubts on not only the legitimacy of President Yanukovych but on Ukraine’s legal system as well saying that she couldn’t get a fair hearing since the court was packed with “Yanukovych supporters”.

Of course nothing is keeping Tymoshenko from just presenting her evidence directly to the public, either via the press or the Internet; that she hasn’t suggests that the OSCE monitors were right about the quality of the election in the first place. It also indicates that Prime Minister Tymoshenko is still pushing the idea of blanket opposition in lieu of an actual political platform. The main reason that voters rejected her presidential candidacy is that they were fed up with the infighting between her and President Yushchenko that marked the five years following the Orange Revolution. While the two of them fought, Ukraine’s economy shrank, their currency nearly collapsed and corruption across the country increased. Now Tymoshenko is showing that she plans to continue to be the Opposer in Chief as President Yanukovych takes office.

Yanukovych though is taking his own steps to prevent this. He has called for her resignation as Prime Minister, which Yulia has of course refused. Yanukovych is now trying to put together a coalition government that will include members of his former rival Yushchenko’s party but will exclude the Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, thus freezing her out of the government and stripping her of the prime minister’s post in the process. If Yanukovych fails in his bid to put together his coalition, he is indicating he’ll call for early parliamentary elections, hoping that will give him the majority he needs to push Tymoshenko out.

*Ukraine 2010 electoral map from Wikipedia. Regions won by Yanukovych are blue, those won by Tymoshenko, yellow.
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1 comment:

College Research Papers said...

A great article indeed and a very detailed, realistic and superb analysis of the current and
past scenarios.