World » Former USSR
Author`s name Ольга Савка

New presidential election inevitable in Ukraine

Viktor Yushchenko: “I want to emphasize one fact: the election has been falsified”

The political opposition in Ukraine has been obviously deadlocked. The Supreme Court of Ukraine is hearing another appeal from the opposition regarding the election fraud, although it is already clear that the decision of the court will satisfy only one of the two feuding parties in the dispute. It is not ruled out that the court's decision may not suit either Yushchenko, or Yanukovich's followers, which by no means be helpful to settle the poll crisis.

The idea of another voting in Ukraine is gaining more popularity in this respect. To be more precise, it does not go about just another voting, but the new presidential election, although the opposition has not agreed upon the suggestion yet.

Incumbent Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma supported the idea of holding the new presidential election in Ukraine. The suggestion, however, does not enjoy the absolute approval outside Ukraine. The European Union seems to show logic at this point: the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Bernard Bot stated on behalf of the EU on Saturday that a repeated election would be the best way out of the crisis for Ukraine.

Russia and the USA do not reject the suggestion either. However, neither Russia, nor the US their explicit support of it. It is worth mentioning that Washington and Moscow have been heavily criticized on many occasions for their interference into Ukrainian events. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that it was up for Ukrainian politicians to decide whether they should hold the new election or not. Richard Baucher, an official spokesman for the US State Department, said that the United States would approve the new voting, if it eventually takes place. Washington, Boucher added, did not think it was necessary to insist on such a variant, for the will and the choice of the Ukrainian nation was the first priority.

Even if the figures of the poll crisis acknowledge the need of the new election in Ukraine, it does not mean that the conflict will vanish immediately. The sides will have to set a date for the new election, for instance. The opposition would like it to happen as soon as possible: Yushchenko's followers are not exhausted yet. In addition, the election campaign has emptied the budget of the opposition. Viktor Yushchenko does not have enough money to conduct another long campaign.

The incumbent Ukrainian authorities would insist on holding the new voting in compliance with all traditional principles: registration of presidential candidates, a long pre-election campaign and the voting, finally. It would be possible to nominate another candidate in this case, instead of Viktor Yushchenko. The 44-year-old former chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine, Sergei Tigipko, could easily become such a person.

Nevertheless, Viktor Yanukovich does not seem to be a person, who could be pushed into the background and forgotten. If Sergei Tigipko participates in the new presidential election in Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko will definitely win the vote, experts believe.

If Sergei Tigipko were the new candidate instead of Viktor Yanukovich from the very beginning of the presidential election, the victory of the governmental candidate would be much more possible to happen. Yet, President Leonid Kuchma would never be happy with such events. The nomination of Viktor Yanukovich had only one goal – not to let any other candidate achieve a convincing victory. Leonid Kuchma would observe the election struggle and act as a referee, which is exactly what is happening now. Kuchma is quite an ambitious politician. To crown it all, he is supposed to support his own clan on the national political arena. If one of the candidates had become an undisputable winner, it would have been much harder to strive for any guarantees from the new president.

The question regarding the new presidential election in Ukraine is still open. According to the governmental candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, there are three ways to extricate from the crisis. Yanukovich stated that he was ready to participate in re-voting in certain Ukrainian regions and hold the new election without his own and Yushchenko's participation in it. Yanukovich is prepared to act so if the election fraud is proved. If no falsifications are found, Yanukovich suggests amending the Ukrainian Constitution. Viktor Yushchenko will have to take the position of the prime minister in this case, the candidate believes.

Viktor Yushchenko, the opposition leader, rejected those suggestions. “I want to emphasize one fact: the election has been falsified. As long as the problem remains, all other problems are untimely,” Yushchenko said.

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