World » Former USSR
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Presidential election to split the Ukrainian society

The current situation in Ukraine is very reminiscent to the one that we witnessed in Georgia a year ago

The situation after the presidential election in Ukraine is developing according to a well-known scenario. The Ukrainian opposition with Viktor Yushchenko at the head is not going to acknowledge the results of the voting and is calling upon their followers to hold actions of protest with only one goal – to stand up for the choice and the will of the nation. According to Yushchenko, the choice and the will of the nation is about his own election for the position of the president of Ukraine.

Viktor Yushchenko stated several days prior to the election that neither his followers, nor himself were going to acknowledge the voting results, if one registered massive falsification of the election results. It was easy to presume that the opposition would bring up the issue of fraud if Yushchenko rival's victory was becoming obvious. Viktor Yushchenko's bloc rejects the fact of Viktor Yanokovich's victory at the election, no matter if he takes a 0.5% or a 10% advantage of Yushchenko.

Exit-polls results testified to Yushchenko's forthcoming victory: the opposition leader was winning with up to ten percent according to exit-polls data. Spokespeople for the opposition found a high turnout in certain regions of Ukraine rather suspicious: over 96 and 88 percent of voters came to the polls in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, where Yushchenko's rival, Viktor Yanukovich, enjoys the explicit support. It is noteworthy, that the opposition does not set out a concern in connection with the voting results in Western Ukraine, where the turnout of electors was extremely high as well.

On the base of the above-mentioned facts, Viktor Yushchenko and his team started talking about massive violations during the election process. As a result, the Ukrainian opposition stated that the voting results in two regions of Ukraine should be nullified. The opposition believes that Yanukovich has stolen the victory from them. According to ballot calculations of Yushchenko's headquarters, the majority of the electorate voted for him. Viktor Yanukovich was lacking ten percent.  Yanukovich's headquarters also conducted its own calculation, which explicitly revealed the leader's victory, with the advantage of only three percent, though. This information coincides with the one presented by the Ukrainian Central Electoral Committee.

There are not too many variants to forecast future events in Ukraine: either Yushchenko acknowledges Yanukovich's victory, or the opposition will act according to the scenario of the last year's election in Georgia, when Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze was overthrown. The second variant is more likely to occur, with massive actions of protests, meetings and demonstrations in front of the parliament, the Central Electoral Committee, etc.

On the other hand, one may not say, if actions of protest prove to be helpful for the opposition. In addition, it would not be correct to compare the political systems in the two post-Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia, although the current situation in Ukraine is very reminiscent to the one that we witnessed in Georgia a year ago. Eduard Shevardnadze had no one to back him up in 2003: during the years of his stay at power he lost the support of his citizens, businessmen and the majority of officials. Viktor Yanukovich can boast of having it all. One should not disregard the fact that about a half of Ukrainian electors support his candidacy. Viktor Yushchenko and his team will have to take a lot of efforts to take the office of the president. One can only guess how far they will dare to go, and if the split of the Ukrainian society becomes real.

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