Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Well, it looks like Yushchenko is the winner of Ukraine's revote - and by a rather impressive margin (51 to 44). Barring the increasingly unlikely prospect of a last-minute power play by the current administration there, this election marks a real victory for Ukraine's opposition. This seems to be the outcome that most in America have been hoping for - myself included. And while I'm pretty happy about the defeat of Yanukovich - and with it Kuchma's sordid legacy of intimidation and illiberal rule - I can't help but be a little nervous about the fact that I know next to nothing about Yushchenko's actual policy positions. He's "western-oriented" (as the ire of Ukraine's Russophilic eastern provinces attests), but that in itself is not proof of the commitment to democracy that Ukraine needs from its leaders right now. I should stress that I'm still pretty optimistic about the new opportunities Ukraine has earned for itself via the recent elections; I'd just feel more confident if I had any sense at all about the new president's likely policies.


At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Nick, I'm not so sure Yanukovich will eschew a last-minute power play. At the least, he's a stubborn prick and he's going to try and exhaust all of his legal options so that Yushchenko can't officially be declared winner yet. Also, our fine friends at the Kremlin appear to be saying 'nyet' to the election results. An encouraging development was the successful blockade by Yushchenko supporters of the cabinet meeting that Yanukovich was supposed to attend. It'll be interesting to see how this all turns out, though I think our superhero in orange will prevail. Let's hope he's as good as he's made out to be, because it's not a sure bet. Lest we forget, he too came out of the Kuchma establishment...

-- Abhi (Jay)


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