Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ukrainian Democratic Indecision

With more than 90% of the votes counted in the Ukrainian election this Sunday, we can now be fairly certain on the result.

As expected, the Party of Regions come out on top with 31% of the vote, heavily dominating the Eastern parts of the country.

But Yulia Tymoshenko did somewhat better than expected with her 23%, and the Our Ukraine party of President Yushenko did somewhat worse than 15%.

One thing remains very important: Ukraine performed a free and fair election according to the standards of Europe. With Belarus being little more than a joke in terms of democracy, and with Russia moving in the wrong direction, this remains of strategic importance.

But the question is of course what sort of government will eventually to emerge out of this.

One can be absolutely certain that Yulia Tumoshenko is dead determined to come back as Prime Minister, particularly since the powers of that position has now been considerably enhanced.

And one can be equally certain that numerous others will do their utmost to try to stop this. Her populist and revenge-oriented policies when she was Prime Minister did obvious damage to the economic development of the country, and there are few signs that she has changed her colours.

Her card is of course to say that the old Orange coalition together with 38% is significantly stronger than Regions, and should accordingly claim the post of Prime Minister. And then it should obviously go to her.

Maneuvering is certain to go on for a considerable amount of time. And the 6% of the Socialists and 4% of the Communists are also parts of the equation.

But whichever the outcome, it is a victory for continued democracy in Ukrainel.