Well it looks like Viktor Yushchenko has won the election for president of Ukraine (third time is a charm). It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the days and weeks to come. I’m not an expert in this area, so I’ll refer you to the blogs I’ve been following:
- Discoshaman at Le Sabot Post-Moderne has been to both the Yanukovych and Yushchenko Headquarters, has photos and lots of live reports.
- Dan McMinn at Orange Ukraine is on the scene with Discoshaman with reports, stories and observations about the election and opposition.
- TulipGirl has lots of information as well as a good collection of Ukraine News links.
“Now, today, the Ukrainian people have won. I congratulate you,” he [Yushchenko] told a jubilant crowd in Kyiv’s Independence Square, the center of massive protests following the Nov. 21 presidential runoff that was annulled after fraud allegations.
“We have been independent for 14 years but we were not free,” Yushchenko said. “Now we can say this is a thing of the past. Now we are facing an independent and free Ukraine.”
Both campaigns complained of violations during the Dec. 26 voting, and Yanukovych’s headquarters filed numerous complaints. Nestor Shufrych, a lawmaker and Yanukovych ally, told reporters the Yanukovych campaign would appeal.
But Mykola Melnyk, a member of the Central Election Commission, insisted: “This repeat vote was fair and honest, especially in comparison with the second round.”
Yushchenko was not taking chances. He called his supporters back out onto the square on Dec. 27 to defend the election victory, if necessary, and asked for their help in what he called the main task facing the nation: forming a trustworthy government.
Even before the exit poll results were announced, a glum-looking Yanukovych told reporters that “if there is a defeat, there will be a strong opposition.” But he did not concede and hinted he would challenge the results in the courts.
It looks like there may be a long road ahead. Let’s pray for Ukraine as they stand for their right to choose democratically which direction their nation will go.