Thursday, December 02, 2004

Kuchma is in Moscow today, meeting with Putin at Vnukovo-2, a government airport. He said he didn't know a single country in which repeat vote (peregolosovaniye) was a legal norm.

Hopefully, he's aware that systematic vote-rigging isn't a legal norm, either.
According to the AP, "Ruslan Knyazevich — a member of the Central Election Commission who refused to sign the official results — told the [Supreme Court] that after the polls closed on Nov. 21, 'one million more votes were thrown in.' He also noted election data from the east came in later than from other regions, after what he suggested was an order to 'increase the numbers.'"

Putin was slightly more ambiguous on the revote issue: "
A revote could be conducted a third, a fourth, 25th time, until one side gets the results it needs." If you think about it, both a repeat of the runoff (favored by Yushchenko) and a new, second, election (favored by Kuchma and Yanukovych) could be considered a "revote." Thus, Putin might have meant either side, Yushchenko or Yanukovych - which is kind of diplomatic. I'm guessing here, of course, but so is the AP's Mara D. Bellaby, in her evaluation of Kuchma's motives:

Kuchma has called for an entirely new election to be held, which would allow new candidates to enter. Kuchma, who has ruled Ukraine for more a decade, may be looking to put forward a more charismatic candidate to succeed him instead of Yanukovych. The opposition rejects an entirely new election.

I'm not sure at all that Kuchma is preoccupied with such relative notions as his successor's charisma right now. He's a lot more pragmatic than this, even though he lacks any charisma, just like his current choice, Yanukovych.

(On a slightly different note, Kuchma's spokeswoman said today that the parliament's motion to sack Yanukovych and his government is "stupidity.")


  1. Neeka - I saw a news report from Canadian CBC TV that PORA is splitting from Yushchenko.. Is thie true? Prof. Nigrin, New Jersey USA

  2. What is seriously wrong with this biased selection of editorials in the Guardian?,15569,1364195,00.html