Monday, February 08, 2010

No more surprises in the second round, I suppose.

98.70% of the vote counted.

Yanukovych - 48.64% (12,229,505 votes)
Yulia - 45.77% (11,509,152 votes)

Yanukovych's margin of victory so far: 2.87%

Against all: 4.38%

Voter turnout: 69.15%

Those "against all" votes and the no-shows look really tasty, and it's tempting to focus on imagining how they could've been Yulia's votes, etc., but that sort of thinking is such a waste of time. Yulia should've tried harder in the past five years - tried harder in many different ways - and then she would've beaten Yanukovych easily. She would've been running against a completely different candidate even, and Yanukovych would've been history - if only she had tried harder and had been more consistent.

I re-read my last night's post and felt sick because of all the silly figures of speech we are all so fond of using. An abyss, typhus, whatever. Tiger Yulia, damn it.

But, here's one more: we live in a ghetto, and if Yanukovych becomes president, the ghetto will grow a bit more overpopulated than it is now. Our everyday lives will resemble the Feb. 5 Yanukovych concert a bit more. Many things will not change at all: it will remain as scary as it is now, for example, to find oneself sick and in a hospital.

It could've been different.


  1. Well, maybe at least now the people who voted for Yanukovich can start to hate him.

  2. I am deeply disappointed in Ukrainians. This is a tragedy. In fact it makes me sick. So what now?

  3. On the face of it I'd say batton down the hatches and prepare for 5 years of PoR attempting to muzzle the media and the return of a whole cartel of slippery toads to government - however I infact think there is a strong argument to make that things will ultimately be 'ok' in the long-term for Ukraine. The most important thing is the preservation of democracy - as Yushchenko said himself during his campaign ads, with democracy intact anything is still possible. If PoR crush this (and I think they inevitably will try) everything is lost for a good few decades.

    However...BYuT and OU-PSD do still control a majority in parliament - only whole factions can vote for the approval of governments, it isn't possible for individual MP's to withdraw or offer their support to make up the numbers. If Yanukovych can manage to get PoR, CPU and Lytvyn's Bloc together then he's still short by 4 votes of a majority. The only way out is to either try and form a grand coalition with BYuT (which will at least mean he can't get his paws on the interior ministry) or OU-PSD (which would be a far weaker partner and would probably be marginilised). I'd be highly suprised if either scenario would happen as it would be like turkey's voting for Christmas at the next election for either 'Orange' party. The most sensible thing that can happen would be for the parties to hold tight, hope they can keep Lytvyn on side and attempt to govern 'in spite' of Yanukovych. We all know that PoR isn't ultimately going to bring anything positive to the table, if OU-PSD and BYuT can roll their sleeves up and finally start working for Ukraine for once then a) improvements will start to be made and these parties will gain support at the expense of PoR b) any attempt by Yanukovych to veto the government's activites (and he would, you should not underestimate the pig-headed nature of the man) will go down exactly as it has for Yushchenko. Voters will view him as an obstacle to progress and his, and PoR's, support will slide. The chances of a snap election are slim in my view, given that OU-PSD and Lytvyn would potentially get wiped out at the ballot box and would likely oppose any such move. However dissolution may be the only ace Yanu holds in his pack - it's high risk though, given that Yatsenyuk would almost certainly make it into parliament and will never work with PoR, and Tigipko would also cross the barrier (again though, by getting involved in the grubby infighting of current Ukrainian politics he'd be writing his own death-warrant and tarring his name. I'd expect any such bloc to play that 'constructive' opposition role, voting bill by bill and portraying itself as a reasonable, moderate and untainted voice for the 2015 elections). This could give Yanu even worse numbers to work with in the Rada and leave him check-mate now without the dissolution option available. The emergence of Tigipko incidentally is beneficial in this present day situation. Before he came on to the scene nobody was within realistic touching distance of Yulia or Viktor, and the talk of a Grand Coaltion between the two parties touted last summer would have been all the more possible given that both sets of voters would have been left ideologically betrayed but without any alternative to support. Now with Tigipko in the wings, both sides have to be careful not to give him the opportunity to mop up disaffected PoR and BYuT voters. Ultimately I think it is this man that will win the 2015 ballot - he will be seen as the only realistic agent for change and a break with the same team that have been hovering and rotating since 2001. Above all though, people fought hard for their votes in 2004 - the only blessing of Yushchenko's obsession with early elections has been that Ukraine has now held 4 democratic ballots. It won't be easy to bribe people into mass rigging again. Democracy is now too engrained to be totally rolled back.