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Ukraine Vote Aftermath

  • December 5th, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

ukraine-parliament.jpgIn the long aftermath of elections in Ukraine, the government has formally resigned (3.12.12), to be restored once the ruling party has sorted out its new ministry.

DOMINATING STANCE
yanukovych_v-ukraine-resize.jpgThe Party of the Regions, headed by the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych (picture), won at the polls with 34.4% of the vote, enabling it to continue domination of the parliament and country.

Identified with Soviet era habits of government, it draws its support more from “Russian”, eastern zones of Ukraine, less from the more “Western-minded”, western parts.

Viktor Yanukovych brought his party back from opposition in 2010, as the reformers of the 2004 “Orange revolution” succumbed to divisions amongst themselves, and the weight of an ailing economy.

tymoshenko1.jpgHe defeated the then Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, 48.95% to 45.47% in a final round of voting.

This week the Party of the Regions is talking of tax cuts to encourage business; free trade agreements with former Soviet republics and the European Tree Trade Association; expansion of liquid natural gas in the Odessa region, to get some independence with energy; and at the same time, negotiation of a new deal with Russia over the troubled question of transits of gas to the West.

OPPOSITION – WON’T JUST GO AWAY

Against  this spurt of activity, is the figure of Ms Tymoshenko, given seven years gaol in October last year; still locked away, but the leader of the main opposition political formation, called Fatherland, which got 30.7% of the popular vote this year.

It’s a reality with even a rough-and-ready model of democracy; that opposition will spring up; will set out to organise; will have to be tolerated, and then might get to take over.

As Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko had made an agreement with Russia on the purchase of natural gas and its transit through Ukraine to the European Union, ending a chain of paralysing stoppages.

The machinations involved in that deal became the subject of the charges laid against her, once she was driven into opposition.

She has called it the work of an “authoritarian regime”, sentiments echoed by government leaders and human rights organisations outside of the Ukraine, most notably in the EU and the United States.

Fatherland parliamentarians were objecting this week that pronouncements of the government have not been backed by action, with no properly costed budget or national accounts, or detailed plan for the new government.

A third major party emerged in the voting for this parliament, the UDAR, with a Christian Democratic orientation. Its program: attacks on official corruption, and a drive to get Ukraine into the European Union.

See also, EUAustralia Online: “Ukraine: Yulia Tymshenko-7 years gaol”, 12.10.11; “Change in Ukraine”, 10.2.10; “EU sour about gas crisis”, 26.1.09.

Reference

Government Portal of the Ukrainian government: Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Parliament), Kiev. http://www.kmu.gov.ua/control/en/publish/article%3Fart_id=72980&cat_id=32589, (5.12.12).

BBC, London, “ Ukraine election: President Yanukovych party claims win”, 29.10.12. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20113616, (5.12.12).

Pictures  wikipedia, acus.org

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