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Ukraine pushes on with elections

  • May 24th, 2014
  • Posted by EU Australia

Ukraine This Sunday’s vote for the Presidency of Ukraine is a bid to settle and stabilise the violent confrontations of the last six months.

There’ll be no voting in Crimea, annexed by Russia in March, and it’s been jeopardised by the continuing conflict in the Donbass region in the country’s east; officials persisting with trying to issue ballots, armed gangs on the “Russian” side destroying ballot boxes.

tymoshenkoPre-election manoeuvring in the bulk of the country that remains, has the marks of joint efforts to block off any movement to elect the former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko (picture).

A leader in the “Orange Revolution” of 2004-5, she was gaoled for nearly two years in October 2011, after the return to power of the Soviet-era President,   Viktor Yanukovych; the trial for abuse of power seen as politically staged.

Released during the insurrection this year that defeated Yanukovych, she has become most outspokenly for moving to join the European Union, and in time NATO; also most critical of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Enter the lads to take over the situation and maybe get a settlement, with the regional Great Power next door, maybe with the West, and with the home public.

Petro P 2Petro Poroshenko (picture), businessman associate of Presidents, including Yanukovych in his time, has come forward as a candidate against her, and emerged in the opinion polls as clear front runner.

Ukraine chocolatesThe Poroshenko billions reputedly come from a confectionary empire; he has a television chain also.

Chocolates Ukraine 2He is offering autonomous government to regions of the country, within a united Ukraine; a move for reassurance if not power sharing with the ethnic Russian groups in the East.

Leading figures of other main parties, Yuriy Lutsenko, a former Minister, and the one-time champion boxer, Vitaliy Klitschko, both endorsed him – Klitschko going for Mayor of Kiev.

Putin has told a business gathering in Moscow he’ll accept the outcome of the vote in Ukraine, though generally seen as still under pressure from Russian nationalist quarters to intervene there. American military officials checking on his armed forces in the border area close to Ukraine, say they remain “large”.

A plebiscite organised by the “pro-Russian” forces occupying much of the Donbass area, on 11.5.14, which proposed autonomy or secession, was dismissed by the Ukraine government, the European Union and the United States as unlawful. If the result failed to secure a new Donbass republic, it served as a demonstration of support for the separatist idea, amassing a big number of “yes” votes, very few “no” voters taking part.

Reference

AFP, Paris,Petro Poroshenko: The chocolate king poised to lead Ukraine, 24.5.14. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/petro-poroshenko-the-chocolate-king-poised-to-lead-ukraine/articleshow/35557693.cms, (24.5.14).

BBC, London, Ukraine elections: Runners and risks, 22.5.14. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27518989, (24.5.14).

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