Elction Updates: Ukraine
Yeterday, parliamentary elctions were held in Ukraine. 62% of the votes have been counted, and the three major parties finished as follows.
Party of Regions (led by Vicktor Yanukovych) - 29.49% of the vote
The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc - 22.54%
Our Ukraine (Led by President Viktor Yuschenko) - 15.63%
Seven other parties split the remainder of the votes.
Obviously, I am rather disturbed by the stong finish by Yanukovych's party (If you don't remember Yanukovych, he was the guy who tried to fix the presidential elections and got overthrown by the Orange Revolution). In my opinion, any return to Ukraine's dictatorial past is a VERY bad thing. However, it is important to remember that the only reason the Party of Regions came out on top is that the supporters of the Orange Revolution have split into two factions (Our Ukrain and the Tymosheko Bloc). I am extremely heartened by the fact that the Yulia Tymosheko Bloc crushed "Our Ukraine" to solidify it's position (at least in the minds of many Ukrainian voters) as the TRUE party of the Orange Revolution. I respect President Yuschenko for leading the revolution, but he has been rather wishy-washy as President. He has started cooperating with the Party of Regions, and he shattered the Orange colation by dumping Tymoshenko as Prime Minister and replacing her with a member of his own "Our Ukraine" Party. On the other hand, Tymoshenko is the true voice for democracy in Ukraine, and she has rightly refused to cooperate with Viktor Yanukovych.
(Note: This election has no effect on Yushchenko's presidency, Ukraine has seeperate elections for that job. However, the leader of the majority coalition in this parliament will take the number two job of Prime Minister, which comes with a substantial amount of power over the country's domestic policy)