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Written by Diana Thebaud Nicholson // October 29, 2012 // Europe & EU // Comments Off on Ukraine
(BBC via Foreign Policy) Ukraine: Preliminary results from Ukraine’s parliamentary elections on Sunday suggest that President Viktor Yanukovych’s governing Party of Regions has emerged victorious with more than 36 percent of the vote, while the party of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has secured just over 21 percent. The Communist Party appears to have come in third, with a party led by a boxing champion and an ultra-nationalist party also making significant gains.
Ukraine ruling party claims victory in election
(AP) — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s party claimed victory Sunday in a parliamentary vote tainted by the jailing of the country’s top opposition leader.
Despite a strong showing of pro-Western opposition parties in the proportional portion of the vote, Yanukovych’s Party of Regions was likely to retain its parliamentary majority as its candidates were expected to take the lead in individual races across the country.
With former Premier Yulia Tymoshenko in jail and widespread fears of election fraud, the West is paying close attention to the vote in the strategic ex-Soviet state, which lies between Russia and the European Union, and serves as a key conduit for transit of Russian energy supplies to many EU countries. An election deemed undemocratic by international observers could freeze Kiev’s ties with the West and push Ukraine toward Moscow.
An exit poll conducted by three leading polling agencies showed the Party of Regions ahead with some 28.1 percent of the vote. Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party is poised to get about 25 percent of the proportional vote, while the Udar (Punch) led by world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko is set to get around 15 percent, according to the survey. The anti-government nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party and the Communists, Yanukovych’s traditional allies, both look set to get about 12 percent. And even though the three opposition parties have more proportional votes than the Regions and the Communists combined, Yanukovych candidates are likely to win enough individual races to form a majority in parliament.
Yulia Tymoshenko is Europe’s Aung San Suu Kyi
(The Guardian) Ukraine’s still-Stalinist judiciary was used to destroy the former prime minister. Now the United Nations will hear of her plight
Yulia Tymoshenko, heroine of the “orange revolution” and one of the few women ever to achieve prime ministerial office in the former Soviet republics, is not allowed to stand in Ukraine’s current national election. For the last 15 months she has been in prison, convicted for actions that would not amount to a crime in any other democracy. She is subjected to the grossest invasion of her privacy (almost every movement she makes is videoed) and constantly defamed by the president and his tame prosecutors. Europe seems to have abandoned her; but tomorrow, at the UN’s human rights committee, the UK can bring her situation to the world’s attention.
Ukraine plan to raise import tariffs on range of goods alarms US
Protectionist measures cause concern at World Trade Organisation over effect on global trading system
Trade diplomats in Geneva fear that the changes sought by Ukraine to products including cars, trucks, agricultural machinery, meat, flowers, fruit, vegetables, washing machines and syringes, will be seen as an attempt to renegotiate the terms of its membership of the World Trade Organisation, with knock-on effects in other countries.
The Ukrainian government is losing two PR battles
(The Economist) the government still seems to think it can convince the West that it is justified in jailing Ms Tymoshenko. “We have been losing the PR battle over Euro 2012 and over Yulia Tymoshenko too,” Inna Bohoslovska, a ruling party MP who chaired a parliamentary investigation into the 2009 gas deal, told me. “But just as with Euro 2012 the media were wrong, so we will show that they have been wrong about this too.”