Poll shows Yanukovych and Tymoshenko to face off in Presidential elections due next year

December 25, 2008

Recent public opinion poll confirms what has been known for some time that both Viktor Yanukovych (20.7%) and Yulia Tymoshenko (17.9%) are front runners and most likely candidates to face off in a final elections for Ukraine’s President

Both of the main contenders do not have 50% or more of the vote but they are the two highest polling candidates and as such they will be the only candidates left standing for the second run-off ballot.

All other election hopefuls lag far behind the two poll leaders and would not be in the race.

Incumbent President, Viktor Yushchenko, is polling less then 4% is not expected to be re-elected to office.

Elections for the President are due to be held by the end of next year.

Tymoshenko accuses Yushchenko of Presidential coup to prolong his term of office

December 24, 2008

Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s Prime Minister has expressed concern that Ukraine’s President, Victor Yushchenko is preparing plans to declare a State of emergency and install Martial law in order to prolong his term of Office. Effectually installing an authoritative dictatorship over Ukraine.

The concerns expressed by Yulia Tymoshenko reflect warnings given by other Ukrainian Politicians. Taras Chornovil earlier this year exposed a plot by the Office of the President along similar lines.

Tymoshenko noted that the Ukrainian Constitution envisages cancellation of all elections if the emergency rule is introduced in the country.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said she wants to stop the process and prevent Viktor Yushchenko from installing a dictatorship in what would be seen as an act of desperation to prolong his term of office as President. Presidential elections are due to he held by the end of December 2009.

Viktor Yushchenko had unsuccessfully tried to dismiss Ukraine’s Parliament in October 2008. Last week his own political faction rejected the President’s tactics and agreed to the reformation of Ukraine’s Governing Coalition forcing the President to abandon fresh parliamentary elections.

This latest round of reprisals, accusations in what has been dubbed the Battle of the Oranges, follows serious allegations against Ukraine’s President being involved in a plot to destabilise Ukraine’s economy designed to causing a major loss of confidence and devaluation of the Ukrainian currency (Hryvnia)

Only 6% of Ukrainians Trust Yushchenko

December 24, 2008

A recent opinion poll published in Kyiv Post shows that only 6 percent of those surveyed trusted Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yushchenko, who had the highest level of distrust (34.1%) of all politicians listed in the survey&nbsp

Name Trust  Distrust
Viktor Yushenko 6.0% 34.1%
Yulia Tymoshenko 21.2% 22.8%
Victor Yanukovych 22.2% 20.4%
Volodymyr Lytvyn 16.1% 5.5%
Arseniy Yatsenyuk 16.7% 5.1%
Viktor Baloha 0.2% 14.6%
Petro Symonenko 11.8% 14.2%

31.8 percent does not trust anyone, 6.2% found it difficult to respond, and 11.5 percent does not know who to trust. The poll was held on Dec. 7-20. A total of 2,000 respondents took part in the poll.

Ukraine’s opposition to force fresh elections in Spring 2009

December 23, 2008

The leader of the opposition in the Ukrainian parliament, Viktor Yanukovych, has indicated that the opposition will force a fresh election in Spring 2009.

Under the terms of Ukraine’s constitution the opposition have the right to force fresh elections of their choosing. In 2007 the opposition lead by Yulia Tymoshenko resigned on mass forcing fresh parliamentary elections to be held.

Viktor Yanukovych has also called for the position of the President to be elected at simultaneous polls.

“If we speak about the elections, both the parliamentary and presidential elections should be held simultaneously,” he said in an interview with the Inter TV channel on Sunday night.

Victor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s President, has refuted the notion of holding simultaneous elections.

Yushchenko speaking in an interview on Ukrainian Television “Inter TV” said that the presidential campaign begins actually in half a year and presidential and parliamentary elections should not be held simultaneously.

When ask if he would support simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections Ukraine’s President commented “Should we be talking of a system of two simultaneous elections today? Would it benefit the country? My personal answer to the question is negative”

Ukraine’s Prime Minister,Yulia Tymoshenko, has joined a growing chorus of Ukrainian political leaders calling on Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko to resign.

Presidential elections are scheduled to be held at the end of next year. The President is currently elected in a two round ballot system, Each round is estimated to cost approximately 100 Million US Dollars and a total cost of 200 Million dollars. Similar costs are involved for the conduct of Parliamentary elections.

Ukraine PM calls for President to quit in battle of the Oranges

December 22, 2008

Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s Prime Minister has called on Ukraine’s President, Viktor Yushchenko, to resign.

The latest salvo comes as Ukraine’s President, former head to the National Bank, faces allegations of involvement in a conspiracy to undermine the value of Ukraine’s currency.

The prime minister demanded the resignation of Mr Yushchenko, and named Dmytro Firtash, the billionaire and Gazprom partner in the supply of natural gas to Ukraine and Europe, as a co-conspirator in the alleged currency speculation.

“I believe the president of this country, who works according to the [principle] that whatever is worse for the country is better for me, who makes money out of the misery of people, must step down,” Tymoshenko said.

The latest attack escalates sharply a long-running political feud between Yulia Tymoshenko and Viktor Yushchenko at a time when the country‘s economy is struggling.

Ukraine’s currency is currently trading at a record low of 9 hryvnya to one US dollar placing considerable strain on Ukraine’s economy in the wake of the world financial crisis.

Earlier this year the President of Yushchenko accused Ukraine’s Prime minister of high treason following her refusal to involve Ukraine in the conflict between Russia and Georgia. The once partners and allies in the Orange revolution of 2004 have been at log a heads trading insults and verbal attacks as Ukraine approaches the new year.

Both candidates are expected to challenge each other at the presidential elections which are due to be held in December 2009.

Ukraine’s President backs down on threat of snap election

December 19, 2008

After months of indecision and political instability Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s embattled president, has back down on the threat of a snap poll. The announcement published in the Ukrainian media (UNIAN) comes after the decision of his party “Our Ukraine – Peoples Self-Defence (NUNS)” decided, against the president’s will, to reform a governing coalition with bloc Yulia Tymoshenko and bloc Lytvyn.

The president had called a snap election last October following the announced withdrawal of NUNS from the coalition in September.

The president has been under pressure to cancel the election which up until yesterday he was actively pursuing.

The reformation of a governing coalition and pressure from within the President’s faction has forced a change of view.

The announcement of the decision to cancel the election and move against the parliament is welcomed as Ukraine faces a serve financial crisis in the wake of the world economic recession. A fresh election and the political fall out would only exacerbate Ukraine’s already unstable situation.

Viktor Yushenko’s support ratings in public opinion polls has dropped to below 4% in recent months. Had fresh parliamentary elections been held this month the president’s party “Our Ukraine (Nasha Ukraina)” risked falling below the 3% representation threshold

Ukrainian hryvnia gains ground against the USD amidst speculation of insider trading

December 19, 2008

The Ukrainian currency (the hryvnia/grivna) has increased value against the US dollar. Yesterday the hryvnia dropped to a all time low of 10-10.5. Earlier today it was selling at 8.5-9.0 to the US dollar.

Less then six months ago the Ukrainan hryvnia was trading around 4.85 to the US dollar

After years of robust economic growth, Ukraine has sunk into a deep recession, pressured by a drastic fall in the exports of steel, the core of the economy. A lack of confidence in the banking system, coupled with constant political turmoil under President Viktor Yushchenko has spurred a sharp devaluation in the national currency

The collapse in the value of the local currency has prompted allegations of insider trading and speculative involvement by Ukraine’s National Bank and the Office of the president

Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, has indicated that she will call on international organizations to investigate into laundering illegally acquired money if the central bank of Ukraine does not stabilize the hryvnia’s value in the nearest future.

According to the Prime Minister, the hryvnia’s value tumbled due to “special speculative operations planned at the currency market of Ukraine and organized with assistance of the central bank and some other banks of Ukraine”

I can list a number of banks, but I’d like to focus on one of them”, she said

“There is a number of banks that were involved in the same operations. In fact, the bank that was just bought for 600 million dollars, received from the c.bank the financial resources at 7 billion 100 million hryvnias”, Yulia Tymoshenko said adding that “the bribes made up from 3% to 7% of the total amount of financing allocated by the central bank to a bank”.

Yulia Tymoshenko pointed out that Firtash [a Ukrainian tycoon] and the Presidential Secretariat are standing behind the Nadra bank today. For them to earn more money, “at present they need to tumble the hryvnia’s value vs dollar. And today a number of special banks, including Nadra bank, are holding nearly a billion dollars waiting for the moment when the hryvnia will fall to the lowest level that could be achieved in this situation. As soon as hryvnia falls to that level, these banks will throw currency at the market, and the hryvnia’s value will strengthen”.

The Prime Minister stated that she has all documents confirming the various financial transactions. She vowed to pass the documents for consideration of parliament and other superiority institutions for review