54 Days and counting

With less then eight weeks left before the next presidential election little has changed in terms of expected results.

Ukraine’s embattled President, Viktor Yushchenko, will launch his bid for a second termtoday, a bid that will surely fail.  Whilst the first set of officialopinion polls are yet to be published there is little change expectedin the overall outcome.

The two highest polling candidates remain Viktor Yanukovych and YuliaTymoshenko.  Yasteniuk comes in a distant third – 10 percentagepointed behind Yulia Tymoshenko with the rest of the flotilla laggingeven further behind. With little prospect of any significant changeoccurring in the next 8 weeks.

Yushchenko’s party Our Ukraine is floating four candidates in thiselection with each candidate competing against each other dividingtheir share of the overall vote.

With Yushchenko expected to lose outright in the first round his PartyOur Ukraine will soon after dissolve and split into two with onesection seeking sanction and support from Yulia Tymochenko and theremnants hoping to be taken under Yanukovych’s wing.  This in itselfwill cause some concern as to the constitutionality of a parliamentaryfaction that is no longer a united. Withy the demise of Our Ukrainewill come the consolidation of the two main factions.  A number ofcommentators expect that Our Ukraine supporters will transfer theresupport to Yulia Tymosehnko and give cause for a possible close finishin the final round.

The odds are still in Yanukovychs favor. But his support rating does not appear to be rising as fast as one would expect.

The period between now and December 21st will be crucial.  Candidateshave until December 21 to decide if they will see the election out. Ifthey pull out before then they have a chance of getting their deposit back, ifnot 16 will sure enough lose 2.5 Million hrivinias.

In a rather cynical and blatant statement Sergei Tigipkohas suggested that he might trade his support for a spot on theparliamentary front bench and he has pitched to both Yanukovych andTymoshenko his bid to become Prime Minister.  I guess it is similar tothe US primaries where the various players seek to secure a favorableposition in turn for delivering what could be a decisive and significantnumber of voters.
 
One commentator has suggested he might receive up to seven percent ofthe vote.  This assessment is a bit high and the seven percent wouldhave to come from somewhere.  One  poll had him level pegging Yushchenko on around 3.5%. Certainly not in a winning position. Tigipko’s support is unlikely to increase much beyondthat level. 

Those supporters who are disappointed at Yushchenko’s standing in thepolls have suggested that Ukraine might vote for the stooge candidate  Vasyl Protyvsikh. This is laughable as a vote for Portyvish will only entrench thepositions held by Tymoshenko and Yanukovych. A vote for Protyvish wouldbe a wasted vote, they would be better off not voting at all.

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