The morning after 6:00AM
With Over 80% of protocols recorded Viktor Yanukovych on 48.68% has maintained his lead over Tymoshenko who has 45.67%. A closer then expected margin of 3%. The number of participants is estimated to be 65%. The Crimean vote (33.62% counted) is still to be included. All other regions have over 67% registered.
Its all over but for the declaration of the poll. Tymoshenko will maintain that that she had been cheated out of office. The reality is she did well to secure as many votes as she had given the extent of competition against her.
The outcome of the election will give cause for Yanukovych to think twice before pursuing a fresh parliamentary election. Yanukovych could not hold on to the 50% psychological victory. His win is not a triumph but as they say winners are grinner’s and he will be sworn into office. There will be no Maidan or Orange revolution II. Sure Yulia will scream and continue to try and undermine Yanukovych’s victory But she will not win any overwhelming support if she does.
The only loser is Yushchenko, His dwindling support base did not follow his lead or advice the against all vote (4.48%) showed little change.
The closer then expected result, and the fact that Ukraine remains divided as ever, is a clear indication that the presidential system has once again failed to unite Ukraine.
Over one billion dollars has been spent on this election and what has Ukraine got to show for it? Its future is just as cloudy as it was before. The only difference is that Yushchenko has been removed from office and his opponent in 2004 has won the election by a slender but decisive margin.
The challenge and test of character will be if Yanukovych can reach out and negotiate a successful transition and constitutional change that would see Ukraine put an end to the abuse of Presidential authority and embrace a European parliamentary system?
If there is to be another round of national elections it must only occur following the implementation of reform.
Virtual Election map