Can Tymoshenko secure a deal with Sergei Tigipko
to go on and win the final election? Whilst in theory it is possible the odds are against Tymoshenko who remains the underdog with Viktor Yanukovych retaining poll position.
Problems facing Tymoshenko
1.Tigipko does not have a natural constituency, he is not able toinfluence voters choice as to who is their preferred candidate in the secondround ballot. they voted for him personally not his party/organisation.
2. Most if not all voters have already decided who they will support.The second round is a wast of time and limited resources. Ukraineshould have adopted a single round preferential ballot system, had they done so theresults of the election would be known by now.
3. Review of Tigipoko’s support distribution indicates that his voteswere located in the South East and Kviv metro regions. His votes camepredominately from Party of Regions, The Socialist Party and theCommunist Party (See the various Swing charts comparing the 2004Presidential and 2007 Parliamentary elections) Most of these voteswill return to Yanukovych as a second choice candidate.
4. Tigipko is playing the field and has a bet each way
5. Tymoshenko needs two out of every three votes allocated to minorcandidates in the first round in order to make up the 10% short fall.This is a big ask. It is not impossible but it is very difficult.
6. All the various public opinion polls had Yulia Tymoshenko remaining10% behind Yanukovych in a run-off ballot. Tymoshenko did pick up anadditional 5% points that were not recorded in the opinion polls. Butto make up a further 10% shortfall will be even more difficult.
All analysis shows that Tymoshenko will fall 5% points behind Yanukovych.
The main reason is that an additional 5% are expected to either not vote or will vote “Against all” in the final ballot.
7. Yushchenko, Yatsenyuk and Hrytsenko are advocating an “Against all“option. Whilst most will not follow their advice, the fact remains thatan Against all vote will favor Yanukovych. Under Ukrainian law the highest polling candidate wins. An against all vote will not count.
Tymoshenko has a very tough battle ahead with less then 10 days remaining before the final poll.
Even if she can manage to pull off a victory it will be a very tightmargin. Anything less then 0.5% will be subject to a challenge. At best Ukrainewill remain bitterly divided.
To add to it all there is talk of forces out there, Georgian, that are hell bent on disrupting the final ballot.This action will only play into the hands of Viktor Yushchenko who isthe only one that would benefit from such action. Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, can not afford to see Ukraine take an independent stand that would weaken his position back at home. If Ukraine falls. Georgia will be next to tumble. Various commentators have accused Georgia of plans to disrupt the ballot in Ukraine thus keeping Yushchenko in office should he have an excuse to call a state of emergency “Plan B”
With all that is at stake one and the one billion dollar cost of thepresidential campaign one has to seriously question the merit of adirect election of head of state.
Ukraine would have been better off if its head of state was elected bya two-thirds constitutional majority of Ukraine’s parliament. At leastthe person elected would have represented a substantial majority ofUkraine whilst maintaining stability and democratic values. Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Moldova, Greece, Switzerland Czech Republic and India all elect there head of state by a vote of their respective parliament. Canada, Australia and New Zealand’s head of state is appointed by the Queen of England on the recommendation of their prime-minister.
Ukraine would also be better off it it abandon the Presidential system in favor of a democratic European Parliamentary model of governance.