December 27, 2004


Scent of victory for Yushchenko as Ukraine shifts to the West: The 'Orange Revolution' is set to sweep the pro-Western presidential candidate to power (Jeremy Page, 12/27/04, Times of London)

UKRAINE’S opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko, claimed victory early today in a re-run of a presidential election that has polarised the nation and rekindled Cold War-style rivalry between Russia and the West.

Mr Yushchenko told his supporters that Ukraine was turning over a new political page, after partial results projected him winning an easy victory over his opponent, Viktor Yanukovych, the Prime Minister.

Exit polls had predicted a crushing defeat for Mr Yanukovych, the pro-Russian Prime Minister, whose victory in last month’s flawed election was overturned amid opposition protests dubbed the “Orange Revolution”.

“Today, Ukraine is beginning a new political life I am aware of the extent of responsibility and I will be worthy of your trust,” Mr Yushchenko said at his campaign headquarters.

With ballots from just over 40 per cent of precincts counted, Mr Yushchenko was leading by 56.7 per cent to 39.5 per cent, election officials said. After the polls closed, tens of thousands of opposition supporters descended on Independence Square in Kiev, where they protested for two weeks after the previous vote. With fireworks bursting overhead, they celebrated the almost certain victory of their candidate.

In contrast, the streets of Mr Yanukovych’s power base, Donetsk, were largely empty.

“We can now move faster towards Europe. Ukraine will have democracy not just on paper but in reality,” said Volodya Geroseomenko, 32, a railway worker wrapped in an orange pro-Yushchenko cloak and waving an orange flag.

History just keeps on Ending.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 27, 2004 8:14 AM
Comments for this post are closed.