Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Victor gets victory, US State Department Warns Kiev Administration

Power Wins in Ukraine
Pro-Moscow Prime Minister Victor Yanukovic is the official victor in the Ukrainian presidential election, which was held on Sunday, November 21.

According to the Central Election Committee, Yanukovic received 49.42 percent of the total vote while his western oriented challenger, Victor Yushenko, received 46.7 percent.

Yushenko led the race after the first round of voting was reported. He called for civil disobedience among his supporters to protest what many thought were fraudulent voting results. The administrative councils in Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, and in Kiev, announced their rejection of the election result and vowed to support Yushenko.

Ukraine security units said that they will respond to any proven illegitimacy while the interior Ministry asked the protestors to conduct a responsible demonstration.

The presidential race in Ukraine, considered the most important in Eastern Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union, evolved into a Russia-West power struggle. Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed his support for Yanukovic by visiting him hours before the election, and placing a call of congratulations after his victory became official.

The USA reacts...

US State Department Warns Kiev Administration
The US State Department has warned the Kiev administration not to use force against demonstrators in Ukraine as Ukraine's election results cannot be made official until claims of violations are resolved.

German Foreign Affairs Minister Joschka Fisher said: "The Ukrainian public's political expectations should be reflected in the election results. We would like Ukraine to examine its election process, count the votes with the help of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and make the required changes."

British Foreign Affairs Minister Jack Straw said, "I am very concerned. It is very difficult to say that this election has been free and just."

France has also expressed its anxiety on this issue and the European Parliament noted that "the election more closely resembles elections in North Korea than in Europe."

Peter Balkenende, European Union (EU) Term President and Prime Minister of The Netherlands, also said in a phone call to the Ukrainian Parliamentary spokesperson that the Ukrainian election does not reflect what the public wants.

Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma responded by saying that the West has negatively affected stability in Ukraine.
Foreign News Services



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