Friday, November 26, 2004


I just received an email that says Yushchenko has proposed annulment of the previous elections, new elections on 12 December, replacement of the old Central Election Committee with one with equal representation of both parties, and no absentee ballots. This seems to be what Le Sabot Post-Moderne is suggesting he's hearing as well (he says as well that television coverage of the candidates would be "equal" -- that's news to me). Yanukovych has until Monday to answer. This is a most interesting play. Since annulment of the previous election is probably the most he can get from the Supreme Court hearing Monday (as I noted earlier), Yushchenko's asked Yanukovych to give him that outcome before the hearing.

I'm told this is an ultimatum -- Yushchenko is saying that "active measures" would be taken if he doesn't get this.

I'm going to guess that this is probably what the European observers proposed in the meetings earlier today, and that Yushchenko's decided to put it on Yanukovych. If the streets indicate anything, it's that Yushchenko believes he holds the winning hand, and is going for a fully legitimated victory that would make it harder for the eastern provinces to secede.

UPDATE: (7:15p) Moscow News confirms:
...Yushchenko announced to the thousands of demonstrators rallying for the fifth day on Kiev�s Independence Square that the results have been declared invalid after the talks, and that a new round of elections would be held, monitored by the OSCE, the Russian Information Agency Novosti reported.

�The sides agreed that that the results of the second round that were announced earlier do not correspond to the will of the people and must be cancelled,� Novosti quoted Yushchenko as saying.

He added that his rival Yanukovich was against rushing to a third round of elections, calling instead to wait for a ruling from the Supreme Court.
And AFP has a quote from Yushchenko.
We will allow only a few days for the negotiation process. If (Prime Minister Viktor) Yanukovich wants to drag things out, we will take active measures," he told them.

"The prime minister is proposing things that will take Ukraine further away from the resolution of the political crisis," he told a crowd of tens of thousands in Kiev's Independence Square following the talks.

"We insist on the following: the main precondition for the talks is the holding of new elections for the president of Ukraine.
My gut says this is a squeeze play on Yanukovych. If Kuchma and Yanukovych are on the same page, I don't see how they take this deal; it's not a compromise over what they would get in court. If they are working at cross-purposes, however, Kuchma will want him to take it and push to delay the vote a few months, keeping himself in the job a while longer. If I had to bet, I think that's where we're going. Yushchenko needs the vote to happen ASAP while his momentum is strong.