Monday, December 27, 2004

It'll take a while 

We have about 99% of the vote in now, and as I had guessed we're at 52-44 Yushchenko -- the tightening with from the late counts in eastern Ukraine have now come in. Here are the official results, while Hotline is suggesting a few extra precincts counted. There will be a period now in which Yanukovych's people will challenge the results. Ukrainian Supreme Court Justice Stepan Havrysh has suggested that the Central Election Committee not certify the results until these appeals are heard. The law is pretty strict in Ukraine on how long Yanukovych has to file, but we can be pretty certain the appeals were ready even before the voting started, given the flap over absentee ballots. Scott Clark has a story from Donetsk of voter poisoning -- an obvious slam of Yushchenko's own case.

On the Ukraine List, Dominique Arel points out that most of the gains for Yushchenko come from increases in votes and vote share in his strong areas; Yanukovych felt declines in his regions that were never more than 3%. Dominique worries that this is a sign of increasing polarization. I don't think any comparison of vote totals in the regions is valid, since falsifications of the ballots were so widespread. Yushchenko's people think fraud still occurred against him. Or it may very well be that this latest result mimics the previous results sans fraud. But we'll never know. Yushchenko's best course is to not bring out fraud allegations, defend where possible the results as they are, and get his election certified.

I'd expect little movement here for some days yet.