Friday, December 03, 2004

Ukraine Supreme Court cancels second round: Revote 12/26 

I am just told that the Supreme Court has decided to cancel the second round vote and requires a revote in three weeks. The parliament is meeting to work out details, and Solana, Kwasniewski et al. are flying in for third round of negotiations and to enforce Weds. agreement. This from my student listening to Ukrainian broadcasts. I will try to confirm details within the hour.

UPDATE: Yup, here's the AP report.

UPDATE 2: The Bloomberg report is a little more detailed. What has to happen now is that the Rada must agree to the conditions of the re-vote. They probably have a little wiggle room on the date, but on the Orthodox calendar Ukraine follows if you don't get the 26th you have to wait another three weeks for another vote (Jan. 16). That's not going to be acceptable to Yushchenko's people I believe.

My student says the Supreme Court decision was worded strongly, with specific references to the Central Election Commission and to Kuchma to the effect of "we're keeping a close eye on you, don't screw this up again." Whether or not this meets my and Scott Clark's earlier hypothesis that Ukraine was having its Marbury v. Madison moment I will leave to legal scholars, and for a point where we have a translation of the decision.

MORE: Kyiv Post wire report shows some of the strong wording:

In its ruling, the court slammed Ukraine's CEC, citing massive lapses by the government in the run-up to the election and in the vote counting that followed.

Particular attention was paid in the ruling to the numerous documented cases of fraud brought by the opposition. Among them were the improper transportation and handling of ballots; improperly or inadequately compiled voters lists; abuse of administrative resources in favor of the government-backed candidate, and lack of equal media access for both candidates.

That seems to validate nearly every claim made by the Yushchenko legal team. UNIAN is slow right now, which is where I'm guessing I'll find the details I need. Better update now...