Thursday, December 02, 2004

UPDATE: Kuchma offers plums to the Rada 

Just as I was posting the previous post, this article came in from AFP.
President Leonid Kuchma proposed holding quick new presidential elections and handing interim power to a parliament where the opposition has a strong voice as a way out of Ukraine's political crisis.

...Kuchma's plan would see a brand new election open to all candidates. This would give him a chance to find a more voter-friendly replacement for the politically damaged Yanukovich.
We know this deal to be unacceptable to Yushchenko. But if it splits the shaky Rada coalition he holds, he might not be able to control the outcome. The article contains another fascinating fact:

One of the election commission members who was named to the body by Yanukovich's winning camp told justices that about a million ballots may be fraudulent.

"The central electoral commission bears chief responsibility," admitted commission member Ruslan Kniazevic.

Kniazevic criticized the "complacency and inaction" of the central election commission in its management of the contested poll.

"In my view, a million votes were stuffed into the boxes" after the polls had closed, he said.

The results the CEC ratified last week which were later repudiated, had Yanukovych ahead by 817,000. Remember, again, that it doesn't look like the Court can rule Yushchenko the winner; all it can do is invalidate results. As I think about this, I wonder if Yushchenko's best option might be to only invalidate some of the results, say in Donetsk and Luhansk, followed by a storm of international observers to that region and a revote there. That would explain the filings by Yanukovych alleging fraud in other parts of Ukraine. But these motions seem to have been quashed. A revote in those two oblasts would work, as Yushchenko could scarcely do worse than the fraudulent returns from there.