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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Ukraine: The Plot Thickens

Posted by Tim Tagaris

At this point, most of us know about the "flawed" election that took place in the Ukraine several weeks ago.  Since then, supporters of Viktor Yushchenko (the one who got screwed) have filled the streets of Kiev for 16 days straight while blockading government buildings.  Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych (the screwee), is officially on vacation.  Ukraine's Supreme Court invalidated the results and called for a recount on December 26th.  All caught up?  Good.

The Plot Thickens - Yushchenko Was Poisoned:

It has been long suspected that somewhere along the election trail, a Yanukovych supporter actually poisoned Yushchenko.  This would account for his transformation from handsome politico to something out of a Stan Lee comic book.  Don't believe me?  Here is the picture (click to enlarge - at your own risk)


Score one for the tin-foil-hatters.  Doctors at a clinic in Austria confirmed today that Yushchenko was poisoned.  This was not the result of bad sushi, as Yanukovych supporters claimed.  Or, to be blunt...

Asked if the aim had been to kill him, Dr Korpan said: Yes, of course.

The confirmation came with an assist from American and British specialists who think it was most likely a very rare poison that did the damage.  Doctors believe they are days away from identifying the specific substance used in the attempted hit.

If At First You Don't Succeed - Strip The Power Of The Presidency:

Faced with a popular insurrection and potential fall-out from "assassination gate," it would appear Yushchenko is in good shape to win the re-vote on December 26th.  In response, outgoing President, Leonid Kuchma, is calling for constitutional changes that would shift the balance of power from the President to the Parliament.

"[The draft law] stipulates that the Rada will get practically all powers of the president. If it's approved, the presidential elections will lose all meaning," Yuliya Tymoshenko, a top Yushchenko ally, told the Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta Tuesday. "This would betray millions of people who are struggling for Yushchenko's victory."

Ironically, there are quite a few Yushcenko supporters who are in favor of the measure.  In large part, this election is a struggle between those who prefer ties to the West vs. those who favor a continued strong relationship with Russia.  Yushchenko's supporters, who prefer the European ties, think this will bring their country more in line with western style democracies.

Discussions are continuing in Ukraine on how to ensure the next set of elections are fair and free from tampering.

Posted at 02:50 AM in International | Technorati