Friday, December 03, 2004

Ukraine gets a second chance at Democracy

Good news. In Kiev, the Supreme Court declared the results of the disputed presidential runoff election invalid and that the runoff should be repeated on December 26, just what Yushchencko wanted. Look for every Western country and the UN to send observers to make sure there is no funny business this time.

Ukraine up until now had had the best democratic government, in terms of free elections, in the former USSR. I am pleased that they will continue down the old road and not on the Putin/Bush/DeLay ends justify the means route.

This was a victory also for Yushchenko, the so-called Ukrainian Al Gore in this election (only that his proof of a stolen election was much more complete than Gore's), who didn't want a new election altogether. His yellow-wearing supporters contended that Yushchenko had won the run off [got over 50%] despite the results touting a plurality win for him. Current president Kuchma and his party have been so embarrassed they have been trying to drop their candidate Yanukovych like a rock, despite Putin congratulated Yanukovych on his victory three times.

In news more related to the US but still Ukrainian themed the Wall Street Journal reported, "the Ukrainian Parliament, which earlier this week passed a no-confidence vote in Mr. Kuchma's government, raised its pressure on him, calling in a nonbinding vote for a withdrawal of the nation's 1,600 peacekeepers from Iraq, where they make up the fourth-largest contingent."

"'Due to the sharp deterioration of the situation in Iraq, the Parliament addresses the president with the proposal on withdrawal of [Ukrainian] troops from Iraq,' the resolution said. The chamber voted 257-0 in support of the proposal. Forty deputies who were present did not take part in the vote."

"Most Ukrainians want the troops brought home, and the deployment has been a rare topic of agreement between the two rivals vying for the presidency. Both Mr. Yushchenko and Mr. Yanukovych support a pullout."

So who's number 3? Poland or Australia? How is this a coalition? I still chuckle with sadness when the Pentagon or the press say "coalition forces." I still can't believe 53 million Americans think Bush has the best handle on fixing the mess he created by choice. "It's your bed, lay in it."

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