News / Europe

Controversy Surrounds Planned Ukrainian Presidential Inauguration

TEXT SIZE - +

Eleven heads of state and other foreign dignitaries are expected to attend Thursday's inauguration of Viktor Yanukovych as the fourth president of independent Ukraine.  But his defeated opponent, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, refuses to recognize Mr. Yanukovych as the country's legitimate leader and continues to rally opposition to him in parliament.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko says invitations for the Yanukovych inauguration have been sent to more than 100 delegations.  He says 11 heads of state, four heads of influential international organizations, and at least 15 foreign ministers have confirmed their participation.    

Defeated presidential contender and current Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has denounced Mr. Yanukovych's victory as fraudulent, referring Monday to the president-elect as a pawn of oligarchs who will establish an anti-Ukrainian, anti-European dictatorship.  

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, she called for the current coalition in parliament to stand firm and expressed doubt Mr. Yanukovych's Regions Party has enough support for a vote of no confidence in her government.

Ms. Tymoshenko says she is convinced coalition leaders will under no circumstances betray their ideologies and convictions and will not enter into a coalition with the Regions Party.

The party's deputy head, Hanna Herman, told Ukraine's Channel Five television network that a motion will be filed in parliament next week to dismiss the Tymoshenko government.  Herman says a new government and prime minister will be appointed after the motion passes.

The Regions Party has issued a statement saying Ms. Tymoshenko's national television address Monday demonstrated she has not even the slightest understanding of democracy.  The party statement claims her persistent opposition to Mr. Yanukovych is undermining faith in the electoral process, international election monitors, and the courts.  

International election monitors denied Ms. Tymoshenko's claim of systemic vote fraud and election-night exit polls were consistent with results announced by the Central Election Commission that indicate Mr. Yanukovych won by nearly 900,000 votes.  She also withdrew a legal suit challenging the results, saying the court was prejudiced against her.  

Meanwhile, an announcement by Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church to conduct a prayer service in Kyiv as part of Mr. Yanukovych's inauguration has brought church politics into the ceremony.  

The Russian Church has millions of members in Ukraine, where official reference to Russia is dropped.  Instead, it is called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, though it differs from its Russian counterpart in name only.  Mr. Yanukovych is a member.  But millions in the rival Kyiv Patriarchate and also Ukraine's Greek Catholic Church do not recognize Kirill and regard his presence as meddling in Ukrainian internal affairs.

Independent political analyst Vitaliy Bala told VOA that Kirill's decision to bless Mr. Yanukovych's presidency is a highly sensitive issue in Ukraine.

Bala says this could be a strategic mistake on the part of the Church.  Tactically, he says it will try to gain a short-term advantage, but strategically, the move will is likely to mobilize Yanukovych opponents.  He notes Mr. Yanukovych won with a plurality of votes and was strongly opposed in regions associated with non-Russian churches.

Analysts say the president-elect's apparent choice of Brussels, not Moscow, as his first foreign destination as president may signal he wants closer relations with Europe and will not draw as close to Russia as many expect.

The first two presidents of independent Ukraine, Kravchuk and Kuchma, were both named Leonid.  Mr. Yanukovych will be the second Viktor, following Viktor Yushchenko, who lost his bid for re-election with less than six-percent support of the voters.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid