News / Europe

    Controversy Surrounds Planned Ukrainian Presidential Inauguration

    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

    Leaving Scalia Replacement to 2017 Would Mean Unusually Long Vacancy

    History of high court shows Obama not in unique situation during final year of presidency

    US Fact Checkers Debunk Some Republican Candidate Claims 

    Slim evidence for several claims made by Republican presidential candidates at their last debate ahead of next Saturday's key nominating election in South Carolina

    Uganda Presidential Debate a Small Victory for Democracy

    In homes and bars across country, Ugandans were fixated on their screens as eight political candidates running for president took part in national debate

    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.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.