News / Europe

Vote Energizes Ukraine's Opposition

James Brooke
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012.President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012.
x
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012.
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012.
In his Soviet youth, Viktor Yanukovych was a street fighter. Now, he is 62 years old and Ukraine’s president.

Vitaly Klitschko is the World Boxing Council’s Heavyweight Champion. He is 41 and represents Ukraine’s new political generation.

In Sunday's parliamentary vote, Klitschko and his Udar, or Punch, party, led the opposition surge in Ukraine, the second-largest nation to emerge as a democracy from the Soviet Union.

With almost all votes counted, Ukraine’s three opposition parties drew slightly more votes than President Yanukovych’s two-party governing alliance. The president is to keep narrow control of parliament. But he faces new parties and younger faces as the vote recharged Ukraine’s pro-Western opposition.

A new generation

This younger generation is nipping at the president’s heels, said Volodymyr Gorbach, political analyst for the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation.

"Now there is a different situation,” Gorbach said. “The opposition is re-charged. There will be new people, a new opposition, and a new quality within the opposition.

Two years from now, in Ukraine’s presidential campaign, Gorbach predicts that Klitschko will try to bridge Ukraine’s post-Soviet divide between East and West.

Udar, he said, "...is more liberal, and the only party to receive equal support from across the country, which is a very good sign."

Ukrainian opposition deputies block the podium to protest against the imprisonment of former opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko during a parliament session in Kiev, April 25, 2012.Ukrainian opposition deputies block the podium to protest against the imprisonment of former opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko during a parliament session in Kiev, April 25, 2012.
x
Ukrainian opposition deputies block the podium to protest against the imprisonment of former opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko during a parliament session in Kiev, April 25, 2012.
Ukrainian opposition deputies block the podium to protest against the imprisonment of former opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko during a parliament session in Kiev, April 25, 2012.
One leader was missing Sunday. Yulia Tymoshenko, the president’s rival in Ukraine’s last presidential election, sits in jail. She is serving a seven-year jail sentence for abuse of office while prime minister.

Her daughter, Yevhenia, voted. She told reporters that her mother is on a hunger strike.

The Tymoshenko case

Ms. Tymoshenko’s jailing contributed to European observers giving Sunday’s election failing grades, said Walburga Hapsburg Douglas, head of the observer delegation for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“One should not have to go to a prison to hear from leading political figures in this country,” she said. “Considering the abuse of power and the excessive use of money in this election, democratic progress appears to have reversed in the Ukraine.”

With Washington backing Europe’s negative view of Ukraine’s election, analyst Gorbach said Mr.Yanukovych is back to square one.

"The government hoped that international observers would not notice that what it was going to do with falsifications,” he said. “They thought they could get good results and not get criticism. They wanted to appear nice and innocent so they could restart relations with Europe, again receive loans. The plan failed. Relations were bad then, and they are bad now."

Instead, Yanukovych now faces two new parties - and a younger generation - in Ukraine’s parliament.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs