News / Europe

Vote Energizes Ukraine's Opposition

Vote Energizes Ukraine's Oppositioni
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
October 31, 2012 1:22 AM
After Sunday’s elections in Ukraine, it seems clear that President Viktor Yanukovych will keep a narrow parliamentary majority. But he faces new parties and younger faces as the vote re-energized Ukraine’s pro-Western opposition. James Brooke reports from Kyiv.
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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid