EU-Ukraine relations

Everything has happened even worse than expected.

“The 28 October parliamentary elections were characterized by the lack of a level playing field, caused primarily by the abuse of administrative resources, lack of transparency of campaign and party financing, and lack of balanced media coverage. Certain aspects of the pre-election period constituted a step backwards compared with recent national elections”, – stated International observation mission in its preliminary conclusions, published next day after voting.

But it turned out that voting day was not the end for bad news from Ukraine. Brutal tricks and falsifications began on number of single constituencies, where opposition candidates were winning. Police, bandits, members of election committies, courts – all together they were involved to provide victory for “right” candidates. Democracy finally lost in these elections.

Such sad development had shown also failure of EU politics regarding president Yanukovych, who carries main responsibility for the undemocratic elections with his Party of regions. The EU has issued many statements and warnings calling for free and fair elections – but it did not have any effect. Europe should recognize that its influence to Ukrainian leadership is close to zero and is not sufficientcan to prevent Ukraine from slipping down to authoritarianism. A new approach is clearly needed.

Good news is that Party of regions although seems like formal winner, actually also lost elections accordingly to preliminary calculations. On the proportional system it has 30% of the votes while three opposition parties together – “Bat’kivshchyna” of Yulia Tymoshenko, “Udar” of Vitaliy Klychko and “Svoboda” – got about 53%. In a quantitative sense Yanukovych ‘s party received this time 2 mln votes less than at last parliamentary elections on 2007. At that most of their seats “regions” are getting from single constituencies, with help of administrative resourses and different tricks and fraud. But even in such conditions ruling party is far from obtaining majority in new parliament without involving communists or so called independent MPs. So wereas democracy actually lost on these elections the story is not over.

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