Monday, 1 November 2010
Exit polls for the local elections suggest that the President’s party has retained its lead, with 36.2% backing Yanukovych’s group. That compares favourably to 35.32% recorded by the Party of the Regions in the first round of the presidential vote. Yanukovych eventually won that contest in a run off, securing 48.95% to Yulia Tymoshenko’s 45.47%.
Back in January and February, there was unanimous consensus among international observers that the right result had been reached. The OSCE found the poll ’free and fair’.
Representatives from the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly have already concurred with the Prime Minister’s verdict that no major violations were registered this time either.
Still, a flawless poll didn’t stop protests from Tymoshenko in February and it's little surprise that the likely losers’ are pre-empting the outcome by striking up their allegations good and early. No doubt, as the official results are announced, there will be a growing chorus, irrespective of observers' verdicts.
The likely end product remains an endorsement of President Yanukovych’s policies and further proof that Ukraine‘s independence need not be underpinned by a divisive form of ethno-nationalism.