While the official results of yesterday’s re-run Presidential election will likely not be announced for a couple of days, opposition candidate Viktor Yushshenko looks certain to win this time – if the country’s Central Election Commission has been doing a better job than in November. The BBC has calculated that he has “an unassailable lead” over his opponent. The numbers currently available on the election commission’s website do not indicate any self-evident fraudulent activities (thanks to Jonathan Edelstein for the link), and some of the 12,000 election observers were quick to assert that – while there may have been some fraud – this election was very likely sufficiently legal.
Despite their limited credibility among Janukovich supporters, the international observers’ verdict will carry an enormous weight with respect to a possible legal challenge of certain results already announced by Mr Yanukovich. It is unclear what his options are. Outgoing President Kutchma, a former ally, now hopes that Mr Yanukovich will concede the election after a reasonably short period of face saving legal efforts, the BBC reports.
If the orange celebrations on Kyiv’s independence square following Mr Yushshenko’s claim of victory last night are any indication, Kyiv’s center might well remain an orange bastion until Mr Yushshenko will have eventually been sworn in as President.
It might be cold, but Kyiv is likely the place to go for great new year’s festivities this year…