So, after a long election campaign, the vote takes place. Exit polls say that one candidate has a clear lead, but when the votes begin to be counted it seems that his rival is leading by a small margin. Election officials keep counting, with results not expected for a day or so, while candidates begin to warm up their lawyers and supporters for action.
And this time, it’s in Ukraine. As I write this, current Prime Minister Yanukovych leads opposition leader Yuschenko by less than 1% after exit polls showed leads to Yuschenko of between two and nineteen percent. This follows, of course, lots of allegations of irregularities in the first round of voting. Counting is currently on hold until this afternoon.
Update: Counting is now almost complete, and official returns show that Yanukovych is the winner by around 50% to 47%. However, the OSCE says the vote fell far short of European democratic norms and pro-Yuschenko protests have begun with reports of 50,000 people in Kiev’s Independence Square.