After such a busy week in Ukraine, it seems to have become almost quiet over the last day or so, but that’s mainly because the focus of the action has moved away from the streets (though the protestors – from both sides – remain, and show no sign of leaving) to the Supreme Court and, today, the Parliament as well, which will be debating (and if Saturday’s vote is anything to go on, approving) a vote of no confidence in Yanukovich as Prime Minister.
There are various explanations for Kuchma’s offer of new elections last night. For instance, one could think that it means he feels the Court is about to rule in such a way as to make Yuschenko President and he sees it at as the least worst option, another is that it’s for him to be seen being magnanimous and can then claim that the opposition refused his ‘generous offer’ when clamping down on the protests or there’s also the idea that he’s done it to make sure he’s got another six months in office. There is already speculation that a new election might feature a different government candidate than Yanukovich – Neeka has a translation of an article talking about Tyhipko in this regard.
Another Parliament is set to discuss Ukraine – alongside the biometric passports issue Tobias discusses below, the European Parliament will be discussing the issue at its session tomorrow. Maidan has details of a rally to take place outside during the session.
Elsewhere in the media, Salon has an interview (subscription or ad viewing required) with the editor of Ukrayinskya Pravda and David Aaronovitch continues the Guardian civil war with an expose of John Laughland and the British Helsinki Human Rights Group. Update: See Doug’s comment below for an interesting analysis of the BHHRG’s position.
And on the blogs, there are lots of new posts on Foreign Notes, Le Sabot has a picture of a result sheet from the election which seemingly shows vote-rigging, as well as other updates there are more photos from Neeka – and send some good thoughts her way as her camera now seems to be broken – and Crroked Timber’s Henry Farrell has a post on the OSCE’s role in spreading democracy.