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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

100% Counted: Alien, 35.32%; Predator, 25.05%

“No matter who wins, we lose.”

Yanukovych, 35.32%
Tymoshenko, 25.05%
Tihipko, 13.16%
Yatsenyuk, 6.96%
Yushchenko, 5.45%
Symonenko, 3.55%
Lytvyn, 2.35%
Against all, 2.2%
Tyahnybok, 1.43%
Hrytsenko, 1.2%
Bohoslovska, 0.41%
Moroz, 0.38%
Kostenko, 0.22%
Suprun, 0.19%
Protyvsikh, 0.16%
Pabat, 0.14%
Ratushnyak, 0.12%
Brodsky, 0.06%
Ryabokon, 0.03%

The first round has become yet another triumph of style over substance and promise over practice.

The second round will be perceived as bipolar by many, but will hardly be any different.

Without transparent campaign finance, without a mature voting culture and without grassroots protests, free and fair elections go only so far.

To me, it will be Alien vs. Predator.

After voting Tymoshenko in ‘06, ‘07 and
08 — and watching her all the while — I don’t believe in a born-again Tymoshenko. Not anymore.



Sandy said... :)

Ropi said...

Well, I was playing with the numbers and it doesn't look too good for Tymoshenko. In Hungary even if a candidate supports an other one, it doesn't mean all of his/her votes will come to that candidate and that's why It is quite unsure whether anyone would benefit from it.

Anonymous said...

Without transparent campaign finance, without a mature voting culture and without grassroots protests, free and fair elections go only so far.

It's interesting that you say this, because many western commentators are picking up on this point. The problem is that they assume that because of Orange Revolution inroads, then free and fair elections matter even more this time.

But this election is pretty remarkable in comparison to other CIS countries. Tammy Lynch says, "What other former Soviet country would find the sitting PM and the sitting President finish second and fifth, respectively?"

Yanukovych is talking about a 10 year term in office. In Ukraine, this is not likely. In Russia, it would be certain.

elmer said...

Taras, a zebra - or a tiger - can't change its stripes.

Yanukovych is already promising to implement some of the "changes" or "reforms" espoused by other candidates.

In Ukraine, it's the same old people voting for the same old people - and nothing changes.

In Ukraine, people are not able to articulate and analyze what's wrong, beyond "something's wrong," or "I don't like it" or "the candidate has a children's charity fund, therefore he/she must be a good person," or "things are pretty bad," or "things need to be better."

As P.J. O'Rourke said - they have their feet firmly planted in the air.

Oh, sure, people know about the oligarchs, and their stranglehold on government and the economy - but do they really believe that they can do something about it?

And how to do something about it, besides the Orange Revolution?

People protect themselves through and with an underground economy - that's what people do in the absence of good government.

So here we have, yet again, 5 years after the Orange Revolution, Yanukovych, protector of oligarchs, profeSSor, convict, falsifier of presidential elections, as candidate in a run-off for president.

He just told Tymo to go "back to the kitchen" as a woman - how utterly disgusting. How utterly insulting to women. You can read it in the Kyiv Post and elsewhere.

And Tymonatrix, who defines away the oligarchs in her party, who advertises herself on a non-stop basis, who "eliminates corruption" but only when it's inconvenient for her, who, according to Yushchenko's last appearance on the Savik Shuster show, paid Lazarenko, a minister at that time, a $162 million bribe in connection with her gas business. Lazarenko ended up fleeing Ukraine and buying Eddie Murphy's mansion, with the 5 swimming pools, in California.

Or, as you say, Alien v Predator.

Complete with shady back room deals all over the place.

Is this the best Ukraine can do?

Ukraine still has a huge sovok hangover.

And probably one of the best articles analyzing that problem appeared today in the Kyiv Post. It's well worth reading.

Public administration in Ukraine needs to be de-sovietized. But that takes people in government who are willing and able to do that, instead of engaging in grabitization for themselves and their own set of oligarchs.

International Center for Policy Studies: How to desovietize public administration in Ukraine

Anonymous said...

For me it came to this: hoping for Tigipko as a "fresh face". Yeah, I've read about him too, but really, what was there? What is there? Is the language issue enough to support a crook? (I guess that question can be taken as pointing in two directions). OK, what about the economy? Which set of crooks gets to run that? The US had Washington, Jefferson and Adams. Must Ukraine have Capone, Dillinger and Jesse James?

Taras said...


ROFL!:) That’s exactly my point!


The conventional wisdom argues that Tymoshenko has more upward potential compared to Yanukovych. After all, most of those who voted Tihipko/Yatsenyuk/Yushchenko in ‘10 had also voted Tymoshenko in ’06/’07.

It’s not yet clear whether she’ll be able to reattach those voters to the extent that she needs.

Many of those who voted Tihipko and Yatsenyuk did so precisely because they’ve had enough of her.


Yep, many Western observers assume that free and fair elections mean just that. It’s like Fukuyama’s “end of history.”

Scratch the surface, and you’ll see how unfree and unfair those elections are, despite the absence of widespread fraud.

I agree that Ukraine leads the post-Soviet world in democratic elections — with the notable exception of the Baltics.


It’s hard to change stripes when there’s so much stake — so many oligarchs on both sides, so many Kremlin eggs in both baskets.

Ukraine needs to both desovietize and deoligarchize its government, a hybrid of bureaucratic paternalism and crony capitalism.

Btw, you misspelled Yanukovych’s academic title: it’s proFFessor, not profeSSor:)


Tihiko is no fresh face. He’s a forgotten face.

As far as I know, Tihipko advocates linguistic decentralization. He hasn’t specifically proposed Russian as a second official language nationwide, and neither has Yanukovych, in this campaign.

In this campaign, they prefer cryptic “all things to all people” statements.

Ukraine has had its fair share of Capones, Jesse Jameses and Dillingers.

Unfortunately, the only one to go to jail is Pavlo Lazarenko, who had the misfortune to leave Ukraine for the U.S. in 1999.

Anonymous said...

So Yanuk or Tym or against both?

elmer said...

Well, the list keeps growing on how to characterize the final round of this presidential election in Ukraine.

So far, Alien v Predator tops the list.

But there are also the following to characterize the election.

It's a choice between:

the plague and AIDS (Yulis Mostova from the newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli)

cholera and typhus

Scylla and Charybdis

I will be on the lookout for more.

Interestingly enough, on Yushchenko's last appearance on the Savik Shuster show, Yushchenko again hurled the comment at Tymo that Ukraine can forget about democracy if she becomes president.

One of the journalists remarked that democracy is too far along in Ukraine for Tymo to be able to wreck it, even if she does some damage to democracy in Ukraine.

To which Yushchenko retorted: that may be true, but I would not want the country to have to start all over again.

The Economist has a take on this election - both candidates are going to be subservient to the Kremlin.

The only difference between them is that Yanuk is a true believer in the Kremlin, his whole political career depended, and continues to depend on it.

Yulia is not a true believer, but she can be bought.

Grim - very grim.

Taras said...


I feel like voting against both, but I haven’t made up my mind yet.


“Cholera and typhus”... I like that one!

As of now, I agree with Dzerkalo Tyzhnya and The Economist. When it comes to Tymoshenko and Yanukovych, I believe the following to be true:

Yanukovych was the Kremlin’s exclusive partner in ‘04.

This time, the Kremlin diversified its portfolio to include Tymoshenko.

Tammy Lynch said...

But, Taras. Isn't a vote against all essentially an abdicated vote? You lose the right to comment or complain because you didn't choose. You opted out, which means - you're out. At least, that's how we look at it in the US.

It's a tough, not-great choice, but clearly these two candidates are not clones. One must be better in some respect. No democracy produces perfect candidates. In fact, many democracies produce bad candidates.

You just have to decide what your priorities are and how you want to use your vote. The "against all" votes really do bother me because they're the antithesis of responsible democratic choice (to me). In essence, you're turning over the responsibility for your country to everyone else. And yes, I don't live in Ukraine - so take this opinion for whatever it's worth (which may not be much).

Taras said...


If I vote against all, I come to the polls. I don't opt out.

In America, people like Tymoshenko and Yanukovych would be in jail for taxes alone. In Ukraine, they're on the ballot.

When I voted Tymoshenko, I thought the good girl in her would overcome the bad girl. I thought the good girl would beat the bad boys.

I was wrong. Not only did the good girl give in to the bad girl, but she also befriended many of the bad boys.

And now she’s asking everyone to look at it as Good Girl v. Bad Boy?

That’s too much to ask.