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December 1, 2004
Compromise In Ukraine?

The French press service AFP and Postmodern Clog both report that an agreement has been reached between the Ukrainian government of Leonid Kuchma and opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko to bring the standoff in Kyiv to an end:

Outgoing President Leonid Kuchma said the two rivals agreed with the help of foreign mediators to let the court pass judgment on the November 21 vote and then jointly figure out how to resolve independent Ukraine's worst political crisis.

But most agreed that another poll was inevitable and the European Union's troubleshooter Javier Solana said that a month would be needed to set a date for another election -- the third since November 30.

According to AFP, Kuchma finally acknowledged that the election suffered from massive fraud but doesn't quote him on that admission. The agreement supercedes the Rada vote dissolving the Yanukovych government and lays the groundwork for constitutional changes diluting the presidency in the future, strengthing the Prime Minister role instead. While the agreement purports to wait on the Ukrainian Supreme Court to rule on the election challenge, Javier Solana told AFP that everyone expects new elections in some form within the next 30 days.

However, Reuters disputes the reports of compromise:

Ukraine's feuding presidential candidates failed to find a clear way out of a standoff over a contested presidential election that has brought tens of thousands in the streets, but new elections looked likely.

However, Reuters includes most of the same points of agreement in their report that AFP's has, which sounds as though some compromise has been reached. AFP reports that Viktor Yushchenko will call for an end to the blockade of government buildings but not the street demonstrations, at least not until elections are set.

More to come ...

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 1, 2004 2:27 PM

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