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December 28, 2004
Yushchenko Wants A Blockade While Yanukovych Xeroxes Voters

Viktor Yushchenko has called on his populist movement to blockade a cabinet meeting called by a defiant Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, refusing to accept defeat in Ukraine's presidential run-off. Meanwhile, the protests that Yanukovych presented to the election commission look suspiciously alike, according to officials:

Viktor Yushchenko, fresh from his victory in Ukraine's disputed presidential race, called on his supporters Tuesday to blockade the Cabinet of Ministers building to prevent his opponent from holding a government session.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, the Kremlin favorite who has come under increasing pressure to concede defeat to Yushchenko, returned to work Tuesday after taking a vacation to campaign ahead of last Sunday's vote.

Ukrainian prime ministers do not leave office until replaced by the President. So far, Leonid Kuchma has not released Yanukovych from his duties and shows no particular rush to do so. That allows Yanukovych to conduct government business despite his loss at the polls. Yanukovych could conceivably continue to run Kuchma's government until Yushchenko gets sworn in and fires him.

Of course, Yanukovych hopes that his challenges to the runoff will result in either a reversed decision or at least another runoff. He has yet to file an official challenge, but Yanukovych has pointed to a number of complaints that the CEC has received to justify his objections. However, election officials have had to contend with a strong sense of deja vu when reviewing them:

Yanukovych's team has yet to file an appeal, and the Central Election Commission's Davydovych said that many of the complaints they had received, purportedly from individual voters, were "printed on the same computer, with the same text, the same envelopes."

"This is on the conscience of those who do that," Davydovych said.

Yanukovych obviously lacks the subtlety to get away with voter fraud. He would have better spent his time in Seattle rather than Kyiv.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 28, 2004 9:18 PM

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