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January 7, 2005
Yanukovych -- The Ukrainian Barbara Boxer?

Ukrainians celebrated Orthodox Christmas today, hopeful that the Presidential Election That Wouldn't Die has finally been laid to rest. The Central Election Commission is now expected to officially declare the election for Viktor Yushchenko, giving Viktor Yanukovych one last appeal to the Supreme Court. However, that avenue looks rather bleak:

The ruling cleared the way for the central election commission to publish the final, official results of their historic December 26 rematch election and officially declare Western-leaning Yushchenko the winner -- a declaration that the pro-Moscow Yanukovich has vowed to challenge.

But the speed with which the court handed its ruling -- it deliberated for about an hour after a four-hour hearing -- has led to speculation that it may not even accept for consideration a second appeal from Yanukovich.

That means that Yushchenko could be inaugurated as the third president of an independent Ukraine as early as next week, with most expecting the ceremony to take place on January 14, which is New Year's Day according to the Julian calendar.

Yanukovych should have accepted reality by this time and set aside the vain appeals. However, according to the French wire service AFP, he has studied Democratic Party electoral tactics and decided that the appeals have helped his standing as an opposition candidate:

While admitting that his appeals are unlikely to be granted, Yanukovich has vowed to exhaust them all, in what many observers say is an attempt to boost his image as a Yushchenko adversary ahead of next year's crucial parliamentary elections.

Now we know exactly how the Americans affected Ukraine's electoral process. We gave them the Secret of Perpetual Minority Status -- the Sore Loser strategy. Hopefully, Ukrainians can contain the damage this corrosive approach takes on their new democratic processes. The Boxer Method certainly promises more problems here.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 7, 2005 7:26 AM

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