Kuchma Wants Elections

The French news agency AFP reports that outgoing Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has embraced the idea of re-running the last round of the elections in order to resolve the political crisis gripping Ukraine:

“If we really want to preserve peace and agreement, and really want to build a legitimate democratic society that we so often talk about… then let’s hold new elections,” the Interfax news agency quoted Kuchma as telling reporters on Monday.

If true, this represents a major victory for Viktor Yushchenko and the pro-Western opposition to Kuchma and his hand-picked successor, Viktor Yanukovych. Much depends on the conditions for a new election — whether the discredited Central Election Commission runs it again after the disastrous results from its last outing eight days ago. More international observers will be needed, and I suspect that more Western media will attend to the election anyway. Yuschenko and his Orange Movement appear to have gotten exactly what they want.
Don’t forget — King at SCSU Scholars continues to provide the best roundups and insight on the Ukrainian crisis this side of the Atlantic.