Viktor Yanukovych does not plan on going out with dignity in the Ukrainian presidential elections. Not only will he not concede, he asserted that the apparent President-elect Viktor Yushschenko should take care to avoid the entire eastern half of his own country:
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich refused to concede a historic rerun presidential vote Monday, and vowed to ask the supreme court to throw out official results which showed his rival Viktor Yushchenko won by a formidable margin.
“I will never acknowledge such a defeat because the constitution and human rights were violated,” he said in televised remarks. “We have lost nothing.”
“We intend to get the supreme court to review the outcome of the election and to cancel the results,” he said.
International observers — 12,500 of them, more than double the last run-off — agreed that the elections were not perfect. However, the head of OCSE, which provided Western observers, noted that the new run-off came “substantially closer” to accepted free-election norms than the last one. Combined with a healthy 8-point margin of victory with all but 0.24% of all precincts reporting, and minus Yanukovych’s previous support from Leonid Kuchma and Vladimir Putin, Yanukovych appears headed for the scrapheap of Ukrainian history.
That hasn’t kept Yanukovych from making wild remarks and attempting to stir up trouble. He blamed eight deaths of elderly Ukrainians on Yushchenko and the election reforms that briefly blocked “home voting” (absentee balloting), disparaging any celebration of the election by the Orange Revolutionaries. He also threatened his own street demonstrations and appeared to threaten Yushchenko:
Asked by AFP if he intended to call his own supporters into the streets to protest the outcome of Sunday’s vote, Yanukovich said: “I am not asking anything of anyone.” But he added: “But I can’t rule out that groups of people could come on their own” into the streets of Kiev.
Yanukovich said people in some Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine where his support is strongest felt they had been cheated in the election and would feel “unhappy, to put it mildly” if Yushchenko were to travel there.
If that’s Yanukovych’s idea of democracy, it explains the armed thuggery conducted on his behalf in the last runoff election.