KYIV, Ukraine—One week after the Ukraine presidential runoff election, failed candidate Yulia Tymoshenko, is still refusing to accept defeat.
According to unconfirmed results announced by Ukraine’s Central Election Commission (CEC), Viktor Yanukovych won the Feb. 7 vote against his rival, Prime Minister Tymoshenko by margin of 3 percentage points.
However, the CEC has yet to make the results official. Legally, they have 10 days to do so—the announcement is expected on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Since Yanukovych’s apparent victory on Feb. 7, his supporters have been in the streets first to celebrate, and now gathered at the square in front of the CEC office demanding their candidate be declared president.
Day-by-day, some protesters come and others leave, the bulk of the crowd is made up of retirees and young people. Yanukovych’s team is trying hard to keep up the atmosphere of victory on the cold streets swept by strong winds and snow.
The leaders of the U.S., France, Russia, and the head of the European Parliament have already congratulated Yanukovych on his success.
After nearly a week of silence, Tymoshenko is appealing to the people, accusing her opponent of serious voting violations.
”And today I can firmly say that the elections in Ukraine were rigged. And this is not a political declaration but a clear legal assessment of the advocates,” she said in a statement on Feb 13.
Tymoshenko argues that the possible extent of the fraud is more than 1 million votes. The head of government says she has witnesses with video evidence from among the international observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. She says they are ready to support her in court.
At the same time, she assured the nation that there would not be a public confrontation on the streets as there was back in 2004. In 2004, Yanukovych appeared to win the presidency but the election was nullified due to charges of fraud, which led to the Orange Revolution and Yanukovych eventual loss in a runoff vote.
Tymoshenko’s party member, Alexander Turchynov, said on a political program on "Inter" TV on Feb. 12 that they had filed 1,200 complaints in court.
Representatives of Tymoshenko’s party are requesting a review of the results from the Crimea and Lugansk regions where Yanukovych enjoys the most support.
Preparing for the next Parliament
While Tymoshenko has been silent, the Yanukovych-lead opposition has been busy conducting unofficial talks the new parliamentary coalition in order to quickly build their majority and elect a new head of government.
Parliament on Feb. 11 legalized its rules of operation. For more than a year, the house has worked under a set of rules declared illegal and inconsistent with the fundamental law by the constitutional court.
The adopted rules clearly spell out the number of votes needed to form a coalition.
Meanwhile, all week, the press was debating whether it would be the same coalition as the last session or a new one with different versions being floated around.
Whatever the end result, political scientist Yuriy Yakymenko from the Razumkov Center believes that Yanukovych and Tymoshenko must end their path of confrontation and sit down to negotiate the future.
"To continue the political struggle in conditions of an imperfect constitution means leading the country along the path of permanent political crisis. This option is the less desirable, because we have already lost five years on that," writes Yakymenko in his column.