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Tymoshenko cries foul: What’s her case?

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Feb. 11, 2010, 11:11 p.m. | Ukraine — by John Marone

Ukraine’s Prime Minister and Presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko attends a ceremony, in Kyiv on Jan. 29 to honor several hundred students who died during a battle defending the Ukrainian capital from Bolsheviks. (AP)

Victor Yanukovych, the man accused of trying to steal Ukraine’s presidency in 2004, is now being roundly recognized as the country’s next president, following his slim victory over Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in the Feb. 7 runoff. By everyone except Tymoshenko, that is. Tymoshenko’s team has vowed to continue challenging the vote results, alleging large-scale election fraud and demanding a recount in some districts, in what analysts are interpreting as her attempt to set up a future moral advantage in the next electoral race.
Tymoshenko herself has remained silent in the days following the vote.

“How do you explain this silence?” asked political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko. “It’s not the ‘silence of the lambs,’ but more likely the lioness preparing to pounce, to defend its interests,” Fesenko said, describing Tymoshenko’s moves as “tactical” efforts to save face and preserve herself as the number one opposition leader.

According to the preliminary results published by the Central Electoral Commission, Yanukovych beat his old foe from Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution by only three and a half percentage points.

But Tymoshenko’s camp is questioning the validity of as many as 900,000 ballots – enough to make a difference in the final outcome.
“She really believes that Yanukovych’s team stole 900,000 votes, and most of the party is going along with this thinking out of solidarity,” said Vadym Karasyov, a political adviser to outgoing president Victor Yushchenko.

But, he added, there is little chance that the elections will be overturned. “At best, she will get a recount of some electoral districts,” Karasyov said.

The goal of this tactic, according to the analyst, is to leave voters with a memory of reasonable doubt as to who really won in 2010.

“When, or if [Yanukovych’s] Regions party takes power and starts breaking the law, people will ask us what we did to prevent this and we will have to answer them. This is our civil and political duty,” said Oleksandr Sochka, a lawmaker from Tymoshenko’s BYuT faction in parliament.
“Yanukovych did the same thing after 2004, by never acknowledging accusations that he took part in widespread fraud,” added Karasyov.
This year, however, the Donetsk strongman is demanding that Tymoshenko concede defeat. “The government does not plan to resign voluntarily,” came Tymoshenko’s reply, through First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksander Turchynov.

In the meantime, Tymoshenko’s camp has already filed a lawsuit with the Kyiv Court of Appeals regarding the validity of results from territorial commissions.

Another suit with the High Administrative Court will rule on the final decision of CEC, which is still forthcoming.

“This isn’t about numbers, but about legality. It doesn’t matter by how much we lost. The Ukrainian people have the right to know the truth,” said Sochka.

But as early as the day after the Feb. 7 vote, international observers were already endorsing the fairness of the election, in a 180 degree turn from their position in 2004. The implication was a tacit request for Tymoshenko to acknowledge defeat for sake of stability.

“Yesterday’s vote was an impressive display of democratic elections. For everyone in Ukraine, this election was a victory. It is now time for the country’s political leaders to listen to the people’s verdict and make sure that the transition of power is peaceful and constructive,” Joao Soares, president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and Special Co-ordinator of the OSCE short-term observers, said during a Feb. 8 press conference.

Soares was flanked at the conference by fellow election monitors from other prestigious Western organizations such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO, The European parliament and the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). NATO parliamentary assembly representative Assen Agov said the vote was “a perfect conduct of election. By accepting the results, Ukrainian politicians will complete this peaceful and orderly process.”

Oleksandr Chernenko, chairman of the Western-funded Committee of Ukrainian Voters, said violations were present and widespread during the runoff, but one side was as much at fault as the other.

Regarding claims by Tymoshenko’s camp that their candidate had lost almost one million votes due to fraud, he said, “I don’t see any evidence to support that claim.” Compared to 2004, violations were much fewer, but higher than during the 2006 and 2007 parliamentary elections.

Common violations cited by Tymoshenko’s camp included home voting and the busing of citizens to voting stations. Tymoshenko’s camp claims that a suspiciously high number of voters voted from home – more than 1 million – and that much of these individuals did not have proper permission to do so.

Chernenko said home voting was higher in the runoff than in the first round, by one or two percentage points, “which is well within the norm.” But Tymoshenko allies said violations in home voting, alone, could have put Yanukovych on top.

A more objective indicator of the fairness of the poll, according to Chernenko, is the turnout. For example, Chernenko said the turnout in Yanukovych’s home region of Donetsk was 96 percent in the second (infamously fraudulent) round of 2004, 84 percent in third (internationally accepted) round of 2004, but only 76 percent on Feb. 7.

“A common violation observed was the offering of money for votes, which was happening all over,” Chernenko added.

Kyiv Post staff writer John Marone can be reached at marone@kyivpost.com
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Feb. 11, 2010, 11:44 p.m.    

Tymoshenko is Correct in calling for a recount because the reults are less than 5% spread and thats with Yanuk cheating! So if he only cheated 1% then it won't make a difference but if he cheated 10% then it does make a difference and this time he should be arrested and NOT given amnesty the way Yuschenko did last time!

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Anonymous Feb. 11, 2010, 11:55 p.m.    

There is no way 3500 international observers would not have discovered 900,000 cheated votes. Also, a recount in Western Countries is normal if the percentage difference is 1% or even 0.5%. You as a member of the diaspora are simply misguided as usual.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 11:02 a.m.    

Both Yanukovych and Tymoshenko had observers at every poling stat=on. The observers are there only top observe the election process. They have rightly reported that the conduct of the election was fair and a true indication of the voters intentions.

Whats makes Tymoshenko's case even more weak is that public opinion polls and all Exit polls have also confirmed the election results. Where they all rigged? Including the National Exit poll funded by Canada and the USA. There is no evidence that indicates the election results are not correct. Tymoshenko's allegations are false. She has cried Wold too many times and has lost.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 1:49 a.m.    

Hello the exit polls showed reflected the same result. How can it be claimed that there was a 10% fraudulent votes when those voting were polled independently. And we are not just saying one exit pooll but all exit polls confirmed the same. yes exit polls do have there limitations but they are useful in determining if there was wide fraudulent activity, certainly anything to the magnitude of 5% would have shown up.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 9:54 a.m.    

And how much did she cheat? Do not tell me that during the brief period of time her thugs commandeered the Ballot Printing Press, they did not walk away with enough ballots to stuff few thousands of boxes?

She who is screaming fraud, knows exactly how it is being done.

Thiefs always talk of honesty, and ladies of the night of honor.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 12:13 a.m.    

You are being too simplistic and judgemental.

Ukrainian elections have been demonstrated to be anything but &quot;normal&quot;, judging from past events.

There are too many variables for potential fraud and a recount should be automatically undertaken as proper assurance.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 12:04 a.m.    

Kyiv Post, and especially John Marone, need to get over the fact that Yulia Tymoshenko lost the election by almost a million votes. You can only take this agititation so far.

Now the reports are that the regional Tymoshenko thugs Andrey Senchenko (Crimea) and Natalia Korolevkska (Luhansk) are threatening their own local election commissioners to make up stories of PoR election fraud, or they won't get paid.

With Volodymyr Fesenko, quoted once again here, we know the deal. He works for Tymoshenko campaign headquarters.

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 8:28 p.m.    

Kyiv Post? Why? Are they to be censored? They can't report on what she is saying? They can't present two-sides? You must want a return of Communism where people can't say any differing opinions.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 12:13 a.m.    

She has no substantial case and anything she will argue against Yanu she will have to defend the same allegations against herself. The interantional community know this, the independent observers know this and so do the players in BYuT. This is about her agitating in order to strengthen her position for immunity - and thats all that this is about. Once the deal is done she will go to opposition

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 12:27 a.m.    

Take her to jail NOW

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 4:16 p.m.    

Hang her by the balls...

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 8:26 p.m.    

Better take the criminal Yanu as well.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 1:45 a.m.    

Tymoshenko whilst making allegation of wholesale fraud has failed substantiate her claims. She has also failed to quantify exactly where and how such fraud has occurred. Those who voted at home are citizens of Ukraine and as such are entitled to cast a vote. How many of them voted for her? If as she claims they are not entitled to a vote then she needs to address that issue but to deny a person a right to vote because they were unable to attend a polling place for what ever reason can not be justified. Busing in supporters to the polling stations is also not an offense. In the USA there are teams of people doing just that and it is called getting the vote out.

Assuming Tymoshenko can rule out 900,000 votes does that justify a win for her with less then a 20,000 vote majority? In a recount not all disputed votes move from pile A to pile B. Miscounts happen in all directions.

A 3.5% (880,000 votes) margin is virtually impossible to breach. Analysis of the voting patterns for each district/polling place since 2004 will give an indication if there has been any unusual voting patterns.

It has been noted that in Ternopil that Yanukovych vote actually went backwards between the first round and the second round, this is something that had not been explained and is most unusual given that there is less candidates running in the second round vote an din every other circumstances a candidate in a final round increases the vote. What happened in Ternopil?

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Anonymous Feb. 13, 2010, 4:18 p.m.    

Valid points all here.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 2:29 a.m.    

What are you trolls afraid of? Tymoshenko is entirely within her rights to challenge polls where she feels that the vote is suspect.. Let the process work, and ultimately the result will either vindicate her or Yanu.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 6:24 a.m.    

Tell us, she wouldn't have disputed the results if it was a 10% difference

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 4:14 p.m.    

she would have disputed the results even if it was a 90% difference

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 4:07 a.m.    

A recount does not reveal bought votes, or votes made under duress, does it? Also, I would assume that it is relatively easy to fool international observers, by dynamically shifting any fraud to times and locations where observers are not present, and elsewhere holding up an innocent front.

So, no change in the election result should be expected.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 6:10 a.m.    

The explanation on why Timoshenko was silent for three days was that she was simply shocked that the Western governments and international monitors had stated it was a fair election when Yanukovich won.

She always believed she was going to win. If she lost, then according to her,it would only be by fraud. And therefore the vote would have been annulled as in 2004. She basically would have expected a repeat and a new &quot;Yellow&quot; Revolution.

I think she truly is dis-combobulated right now. The next few days should be very interesting. The smoke is still settling. Obviously Yanukovich is the new President and the election has been endorsed by many nations. Even if Timoshenko's team find miniscule amounts of fraud on the other side, a new election is not going to be held. If she is doing this just to strengthen her cause of remaining as Prime Minister, then Ukraine will be in further turmoil for the next five years as absolutely NOTHING will be done to advance the economic plan of Ukraine. Even Russia knows this and I am sure they are reveling in great joy at the current state of events of Ukraine since this follows the &quot;divide and conquer&quot; plan which Ukraine in its past history (example 1917-1918 Central Rada) is so guilty of doing. It is worthy of note whether Putin or Medvedev ever called Timoshenko (their business parter) and asked her to do what is needed and step aside.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 11:12 a.m.    

Does Tymoshenko really know what ceremony she attended in January ? Does she understand the importance of the Battle of Kruty - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kruty, which no-one seems to want to name ?

Perhaps if she were more involved with the every-day life of the Ukrainians, instead of kissing Putin's ass, she'd have had a chance.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 6:48 p.m.    

Dear Oksana,

if you would like to cordon off Ukraine from Russia, fine. Only condition: please compensate in Usd or CanD for the loss of business. And please import Oil at subsidized prices with C17 tankers. Liquefied gas could be delivered from Texas, please at subsidized prices aswell.

Whining with money behind is, well, just whining.

Why does Israel get all this US taxpayers money and not Ukraine? (Obama just signed a 550 million Usd cheque to blank check to Israel)? Something wrong with your diaspora.

Seems the Us understood that this anti-Russia whining is a cover up for the ex Nazis that emigrated to the new continent. The ex Nazis needed a cause and a smoke screen.

All ok with me, but please come up with the dough or else you sound like a whining ethnic village midwife.

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 7:01 a.m.    

&quot;...come up with the dough or else...&quot;

Sounds like extortion to me by a bully.

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 8:24 p.m.    

You sound nothing like a whining Russian desperate housewife. Ukraine itself would be better without Russia. They can find better trade with other countries and the benefit wouldn't be as one-sided. Something is wrong with the Russian diaspora who continuously try and say they know what is better for other countries when they, themselves can't even fix their own mother Russia.

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 4:47 a.m.    

Oksana, I understand you live in Canada, very far away from Ukraine. You should feel fortunate for it. I wish you to pay more attention to what is going on in your own country, rather than giving us 'free' advise on how to live.

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 6:57 a.m.    

I don't believe she is telling Muscovites how to live which you apparently are.

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Anonymous Feb. 13, 2010, 12:44 a.m.    

You have been reading your Nashi history book again?

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 8:22 p.m.    

I think Russians should concern themselves with Russia...so maybe you should go back there and pay attention to what is going on in Moscow instead of trying to pretend to be Ukrainian.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 1:47 p.m.    

How do we know that Tymoshenko's thugs, like Senchenko (Crimea) and Korolevska (Luhansk), don't have some way of rigging the re-count? They make a few calls and SHAZAM! - all those folks who voted for Yanuk in Crimea and Lugansk suddenly voted for Tymoshenko!

The real trouble here, which none of KP's articles address, is that a re-counting process led by Tymo's thugs is more prone to manipulation and fraud than the original count by the election commissions.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 2:41 p.m.    

Oh my GOD! People went voting on a BUS! Can't they take a motorcade with the last mercedes and Toyota LandCruiser with bodyguards like everyone else?

These people can only be cheating. Bah! And they must SMELL bad. Wah! This election must be totally illegal.

I will only accept results of an election where people come with designer dresses and Vuitton bags. And with their daughters in the back NOT voting, but being there just for the cameras.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 4:10 p.m.    

lol

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 8:20 p.m.    

Perhaps she is saying they were bused in from Russia. You know, as was the case in the last election in which Yanu claimed he won.

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Anonymous Feb. 12, 2010, 9:16 p.m.    

I don't get why the press keeps going on about how &quot;slim&quot; Yanu's victory was. If Yulia had won by the exact same percentage, or for that matter a smaller one, would they be going on about how &quot;slim&quot; it was???

Yanu's margin is just shy of three and a half percent. It's not a landslide, to be sure, but it's certainly not a razor-thin win either. In a lot of countries, including the States, victory margins of under three percent are quite common. And the winner often gets less than 50% if there's a third party candidate who draws a good number of votes.

&quot;Common violations cited by Tymoshenko’s camp included home voting and the busing of candidates (sic) to voting stations.&quot; If there were such a huge number of fraudulent home votes on Yanu's side, then wouldn't the exit polls show that? And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't thing there's any law in Ukraine against going to the voting place in a bus - not even for the candidates! ;-)

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 1 a.m.    

whats her case the headline asks?

her case is of the mental variety - she is a mental case and she is yulia

crawl back under your rock yulia, it over, the era of the white witch has passed and dorothy has clicked her heels three times

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 6:52 a.m.    

From the white witch to the 'Circus Of The Absurd'.

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Anonymous Feb. 15, 2010, 12:18 a.m.    

Arrest her NOW!

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Anonymous Feb. 14, 2010, 7:16 a.m.    

I find it ironic that Tymuchenko is spitting in the face of the US president..

The last time this happened, Manuel Noriega did it.

Where is he now?

In jail.

The US is still a scaringly powerfull bunch, and Julia has it coming, if she thinks her hot air inflated image can save her from the obvious..

The fact is, her partner is already in US jail for money laundering, and Yulia is walking a broken line wth her attitude, that can unleash a US action.

Yulia knows she is in trouble, that is why she got in high wire politics..

Difference is now, nether Russia nor the West needs her.

No great power to defend her.

She had played Russia against the West, now the West and Russia is playing with her.

The Georgian war, that was the cause for the rift between Russia and the US, was a brainchild of Tymuchenko, to get back at Russia for dumping her and havng her jailed in Ukraine, and she also wanted to punsh the Americans for stealing her stolen millions she had deposited in US and Swiss banks.

Now Russia and the US are seeking friendly ties, and Tymuchenko is looked at as the cause of their peril.

Tymuchenko thinks she will bring every one down by contesting the election, but she will only achieve for the world powers to get the gloves of in dealing with her once and for all.

Let us admit to it,,, she deserves a bit of that.... before she goes out to oblivion...

A short lady with elephant ears, who caused Russia to turn on the US...

Yulia thought all men are stupid, she treated men es inferiors, including her clligues, Yuschenka, etc.

Now men sorrounded her, and no one comes to the rescue of this selfish, cunning human trash....

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Anonymous Feb. 15, 2010, noon    

What a lot of trash you're writing Gary Heart from usa, or is it Gary Heart from RUSSIA!

Your comments sounds like an ill prepared, badly written,and emotionally motivated garbage from a Russian propaganda leaflet.

How about if you talk about Russia's own corrupt system and the thieves who control your country.

Or are you scared that Putins secret force will be after you!

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Anonymous Feb. 15, 2010, 11:44 a.m.    

Who cares which of the two evils becomes president.Neither will protect the peoples interests or our country.Both have their own personal agendas and mafia gangs to take care of.

And with Yanukovich at the helm, its goodbye freedom and helloooo dictator!

Our rights to express our opinions freely on forums like this one is already under threat.

Our national interests won't be protected,and Russia has the upper hand to do what it likes with our country. We are entering into a period of darkness.

But hey! we love living in the dark,don't we? just like the good old Soviet union days!

Isn't that why we voted for Yanukovich?

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