Well dear readers, as you will know, Mr Yanukovych has won the election, even if it has yet to be formally announced by the Central Election Committee (CEC).
The CEC cannot formally announce the result as it has agreed to recount some 900 polling station results, although this will not be reduce the majority enough to overturn the result even if there are some votes previously counted to be discounted on the recount.
The CEC is quite right not to announce the official results until this has been done.
Meanwhile, Presidents and Prime Ministers from Turkey, USA, France, The EU block, Russia, NATO and many other nations and organisations are congratulating Mr Yanukovych on his victory.
I can understand their thought process of course, if they ratify the results by congratulating him now, it makes the eventual CEC announcement much easier to uphold from further challenges by Ms Tymoshenko and whilst the result is yet to be formally announced, all the exit polls and first vote count did not have much differences between them…….at least certainly not enough to raise any cause for concern internationally when backed up by international observers stating it was free and fair.
Their aim, of course, is to get President elect Yanukovych into power and Mr Yushenko out of power without fuss or further instability. That is quite understandable.
So what is Ms Tymoshenko playing at, when she claims to be a champion of democracy and European values?
If that is true, why does she not concede defeat and return to her Prime Minsterial duties as a gracious loser of a free and fair election?
There are probably many reasons for why she has not…..as yet….conceded.
Firstly, she has a duty to the 45-46% of voters who voted for her to go through with the recounts she has asked for. Not to do so would be a failure to confirm the national vote.
Secondly, the longer she can delay the swearing in of Mr Yanukovych, the longer she has to either form a new coalition powerful enough to insure she remains Prime Minister in the RADA……should she want to of course……in addition to the 30 days she has from one when he is sworn in.
Failure to form a new coalition would mean she would be removed as Prime Minister of course…..so she is using this additional time to insure she has a strong and large enough coalition to remain in post…….or if it appears she won’t, to resign as Prime Minister at the same time of conceding defeat in the Presidential election on the pretext of not wanting to serve as Prime Minister under a Mr Yanukovych presidency.
On a side note, Mr Tigipko has now stated he will serve as Prime Minister under Mr Yanukovych if asked to do so. If there were snap parliamentary elections and Mr Yanukovych’s party lost a number of seats, which is likely as a backlash, would he still have a strong enough parliamentary influence between his own party, Mr Tigipko who is almost a lone wolf and has not much by weight in the number of MPs he controls , The Communist Party, Mr Lytvyn’s Party and a few assorted additionals to progress with any program he may have.
Add to those, a number of defectors to Party of Regions by Ms Tymoshenko’s MPs……who will want to be on the winning side of the President……then he is still not as seemingly OK as some would think……but this is Ukraine and politicians buy and sell themselves to the highest bidder here all the time…..so we will see.
As I say, Ms Tymoshenko will be using this additional time to consider whether she can hold onto the Prime Minister role with reasonable comfort or to save face and keep an indignant stance towards Mr Yanukovych, moving into the opposition without “compromising her principles” of working with him.
She for certain, would be an absolutely formidable opposition leader and political block. The question is would the likes of Mr Yatseniuk appreciate being in opposition with her……and associated with her by simply being in opposition at the same time as her, considering the election in 5 years time?
It is an easy thing to unite in opposition after all, but not so easy to differentiate yourself from the actions of others in opposition in an election campaign of the future.
Is Ms Tymoshenko appearing to do all she can to prove to everyone that she insured the election was free and fair before conceding defeat, so that in 2015, if things go horribly wrong here in the next 5 years, she can say it really was your choice Ukraine and I did everything I could to insure that it was your choice, before conceding power to a man I knew would fail?
She will for certain concede defeat as it is not in her best interests to allow it to drag on too long, simply as it will damage her reputation internally and externally of Ukraine the longer she takes to do it……but for now……as recounts are still happening……she cannot.
Thirdly there is also the question of the regional elections to consider which occur in April……regardless of any possible snap parliamentary elections. With a disfunctional RADA as a prospect a new president will need to build strong relations with regional administrations.
It is quite likely that she is also studying the voting results of the regions in both first and second round of the Presidential election to decide her next move.
Mr Yushenko’s biggest problem, other than his complete lack of leadership and management skills was not only a disfunctional RADA but unruley regional administrations. The new president needs either a functioning RADA or strong alliences with regional administrations if he cannot achieve both.
There is a good chance that Ms Tymoshenko is also using this time to move chess pieces in the regions as well to further complicate matters from May.
Lastly of course, Ms Tymoshenko is not the type of person to cede power to others, despite this time, she has no choice but to do so.
The power game of Ukrainian politics has just began. The battle for Presidency has been fought but there are many more political battles to fight this year before the real power over the next 5 years in Ukrainian politics will be known……..not that any western journalists, commentators, main stream media will understand this until the game is almost played out!