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Westerwelle urges opposition to nominate a single presidential candidate

June 24, 2013

I have written about the strategy of the opposition parties nominating a single candidate – or not – for the Ukrainian presidency in 2015 several times – most recently here when doubting Ms Tymoshenko’s motivations for not supporting a single candidate in the first round.

Democracy would dictate that any legally able politician wanting to run should be able to run regardless of what realistic chance they have of winning.  Strategy in the case of the current opposition however, would certainly favour nominating a single candidate early and uniting around them as soon as possible, regardless of their party.

Quite obviously, Germany recognises that this strategy is the only effective way to guarantee a real head to head contest beginning in round one – and in doing so significantly reduce the chance of electoral fraud as any parallel vote count would be much simpler – and unlikely as it is, may even remove the need for a second round of voting.

The question is, can the opposition parties actually deliver a single candidate – or will egos ultimately scuttle that idea?

If the single candidate is not Tymoshenko – which is unlikely – or a representative of her Batkivshchyna Party (Yatseniuk), will she really allow Klitschko (or although very unlikely, Tyahnybok)  to run unhindered?  – Particularly so given her stance that there should be no single candidate from the opposition parties in the first round?  Is she not likely to insist a Batkivshchyna Party member run and find a Tymoshenko loyalist to do so?

We have to accept that the Batkivshchyna Party is simply not strong enough to control Tymoshenko – it was after all, created to be nothing more than a vehicle for Yulia Tymoshenko from the very beginning and has failed to out-grow her whilst she has been incarcerated.

Thus, despite the strategy of a single opposition candidate being one that is likely to produce the best results for the opposition, can anyone really see it going ahead without Tymoshenko torpedoing it if her Batkivshchyna Party horse not be the one chosen to run?

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