The observers sent to monitor Ukraine’s second round presidential elections have a tought job ahead of them.
The results of the first round took Ukraine’s officials ten days to announce as claim and counter claim of bias mounted. In the end the electoral commission gave both candidates 39 percent but put pro western Viktor Yuschnkeo ever so slightly ahead. Whatever the result the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and its 500 monitors are unlikely to have much influence on Ukraine’s future direction. They’re simply hoping that whether Ukraine turns east to its old ruler Russia or west towards Europe it will be up to the voters alone. In the southern mining region, the home ground of pro Russian candidate Viktor Yuschenko, the miners are wary of foul play. Coming up from the coal face Pavel said: It’s lawlessness. I think it is just a dirty war between candidates. His work mate Aleksander echoed his fears: “If the elections are transparent, then everything else will be transparent as well. But the buying of votes, thats not serious.” But with economic development the declared objective of both candidates this region may well benefit either way.