When Ukraine votes in Sunday’s parliamentary election it will be the first public test for President Viktor Yushchenko, who rose to power with the so-called “Orange Revolution.” There are 45 parties standing but polls predict no more than seven will get the minimum score needed to win seats, i.e. three per cent. The pro-Yuschenko party is actually trailing the Regions of Ukraine party of former premier Viktor Yanukovich.
Yanukovich was initially declared the winner of the infamous presidential vote in November 2004, prompting massive street protests that became the “Orange Revolution.“His opposition party is pushing closer ties with Russia as a way of getting a better gas deal with Moscow. One complicating factor is the support among some “orange revolutionaries” for the Yulia Timoshenko bloc.
Timoshenko was sacked as prime minister last year amid accusations of corruption. Yesterday she lamented the fact that the people who, in her opinion, had “destroyed Ukraine” were bidding for power again.