For the third time in three years, and the second in twelve months, the people of Ukraine are being called to yet another election. President Viktor Yushchenko dissolved Parliament and called an early vote, fed-up with the in-fighting that has dogged Ukraine’s post Orange Revolution politics.
Disagreements between his group and that of Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko made it obvious the coalition government could not survive. The president demanded some kind of deal, but his deadline passed unanswered.
The opposition leader Viktor Yanukovitch accused his rivals of being drunk on power: “We proposed a deal, how to improve people’s lives and how to develop the economy. However, the Orange coalition was more interested in cabinet posts and power. And these elections will not change a thing.”
Ukraine’s arguments include parliament’s increased power in relation to the President, but Yushchenko is especially vexed with what he calls Timoshenko’s weak reaction to Russia’s invasion of Georgia.
Voters fear nothing will change in this latest poll, and some say the world is laughing at their attempts to get to grips with democracy. But, if nothing else, the elections allow the three main players to jockey for position with the next presidential vote just 18 months away.