Yanukovych Refuses to Resign — Russia Backs Him

Ukraine’s Yanukovych vows not to resign (Xinhua)

Ukrainian Prime Minister, presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych vowed Wednesday not to quit his post. “I in principle will not write a statement (of resignation),” Yanukovych said in a press conference in his Kiev campaign headquters. He said that the main task of his team is to defend in the Central Election Commission (CEC) and the Supreme Court the choicefor Ukraine “by all legal means.”

Earlier Wednesday, Yanukovych, who came back to work as prime minister from a campaign vacation on Tuesday, was forced to cancela Cabinet meeting after supporters of his rival, opposition leaderViktor Yushchenko, blocked the government building. The meeting, however, took place later, but without Yanukovych’s participance.

The CEC has yet to officially declare the results of the Sunday’ s reelection, but preliminary results released by the CEC on Tuesday made Yanukovych’s rival Yushchenko, the victor with 51.99 percent of the vote against Yanukovych’s 44.19 percent. Yanukovych has refused to concede defeat and said he will appeal to the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn the result.

Russia says ‘nyet’ to Ukraine election results – Moscow accuses Western observers of being biased (CSM)

As European leaders hailed the apparent victory of Ukraine opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko as a triumph for democracy worldwide, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Russia might refuse to recognize Mr. Yushchenko as the new president of his country. A statement issued by Moscow Wednesday said that electoral observers from the West were “not objective” when they said the election process was free of tampering.

Meanwhile, the Herald reports an observer mission from the Russia-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) alleged that it had “found” huge electoral fraud that favored Yushchenko. Among the possible violations, reports Ukrainska Pravda, was “election propaganda, which is prohibited during the voting day, in the form of numerous orange marks in the streets.”

Amazing. President Bush will need to make it clear, pronto, that such shenanigans will not be profitable for Putin or Yanukovych.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. ken says:

    I think all Yanukavych needs to do is have his cronies on some court rule that he ‘won’ the election. What could Bush do? He set the precedent in Florida for all illegitimate presidents. He will have to live with it. The rest of us, however, can complain about Yanukovych just like we complained about Bush.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Well, that plus Bush actually got more votes in his elections. And, presumably, the court that ruled against Yanu the first time would do so again.

  3. Brian J. says:

    So the concession speech–sorry, the resignation speech–is the final arbiter of democracy?

    So the “Nanana I’m not listening” philosophy represents the pinnacle of Western thought–democracy?

    Who believes this stuff but the left?

  4. Bruce H. says:

    Participance?