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.

FILED UNDER: Europe
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?

Bombs Explode in Madrid Pumping Stations

Bombs explode in five pumping stations of Madrid

Bombs exploded Friday in five pumping stations of Madrid, leaving no victims, but causing material damage, said the Spanish Interior Ministry. The attacks occurred at 18:30 hours, local time and responsibility was claimed by separatist organization Basque Homeland and Freedom (ETA). These service stations had been evacuated beforehand, after an anonymous phone call on behalf of ETA, warned Basque daily Gara, on the imminent explosions.

The al Qaeda-sponsored train bombings that helped defeat the Aznar government and get Spain out of Iraq were initially blamed on ETA. I tend to think that this is the real McCoy, however, given the prior notification to minimize casualties. Al Qaeda’s style has long been mass murder for maximum effect.

Update (1845): Reuters has more detail:

ETA Seals Off Madrid with 5 Bombs, 2 Police Hurt

The Basque separatist group ETA set off five bombs at petrol stations around Madrid on Friday in its most serious attack in months, putting a stranglehold on the capital at the start of a long holiday weekend. Two police officers were slightly wounded by one of the bombs, detonated simultaneously alongside main highways surrounding Madrid. The bombs forced police to halt traffic temporarily, causing chaos as hundreds of thousands of people tried to get out of the city for the holiday.

The attacks marked a resurgence of ETA violence after months of relative inactivity. The group has been severely weakened by a police crackdown that has netted more than 100 suspects this year and it has staged only small-scale bombings. The explosions during the evening rush hour gave the city its biggest scare since Islamic militants killed 191 people with coordinated attacks on four commuter trains on March 11.

Friday’s bombs, hidden in places like garbage containers, dashed hopes of Christmas truce after the guerrillas and their closest political allies called for peace talks with the government — offers rejected by the mainstream political class. “They want to send a message of ‘Here we are. We wanted to talk’,” said Gorka Knorr, a senior Basque politician.

The blasts forced police to seal off major highways leading in five directions from the capital amid a massive exodus for a long weekend with bank holidays on Monday and Wednesday. Traffic gradually crawled back to normal while bomb squads and emergency services stood by in case they were needed.

ETA warned of the bombs in a telephone call to the Basque newspaper Gara, a method it regularly uses to announce impending attacks. The warning gave police time to clear the areas.

FILED UNDER: Terrorism
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.