Orange Revolution - Political Developments

Political Developments

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  • Declaration of Independence
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  • Cassette Scandal
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Politics portal

Although Yushchenko entered into negotiations with outgoing President Leonid Kuchma in an effort to peacefully resolve the situation, the negotiations broke up on 24 November 2004. Yanukovych was officially certified as the victor by the Central Election Commission, which itself was allegedly involved in falsification of electoral results by withholding the information it was receiving from local districts and running a parallel illegal computer server to manipulate the results. The next morning after the certification took place, Yushchenko spoke to supporters in Kiev, urging them to begin a series of mass protests, general strikes and sit-ins with the intent of crippling the government and forcing it to concede defeat.

In view of the threat of illegitimate government acceding to power, Yushchenko's camp announced the creation of the Committee of National Salvation which declared a nationwide political strike.

On 1 December 2004, the Verkhovna Rada passed a resolution that strongly condemned pro-separatist and federalization actions, and passed a non-confidence vote in the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, a decision Prime Minister Yanukovych refused to recognize. By the Constitution of Ukraine, the non-confidence vote mandated the government's resignation, but the parliament had no means to enforce a resignation without the co-operation of Prime Minister Yanukovych and outgoing President Kuchma.

On 3 December 2004, Ukraine's Supreme Court finally broke the political deadlock. The court decided that due to the scale of the electoral fraud it became impossible to establish the election results. Therefore, it invalidated the official results that would have given Yanukovych the presidency. As a resolution, the court ordered a revote of the run-off to be held on 26 December 2004. This decision was seen as a victory for the Yushchenko camp while Yanukovych and his supporters favored a rerun of the entire election rather than just the run-off, as a second-best option if Yanukovych was not awarded the presidency. On 8 December 2004 the parliament amended laws to provide a legal framework for the new round of elections. The parliament also approved the changes to the Constitution, implementing a political reform backed by outgoing President Kuchma as a part of a political compromise between the acting authorities and opposition.

In November 2009 Yanukovych stated that although his victory in the elections was "taken away", he gave up this victory in order to avoid bloodshed. "I didn't want mothers to lose their children and wives their husbands. I didn't want dead bodies from Kyiv to flow down the Dnipro. I didn't want to assume power through bloodshed."

Read more about this topic:  Orange Revolution

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