Monday

13th Jul 2020

EU endorses Ukraine election result

  • Tymoshenko: has kept silent following the negative election result (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton has congratulated Ukraine on holding free and fair presidential elections, in remarks that will make it harder for the losing side to contest the result.

"The generally calm atmosphere in which the elections were conducted, the open campaign in the media and the fact that the electorate were provided with a genuine choice represent important achievements in Ukraine's democratic development," Ms Ashton said on Monday (8 February).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Her statement came at a sensitive time, as Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who lost Sunday's poll by a narrow margin of around 3 percent, pondered her next move.

Ms Tymoshenko had in the run-up to the vote accused the winner, Viktor Yanukovych, of fraud and threatened to take court action or to call her supporters to come out on the streets.

She put off her hotly-anticipated press conference from Monday to Tuesday, however, while people close to her inner circle kept Ukraine guessing with contradictory statements to media.

One contact told EUobserver that her office is conducting a parallel vote count to establish if the official result is correct. A loyalist MP, Nikola Tomenko, told press she is getting ready to concede defeat, step down as prime minister and go into opposition. Political analyst and confidante Volodymyr Fesenko said she is keen to stay on as PM.

The Ashton statement follows a resoundingly positive assessment of the conduct of the vote by a delegation of MEPs and by international monitors, the ODIHR, earlier in the day.

"This has been a well-administered and truly competitive election offering voters a clear choice," the head of the ODIHR mission, veteran Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini, who last year wrote a major EU report on the Russia-Georgia war, said.

"She [Ms Tymoshenko] has lost a key resource. She can't rely on the opinion of external observers to back her side any more," an EU official told this website.

In terms of protocol, the formal telegrams of congratulations from EU leaders to Mr Yanukovych are unlikely to start floating in until he is officially named the winner by the Central Election Commission (CEC).

Under Ukrainian law, the CEC has to announce a final result no later than 17 February. Its decision can be challenged in court for a further five days after this. But unless judges overturn the result, Ukraine is to inaugurate its new president by 19 March.

If Mr Yanukovych secures victory, it will represent a moral defeat for the Orange Revolution which swept him from power five years ago.

But the EU and many Ukrainian voters are likely to be more interested in kitchen sink issues - how to stop the country's economy from collapsing and how to pay for Russian gas - than in post-Soviet power games for the time being.

Eminent women appeal for EU help on Palestine

West Bank annexation "was conceived almost entirely by men" and will crush the "dignity and rights" of Palestinian women still further, a group of 40 women leaders have said.

New Cairo activist case prompts wave of Italy demos

Four years after the killing of an Italian activist in Cairo, Italian cities are mobilising to highlight the fate of Patrick Zaki, imprisoned since February for "inciting protest through his Facebook profile".

News in Brief

  1. Citizens' perception of judicial independence drops
  2. Irish finance minister voted in as eurogroup president
  3. Italy's League party opens office near old communist HQ
  4. 'Significant divergences' remain in Brexit talks
  5. Germany identifies 32,000 right-wing extremists
  6. WHO to hold probe of global Covid-19 response
  7. China accuses Australia of 'gross interference' on Hong Kong
  8. EU to let Croatia, Bulgaria take first step to join euro

Opinion

Entering a new, more Putin-like, Russia

The so-called "all-Russia" vote finishing today, with more than 200 amendments to the Russian constitution, has been marked by systematic electoral fraud, mass mobilisation of the administrative resources, populistic promises or exploiting the historical memory.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Michel lays out compromise budget plan for summit
  2. Border pre-screening centres part of new EU migration pact
  3. EU 'failed to protect bees and pollinators', report finds
  4. MEPs give green light to road transport sector reform
  5. If EU wants rule of law in China, it must help 'dissident' lawyers
  6. Five ideas to reshape 'Conference on Future of Europe'
  7. EU boosts pledges to relocate minors from Greece
  8. Hydrogen strategy criticised for relying on fossil fuel gas

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us