Monday

17th Jun 2019

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 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join 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.

Trump advocates no-deal Brexit on eve of UK visit

Johnson and Farage in charge, a no-deal Brexit, chlorinated chicken in British shops, and privatised healthcare - that is what the UK should head towards, Trump and his ambassador have said.

Millions needed by mid-June to feed war-stricken Gazans

The UN is looking for another $60m by mid-June to stave off hunger in the Gaza Strip in the hopes of averting another flashpoint. The demand follows a two-day war earlier this month that killed 25 Palestinians and four Israelis.

News in Brief

  1. Swiss stock exchange could lose EU access in July
  2. Austria's Strache will not take up EU parliament seat
  3. Tanker attacks pose questions for EU on Iran deal
  4. Johnson skips TV debate for UK prime ministership
  5. Slovakia's first female president takes office
  6. Irish immigration officers flew back business class
  7. Catalan MEP denied taking seat in European Parliament
  8. EU plans to restructure eurozone bonds

Analysis

EU should stop an insane US-Iran war

"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!", US president Donald Trump tweeted on Monday (20 May).

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  3. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  5. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  6. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  7. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  8. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody

Latest News

  1. Spain's Garcia set to be next Socialist leader in parliament
  2. Erdogan mocks Macron amid EU sanctions threat
  3. The most dangerous pesticide you've never heard of
  4. 'Russian sources' targeted EU elections with disinformation
  5. Top EU jobs summit dominates This WEEK
  6. EP parties planning 'coalition agenda' ahead of jobs summit
  7. MEP blasts Portugal over football whistleblower
  8. Catalonia MEPs are a judicial, not political, issue

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us