Monday

16th Sep 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.

Analysis

How should the EU handle Russia now?

Should the West help the Russian opposition to try topple the regime, or make new deals with Putin, as France is keen to do?

Central European leaders demand EU Balkan accession

Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia have demanded to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania this year, as Hungary's man prepares to take over the enlargement portfolio.

Just 5% of Europeans trust Trump

European voters believe that EU's foreign policies should be more coherent and effective in order to remain neutral in potential international conflicts, since most EU citizens no longer rely on the US security guarantee, according to a new report.

News in Brief

  1. Nearly 100 refugees evacuated from Libya to Italy
  2. Juncker to meet Johnson on Monday
  3. First Hungary 'Article 7' hearing set for Monday
  4. Vestager picks Danish EU ambassador as cabinet head
  5. Commissioner hearings will start 30 September
  6. Italy says EU countries agree to take in rescued migrants
  7. Germany to organise Libya conference on arms embargo
  8. European Parliament to support another Brexit delay

Opinion

Time to pay attention to Belarus

Belarus may be hosting the European Games, but Vladimir Putin is not playing games when it comes to Belarus' independence. The West needs to get serious as well.

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 MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Brexit and new commission in focus This WEEK
  2. As recession looms Europe needs more spending
  3. How should the EU handle Russia now?
  4. EU defence bravado criticised by auditors
  5. Central European leaders demand EU Balkan accession
  6. Luxembourg's cannabis legalisation is EU opportunity
  7. The Catalan National Day has been a success. Why?
  8. Why I'm voting against the von der Leyen commission

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us