Ukraine Election Day: First Thoughts
The signs are pointing to a relatively clear, free and fair first round in Ukraine's presidential elections. As of 3 p.m. Kyiv time, turnout was 46 percent, with no dramatic regional anomalies that would suggest ballot stuffing or ballot rigging. Opora, an activist group with a high degree of credibility and independence, is reporting no serious violations and an atmosphere of general tolerance and professionalism as the vote proceeds.
This is reassuring as it will mark the 4th nationwide poll since the Orange Revolution that has been held in similarly open, free and fair circumstances.
While outgoing President Yushchenko is likely to finish a weak 4th of 5th, he will be remembered for protecting due electoral process and never succumbing to the temptation of pressuring the mass media.
Early information from independent exit polling confirms that Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko are headed by a second round runoff with Yanukovych holding a nine percent lead.
Exit polls show Yanukovych and Tymoshenko entering the second round, with Yanukovych holding a lead of between 4.3 to 9.7 percent. This gives Yanukovych the better chance to prevail in the second round, but it also means Yanukovych's lead is not insurmountable and the winner will likely prevail by a narrow margin.
Ukraine Presidential Election 2010 Blog Series:
- Ukraine Elections: Let's Not Get Carried Away – Nikolas Gvosdev
- Re-Introducing Viktor Yanukovych – Adrian Karatnycky
- EU Energy Security May Depend on Ukraine Election Runoff – Alexandros Petersen
- Ukraine Election: A Yushchenko Post-Mortem – Adrian Karatnycky
- Ukraine Presidential Results: Calling it Right – Adrian Karatnycky
- Yanukovych Comes Out On Top, But Tymoshenko Has Momentum – Damon Wilson
- Ukraine Election Day: First Thoughts – Adrian Karatnycky
- A Glass Half Full: Contemplating a Yanukovych Presidency – Nikolas Gvosdev
- Ukraine's Anti-Orange Election – Alexander J. Motyl
- Ukraine Election Backgrounder – Adrian Karatnycky