Presidential elections, 2nd round, February 7

  • Presidential elections, 2nd round, February 7
Issue 20, January 2010.

Presidential elections, 2nd round, February 7
West Ukraine looks set for a decisive role in the anticipated second round of voting in the 2010 presidential elections. With disillusionment widespread among the formerly pro-Orange electorate of the region many analysts are predicting a low voter turnout, which could open the door for a Yanukovych presidency. The villain of the 2004 people power protests continues to command massive support throughout the south and east of Ukraine and voters in both of these regions are expected to turn out in high numbers in favour of Mr. Yanukovych, meaning that a low turn-out in the traditionally pro-European, prodemocratic west of the country could prove fatal for the chances of leading national democratic candidate and current PM Yulia Tymoshenko. However, many commentators have pointed out that whatever their frustrations may be, West Ukrainians tend to be among the country’s most tenacious voters, even turning out in high numbers for Leonid Kuchma in 1999 despite the fact that Mr. Kuchma enjoyed stunningly low personal approval ratings in the region. It now remains to be seen whether distaste at a Yanukovych presidency will prove more powerful than resentment felt towards the country’s Orange politicians, as at present there is a very real danger that this resentment will encourage many Ukrainians not to bother voting at all. Lviv Holds Key in Presidential Election