Who can ever forget the Ukraine presidential election in 2004, when pictures were shown world-wide of opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko’s formerly handsome face hideously disfigured by a mysterious dose of poisonous dioxin? (Allegedly put in his soup, was it that delicious borscht?).
Despite becoming seriously ill, Yushchenko recovered after treatment at the Rudolfinerhaus clinic in Vienna and overturned Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych in a re-election after electoral fraud had been proved. He was president of Ukraine from 2005-2010. Happily his face is back to normal now.
Hurricane Sandy and the American elections have taken up most of the news in recent days, completely side-lining the election in Ukraine, which took place on 28 October. The electoral system is complicated, somewhat based on the Canadian one. Delays in ballot counting and blatant irregularities in five constituencies mean re-votes should be held in these. In general, votes have been bought; media restrictions and other irregularities have taken place. Rigging, in other words.
Preliminary overall results have to be announced by November 12 and binding official results by November 17. The Ukrainians are fed up with election shenanigans, and are not protesting in large numbers, just as they didn't vote with their feet. The Ukraine election this year had a low turnout, about 45%, but this is apparently normal.
The United Opposition Fatherland bloc has just over 21%. This party is pro-Western, and is led by the attractive imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is currently under guard in hospital having treatment for her back. A year ago a Ukrainian court sentenced her to seven years in prison for abuse of office over a 2009 gas deal with Russia. Wikipedia states that the European Union and other international organizations see the conviction as "justice being applied selectively under political motivation".
The new pro-western party called Udar (Punch), led by world heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko,41, has about 13% and sounds exciting. He might have tough measures, which are needed in the current economic climate.
The pro-western ultra-nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party, led by Oleh Tyahnybok, who is 44 today, has 8%.
There are 450 members of parliament.