The Dress Rehearsal
The Ukranian election has become a crisis that could have resonance this Winter in Iraq. The contest proved close and its results dubious. This has led to a crisis in the streets of Kiev and a test case for what might happen if the election results in Iraq don't wind up being crystal clear.
Ukraine's Central Election Commission declared Viktor Yanukovych the winner by a tally of 49-46. This result suggests a tight election, but a discernable majority. However, 4 out of the 15 people in charge of certifying Ukainian elections have thrown the red challange flag and announced they believed the results illigitimate.
According to CNN, the four dissenting election commissioners were not the only people unconvinced that the election was fair and valid. According to Ted Turner's info sources,
protests from Viktor Yushchenko and his supporters -- and international election observers -- began before the final results were announced.
Ukrain's Parliament has taken an extremely courageous step. They have passed a resolution declaring the election invalid. The measure lacks legal teeth, because the Ukranian Constitution doesn't task the Ukranian Parliament with election oversight. However, again according to CNN, the parliament studies its options.
Meanwhile, the followers of Yushenko protest and shut down government buildings over what they precieve as a gross injustice. The Parliament has asked the demonstrators to stand down in return for which the legislatures would set up a new election and reform the election commission.
The crisis has received intense international attention. US Secretary of State Colin Powell totally denounced the election. President Bush was actually less hawkish than Secretary Powell. However, he reinforced the incredulity Powell initially expressed with the results in the following statement.
"There's just a lot of allegations of vote fraud that place their elections, the validity of their elections, in doubt," Bush said. "The international community is watching very carefully. People are paying very close attention to this, and hopefully it'll be resolved in a way that brings credit and confidence to the Ukrainian government." -CNN
People outside the international community and the US Government are also watching. Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi watches and wonders just what the international community will do when an election gets stolen right in front of their observers. He hopes that Ukranians behaving like Hugo Chavez won't find a patsy Jimmy Carter to bail their boats.
Another intrested party, Abu-Masab al-Zarqawi, will watch events unfold for a different reason. The Ukranian election scandal is a test for the US. The results that occur in Kiev will effect the results that occur in Baghdad.
The crisis in The Ukraine has to get resolved in a way that upholds the will of their electorate. The outcome in this election resonates throughout the world.
Update I: Wizbang wonders why the challenger in The Ukranian election has such a sudden, mysterious illness. This looks more and more scary as more information emerges.