Sunday, December 26, 2004

When Life Hands You Oranges...

I believe it was a Yushchenko advisor who, at some point in the post-election fracas in November noted that Ukraine may be the only country where a candidate must win an election three times before becoming president. It is equal parts a testament to Yushchenko and his supporters and an indictment of the hamhanded thuggery of Yanukovych and his ilk that Yushchenko was able to win at all, in the end.

But win he has, so it seems. As if in embarassment, the inflated turnout numbers in Donetsk have subsided back to reasonable levels, and though the OSCE'S official observation report won't be out until tomorrow, the advance word seems to be that nobody could quite summon the effort for massive violations three times in a row.

So forgive me a premature congratulations to President-elect Yushchenko and to the Ukrainians. Yanukovych mutters darkly that he will gather his forces to spearhead a powerful opposition. So congrats to him as well. Because my dear Yanukovych, when you've lost an election, forming an opposition is precisely what you're supposed to do. I know it's an unusual position to find yourself in, but if you leave the poisons and the thugs and the Kremlin out of it, you could even be a model democrat.


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