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Ukraine’s 2010 Presidential Election: Viktor Yushchenko

30. September 2009 by Gregg 0 Comments

Viktor YushchenkoViktor Yushchenko, only the third President of Ukraine since the country’s secession from the Soviet Union in 1991 is the current commander-in-chief of the country.

Viktor Yushchenko’s original rise to being the Head of State has been difficult. The 2004 elections were marked with controversy as the first vote ended with no clear victor between Yushchenko and then-Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. A second round of voting was called, with Viktor Yanukovych coming out the winner. The results of the election were heavily contested by many in the Ukraine, the Media and by countries around the world, citing evidence of vote-rigging by Yanukovych and his political group “Party of Regions”. This public outcry was quickly dubbed the “Orange Revolution” after Viktor Yushchenko’s official campaign colors.

Early in the campaign, Viktor Yushchenko had taken ill and through the efforts of Austrian, British and Dutch doctors and chemists, the cause was found to be dioxin poison. When the politician returned to the public eye after his treatment, his previously youthful features had been replaced by the discolored pockmarked scars of a dioxin poisoning victim. The disfigurement, though fading with time, is still noticeable today.

After a decision by Ukraine’s Supreme Court to nullify the election, there was a third round of voting, culminating in Viktor Yushchenko being elected the new President of Ukraine.

In office, Yushchenko started as being intensely popular. In his first 100 days he dismissed much of the existing government and appointed politicians to replace them, including one of the other 2010 Presidential candidates Yulia Tymoshenko who was appointed Prime Minister. He fell out of favor after numerous Governmental dissolutions and power struggles. Currently his popularity is estimated at 4%, a figure he himself disputes.

Viktor Yushchenko, despite his apparent lack of popularity, has refused to step down. Yushchenko believes that when the election comes in early 2010, the voters will prove the statistics wrong.