Inspired Tymoshenko saves Ukraine's 'Orange Revolution'

Ukraine appears to have distanced itself further from Russia as early election results last night showed strong support for the pro-Western democratic parties.

Almost single-handedly, Julia Tymoshenko, flamboyant heroine of the so-called Orange Revolution in 2004, inspired an electorate weary of broken promises and three elections in as many years to go to the polls and back efforts to solidify their country's democracy and independence.

With some 90 per cent of the ballots counted, the party of the Russian-backed Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych led with 33 per cent, but Ms Tymoshenko's party, with 31.5 per cent, can call on the support of President Viktor Yushchenko, whose party has won 15 per cent of the vote.

There is a fragile truce currently between Ms Tymoshenko and the President, who were allies during the popular revolution three years ago but have been rivals more recently.

Taras Kuzio, a British academic and Ukraine expert, said: "Tymoshenko has saved the Orange Revolution. Ukraine has got a second chance to finish what the Orange Revolution started."

The electoral picture will be completed by two or three small parties, which will pass the 3 per cent threshold needed to enter parliament. One of those, the Communists, will side with Mr Yanukovych. The party led by the maverick Volodymyr Lytvyn will go to the highest bidder, probably the renewed Orange coalition.

Meanwhile, Mr Yanukovych said he would hold a 50,000-strong rally in the centre of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, yesterday afternoon ,supposedly to spearhead a campaign to challenge the results of Sunday's election. But only 6,000 turned up, most in buses from the Prime Minister's Donetsk stronghold in the east. The demonstrators, many of whom admitted they were being paid the equivalent of $20 (£10) to appear, disappeared after uninspiring speeches from party leaders.

EU and Western monitors said there had been some infringements in the voting but mostly the balloting had been conducted fairly and the results should be recognised as valid.

The election was an attempt to break the cycle of continuous political turmoil in Ukraine since the Orange Revolution, which brought Mr Yushchenko to power in January 2005. His dithering transformed a slim pro-Orange parliamentary majority in elections last year into a victory for his pro-Moscow arch-rival, Viktor Yanukovych.

After parliamentary elections last year, Mr Yushchenko reneged on a pre-election deal which should have seen Ms Tymoshenko, installed as premier. As the two quarrelled one of their allies defected, which allowed Mr Yanukovych to become premier. Ms Tymoshenko launched a campaign for fresh elections saying that the last thing most of the Socialist voters had wanted when they cast their ballots was government by the Party of the Regions, which blends a rapacious pseudo-capitalism with Goodfellas-style ethics.

Little separates Mr Yushchenko and Ms Tymoshenko ideologically, but his rejection of Ms Tymoshenko has been perceived as a betrayal by many of his former supporters. That was reflected in Sunday's polls and Ms Tymoshenko is now seen as the standard bearer of democracy in Ukraine.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Recruitment Genius: Development Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner