Leading article: Ms Tymoshenko's unwise move

Share
Related Topics

Almost a week after the presidential election, Ukraine's prime minister and disappointed candidate, Yulia Tymoshenko, has finally broken her silence, and not in a helpful way. Ms Tymoshenko, who might have had a chance of remaining prime minister under a new president, has decided instead to challenge the result in court. If she acts on this intention – and she is not known for graceful retreats – Ms Tymoshenko will be doing herself and her country a big disservice.

This presidential election was the third to be held in Ukraine since independence. Unlike many elections in post-Soviet countries, Russia included, Ukraine can pride itself on the fact that in none of them was the result a foregone conclusion. It was popular anger at what was seen as the rigging of the last election, against the pro-Western candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, that precipitated the Orange Revolution. Then, the election was re-run.

The circumstances this time around are very different. Both the first round and the run-off were closely scrutinised by international observers and found to be free and fair. Although Ms Tymoshenko's camp had warned loudly of fraud before the run-off (when she looked set to lose by a convincing margin), neutral analysts say the pattern of actual results does not support such allegations.

In the event, Ms Tymoshenko lost by less than four per cent to Viktor Yanukovych. But in a democracy – even a relatively young one – a narrow defeat remains a defeat. The conduct of this election, and the creditable turn-out, had fuelled the belief that Ukraine might, after years of turmoil, at last be able to settle down and tackle its ingrained problems. Disillusionment with politics set in within 18 months of the Orange Revolution, and the economy has been in steep decline, in part because of the global recession. The hope was that, whoever won would use the electoral mandate to unify and not to divide.

Ms Tymoshenko – who jointly led the Orange Revolution – has now taken the contrary course. Regrettably, she seems not to have understood that in a democracy, leading a responsible opposition is also a noble, and necesssary, calling.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Process Improvement Analyst (Testing)

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Service Delivery Manager - Derivatives, Support,

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Service Delivery Manager - (Derivatives, Support...

Technical Account Manager - Java, FIX Protocol, FIX 5.0, C++

£30000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Technical Account Manager - Java,...

WPF .NET Developer

£300 - £350 per day: Harrington Starr: WPF Analyst Programmer NET, WPF, C#, M...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The daily catch-up: heatwave update; duck tape and market socialism

John Rentoul
David Cameron's 'compassionate conservatism' is now lying on its back  

Tory modernisation has failed under David Cameron

Michael Dugher
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform