Sunday, March 23, 2014

A thought about Ukrainian Decision Making

I quote from the CIA Factbook on Ukraine:
Although final independence for Ukraine was achieved in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy and prosperity remained elusive as the legacy of state control and endemic corruption stalled efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civil liberties. A peaceful mass protest "Orange Revolution" in the closing months of 2004 forced the authorities to overturn a rigged presidential election and to allow a new internationally monitored vote that swept into power a reformist slate under Viktor YUSHCHENKO. Subsequent internal squabbles in the YUSHCHENKO camp allowed his rival Viktor YANUKOVYCH to stage a comeback in parliamentary elections and become prime minister in August of 2006. An early legislative election, brought on by a political crisis in the spring of 2007, saw Yuliya TYMOSHENKO, as head of an "Orange" coalition, installed as a new prime minister in December 2007. Viktor YANUKOVYCH was elected president in a February 2010 run-off election that observers assessed as meeting most international standards. The following month, Ukraine's parliament, the Rada, approved a vote of no-confidence prompting Yuliya TYMOSHENKO to resign from her post as prime minister. In October 2012, Ukraine held Rada elections, widely criticized by Western observers as flawed due to use of government resources to favor ruling party candidates, interference with media access, and harassment of opposition candidates. President YANUKOVYCH's backtracking on a trade and cooperation agreement with the EU in November 2013 - in favor of closer economic ties with Russia - led to a three-month protest occupation of Kyiv's central square. The government's eventual use of force to break up the protest camp in February 2014 led to all out pitched battles, scores of deaths, international condemnation, and the president's abrupt ouster. An interim government under Acting President Oleksandr TURCHYNOV has scheduled new presidential elections for 25 May 2014.
And from UPI on Marcy 12th:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will tell his Russian counterpart the Ukrainian people must decide their own future, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
It took many decades for the United States of America to develop an adequate democracy. Recall that President Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address that four score and seven years had passed and the nation was still involved in a great war to determine whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, could long endure.

I wonder whether the democratic institutions are sufficiently well developed in Ukraine to allow the Ukrainian people "to decide their own future" with any satisfactory level of participation.

If the Ukrainian people can not reach a reasonable level of consensus relatively soon, what will the world do?

Ukrainian Election 2012: A map of political preferences
Source: Kyiv Post

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