Monday, November 22, 2004

The election results

The official election result is a win for the Prime Minister, Yanukovych. But the following reveals what is unsaid in the results:

With 99.1% of the precincts reporting, the Central Electoral Commission has Yanukovych in the lead 49.4% to 46.7%. This is the worst possible outcome: a close election with overtly implausible figures. As I wrote yesterday, the reported turnout in Donbas [a region in Eastern Ukraine where support for Yanukovych is high] is statistically impossible. National turnout was 79 percent. One would expect that it be somewhat higher in the most politicized regions, and the turnout in Western Ukraine [where Yuschenko has his base of support] was indeed slightly higher (between two and five percentage points). To have the two Donbas oblasts [like counties], however, reporting turnouts ten (Luhans'k) and seventeen (Donets'k) points above the national average is beyond any kind of normal deviation from the mean. Especially since the most pro-Russian region of all, Crimea, has a turnout actually below the national average, at 78 percent. The official results claim that Yushchenko lost the vote nationally by 900,000 votes. The difference between a turnout in Donets'k close to the national average and the 96.6% turnout reported is approximately 600,000 extra votes for Yanukovych. The same calculation could be made for Luhans'k (which I haven't had time to do it). These discrepancies alone, if corrected, would bring the official figures to a virtual tie. The next problem, of course, is the discrepancy between the KIIS exit poll and the official results, currently between 6-7 percentage points. The discrepancy is outside the normal statistical error margin of a credible polling organization, and there are no grounds, given KIIS track record and international reputation, to doubt the credibility of its exit poll yesterday.

One hundred and fifty deputies have called for an extraordinary session of Parliament which, according to the rules, entitle them to one. Yushchenko has called for a peaceful demonstration in Kyiv (in progress). Tymoshenko has called for a general strike. The statement by OSCE, later today, will be critical.

The worst possible outcome.

Source: The Ukraine List (UKL) #269 dcompiled by Dominique Arel, 22 November 2004.

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