Monday midday in Kyiv - 20% of votes counted. Observers are surprised is how well BYuT are doing- Nasha Ukraina and the President in particular seem to be disorientated as the results come in.
Yushchenko has entrusted to Yekhanurov the formation of a coalition - the man who during the campaign said he wouldn't work 'under any conditions' with Tymoshenko .
It looks as if Yushchenko is finding difficult to accept that Yuliya T, 'the people's choice' for PM who he sacked last September and who he accused of 'discrediting the orange forces' may well be back again running the cabinet. Whether this will improve economic growth and prosperity of Ukrainians it questionable, as Scott quite rightly suggests in his posting.
But she has truly 'worked her socks off' campaigning, and will reap the reward. RU's campaign has been quite impressive too - their campaign managers probably doing as well as they could with the material they have. But NSNU' s campaign has been unfocussed, and has lacked leadership - we now are seeing the result.
BYuT [unlike NSNU] made a real effort to garner votes in the east of the country, and is paying off for them. They are now claiming that a lot of their votes are being stolen in the Donetsk oblast.
A bit more:
As Abdymok quite correctly notes, many reporters, by suggesting that Ukraine is turning its back against the Orange Revolution, are not interpreting the election results quite corrrectly. An article in the British 'Independent' is typical.
In the repeated second round of the last Presidential elections held on 26th December 2004, presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych, broadly speaking representing the eastward-orientated portion of Ukraine, obtained 44% of the vote. Yushchenko, leading the westward-orientated Orange forces, and constantly supported by Yuliya Tymoshenko, obtained 52% of votes cast.
Now according to a poll of exit polls, of yesterday's Parliamentary elections, Viktor Yanukovych and other eastward-orientated parties will obtain about 35% of the vote, while Our Ukraine, the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc and other Orange parties will obtain about 45% of votes cast.
The rift between Our Ukraine and the Tymoshenko bloc may be deep and Yushchenko's popularity in decline, but the 'European magnet' seems to be attracting an increasing number of the Ukrainian electorate.
A case can be made that the continued polarization of the country is not healthy and that President Yushchenko should make an effort to remedy this when entering into talks about parliamentary coalitions, but this does not mean that the ideals of the Maidan are fading in any way.