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Monday, March 31, 2008

55 to E-day: Klitschko in the first round?

Mayor Chernovetsky said March 31 that it is unlikely the mayoral election will be held in two rounds instead of the current one round. The way the first past post system works, the winning candidate needs merely to win more votes than any other opponent.

Chernovetsky won the race in March, 2006 with 32% of the capital city vote, followed by Vitaly Klitschko (24%) and Oleksandr Omelchenko with 21%. Two years ago 21 candidates ran for the post.

The CVU held the “Kyiv primaries” on March 26 with 20 portable voting booths across the city. In a matter of three hours, nearly 7,000 (6,945) people were polled. They were presented with a choice of 7 candidates:

1. V. Klitschko 45.17 %
2. Yu. Lutsenko 8.89
3. L. Chernovetsky 8.74
4. O. Omelchenko 8.67
5. M. Tomenko 8.42
6. O. Turchynov 7.22
7. Spoiled ballots 5.18
8. M. Pozhyvanov 4.54
9. V. Kaskiv 2. 46
10 Other candidates 0.69 %

Klitschko would win that round by knockout. But is the sociology sound? The poll numbers will start flying soon...

Shukhevych's uniforms

Born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1907, the first uniform Roman Shukhevych ever wore was that of a Plast boy-scout uniform. He was a Ukrainian nationalist whose goal was to see the blue and yellow flag fly over a unified and independent Ukraine. In 1925, he joined the revolutionary UVO Ukrainian Military Organization (forerunner to clandestine Ukrainian nationalist OUN). In the late 1920’s Shukhevych wore a Polish army uniform: UVO sent him to the Poles for military experience. Next he wore a prisoner’s uniform in a Polish concentration camp for his part in the assassination of the Polish foreign minister. He wore a German army uniform for two years in the early 1940s – this is the period of his life that is the focus of the historical debate.* He wore no uniform for the last seven years of his life in order to evade first Nazi, then Soviet capture. He would have donned an UPA general’s uniform as commander-in-chief of the insurgent army. He died sans uniform in battle with Soviet police in 1950 – five years after the war had ended for the rest of Europe.
UPA and Shukhevych did their part to defeat “fascism” and Soviet forces do not have a monopoly on that victory.

* historical debate over Roman Shukhevych between Ukraine's SBU archives, Israel's Yad Vashem, the European Jewish Congress and now Canadian historian John-Paul Himka of the University of Alberta. See "Be wary of faulty Nachtigall lessons" in the March 27 issue of .

Related links:

List of 42 Butchers of Lviv:

Copies of 7 recently declassified documents on Nachtigall:

Ukrainian government findings
The text of the 2004 Ukrainian governmental commission report on OUN and UPA activities from 1939-1956 led by Stanislav Kulchytsky:

Amazing 1943 diagram of OUN network in Kyiv oblast (UNKGB, 1944):

Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 30, 2008: 56 days to elections

In order to keep the skates sharp, will try to keep this blog current for the next two months.

The snap Kyiv city council and mayor election campaign officially kicked off March 26, two months before capital city residents go to the polls in a vote of confidence in the current mayor and a test of cohesion for the orange/democratic forces at the Kyiv city level.

Elected in March 2006, Leonid Chernovetsky has just completed half of his four year term. His election came as a surprise to some, but was seen as the logical conclusion to a multi-year campaign for the mayoralty comprised of small gifts and acts of charity by the banker who saw the light and became an ambassador for Pastor Sunday Andelaja’s Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations Under his leadership, Kyiv city council saw the redistribution of massive amounts of land in Kyiv, with deals benefiting politicians of all stripes and colors.

Chernovetsky’s 2006 victory was facilitated by votes being split between his opponents and an electoral system that is “first past the post.”

A similar situation may arise in these elections, with anti-Chernovetsky votes being dispersed by several candidates. Committee of Voters of Ukraine spokesman Oleksandr Chernenko suggested that a two round mayoral election, like the presidentials, may “significantly reduce the risk” of “accidental persons showing up” at polling stations “on the wave of some PR or general voter apathy.” Chernovetsky said he will not challenge the snap election in the courts (Deutsche Welle).

The new poll was supported by 246 MPs in the Rada across party lines. The Party of the Regions did not take part in the March 18 vote, and 13 Nasha Ukrayina MPs did not vote in support of the snap elections. With Byut providing the core, the vote would have passed without the abstainers from Nasha, but the Communists and Lytvyn Bloc provided the “yeas” to ensure the vote went through:

  • 155 of 156 Byut MPs voted for the elections (V.M Sushkevych was absent).

  • 59 of 72 Nasha Ukrayina Narodna Samo-oborona MPs (Bilozir, Martvienko, Plyushch abstained, did not vote/absent: S.O. Dovhy, Yu. Klyuchkovsky, I. Kril, P. Zhebrivsky, V. Petyovka, M. Polyanych, V. Topolov, V. Poliachenko, P. Yushchenko, Z. Shkutiak )

  • 26 of 27 Communists (V.O. Demyanchuk did not vote)

  • 6 of 20 Lytvyn Bloc (including V. Lytvyn, O. Zarubinksy, M. Syrota, but not I. Sharov)
Speaking live on 1+1’s Ya tak dumayu Yulia Tymoshenko said she will lead the Byut list in the race for Kyiv city
March 18 Rada vote:
May 25: Election Day
Official "go plant your potatos" holiday: April 26 to May 4