Voters Say Poll Won't Fix Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- With just a month to go before voters elect a new parliament, Ukraine's election campaign is in full swing.

Same players, Yanukovych (L) and Yushchenko (R) - another election

And while some Ukrainians still believe in the romance of the Orange Revolution, many others say its leaders have failed to keep their promises.

Voters in Ukraine are facing the same choice they had at the time of the Orange Revolution and the parliamentary vote last year.

It's either the orange team headed by Viktor Yushchenko and the flamboyant Yulia Timoshenko or the Regions Party led by their bitter rival, the Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich.

After endless power struggles and stand-offs, many voters are disillusioned, yet are likely to vote for what they think is the lesser of two evils.

The Vasiliyevs from Kiev used to have bitter spats over politics. Maryanna kept telling her parents that orange leaders abused people’s trust to win power.

But mom and dad thought they knew better and supported the revolution. Sometimes they didn't talk for weeks, but that's changed now.

Maryanna’s father, a historian, hoped his wages would go up enough to afford a holiday abroad.

But his family is still renting holiday houses build by the Soviets two hours from Kiev. It's no wonder the parents are far less enthusiastic about the revolution and its slogans this time.

The Orange Revolution is satirised in a new museum in the city of Lugansk.

A puppet of President Yushchenko has a sign that reads, “I do what I like with the constitution”.

Cartoons and photos of the orange uprising mock the election promises of a better life.

Ten toy soldiers in NATO uniforms are shown crossing a map of Ukraine, indicating what could happen if orange leaders are returned to power.

“I was at university during the election last year. And we were told who to vote for. Is that the freedom promised to us by the orange team? I said ok but voted the way I wanted,” says Galina Ananieva, organiser of the Anti-Orange Museum.

The pro-presidential Our Ukraine party does not think they have done so badly, saying it was impossible to make everything smell of roses after 70 years of communism.

“What we needed to do - shake up the system, We were not going to satisfy hyperinflated expectations of the Ukrainian people. But I don’t criticise them for this. One of the reasons the “Orange Revolution” was successful is that it shook the foundations of the system,” believes Roman Zvarych, an advisor to President Yushchenko.

And for some the romance of the revolution is still strong.

Supporters of the orange team credit the president for the freedom of the press and the growty of civic activity in Ukraine.

Yet more than half of the population say they failed to keep the promises made three years ago.

Power struggles in Ukraine are far from over. Next month ballot-weary voters will tramp to polling stations for the fourth time in less than three years.

However, the election is unlikely to shift the balance of power.

Advisers to the President and the Prime Minister are already preparing to dispute the results, and to bring their supporters to Independence Square yet again.

Source: RussiaToday

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