Yanukovych Is Strongest Candidate In Ukraine

LONDON, England -- Former prime minister Viktor Yanukovych is still the most popular presidential candidate in Ukraine, according to a poll by the Ukrainian Sociological Service. 29.9 per cent of respondents would vote for Yanukovych in the next presidential election, up 8.3 points since June.

Current prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is a distant second with 15 per cent, followed by former foreign affairs minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk with 12.8 per cent, current president Viktor Yushchenko with 5.5 per cent, and Volodymyr Lytvyn of the Lytvyn Bloc with 2.3 per cent.

A series of public demonstrations took place in Kiev after the November 2004 presidential run-off. The Ukrainian Supreme Court eventually invalidated the results of the second round, and ordered a special re-vote. Opposition candidate Yushchenko—whose supporters wore orange-coloured clothing at events and rallies—received 51.99 per cent of all cast ballots, defeating Yanukovych.

In 2006, the PR secured 186 seats in the Supreme Council. Yanukovych eventually became prime minister in a coalition government with the Socialist Party (SPU) and the KPU. After a long political stalemate and disagreements between the president and prime minister, a new legislative ballot took place in September 2007.

Final election results released in October gave the "orange forces"—including the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and Yushchenko’s People’s Union-Our Ukraine (NS-NU)—228 seats, while Yanukovych and his allies took control of 202 seats. In December, Tymoshenko was ratified as prime minister, with the support of 225 lawmakers.

In September 2008, Ukraine’s governing coalition split in great part due to disagreements over a Georgia-Russia conflict. In the days following an incursion by Russian forces into South Ossetia, a Georgian breakaway province, Yushchenko asked the government to fiercely condemn Russia’s actions in Georgia, but Tymoshenko refused to take a strong stance against Russia. Yushchenko left the coalition as a result. A new parliamentary election was scheduled for Dec. 14, but was later postponed indefinitely on account of the global economic crisis.

Patriarch Kirill, the maximum authority of the Catholic Orthodox Church, travelled to Ukraine in late July. On Jul. 31, Yanukovych expressed satisfaction with the visit, saying, "I consider that this very significant visit will unite Ukrainian people, will unite orthodoxy. Patriarch Kirill is a prominent figure of the Church, who is known far outside traditional territories of the Orthodox Church in the whole world. His visit is invaluable for the unification of Ukraine, which is what we all have long dreamt about."

The presidential election is expected to take place on Jan. 17, 2010.

Polling Data

Which candidate would you vote for in the presidential election?

Viktor Yanukovych
29.9% - Jul. 2009
21.6% - Jun. 2009

Yulia Tymoshenko
15.0% - Jul. 2009
15.9% - Jun. 2009

Arseniy Yatsenyuk
12.8% - Jul. 2009
11.5% - Jun. 2009

Viktor Yushchenko
5.5% - Jul. 2009
5.1% - Jun. 2009

Volodymyr Lytvyn
2.3% - Jul. 2009
5.8% - Jun. 2009

Source: Angus Reid


Eyes on You said…
This doesnt add up to 100%. Where is the other 35% of Ukraine's voters?