The Socialist 30 March 2006 |
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Ukraine's 'orange revolution' goes pear-shaped
LAST SUNDAY'S general election in Ukraine saw pro-Western president
Yushchenko's party humiliatingly beaten into third place with an
expected 17% of the vote.
In the lead is the party of former president, the pro-Russian Victor
Yanukovich, with 27%. It was only one year ago that Yanukovich was
forced to step down as president after a fraudulent ballot led to a mass
opposition movement known as the 'Orange Revolution'.
But Yushchenko's rule has been characterised by a failure to deal
with endemic state corruption and to raise living standards. Yushchenko
also dismissed his prime minister and one-time ally, Yulia Tymoshenko.
Now bitter rivals, Tymoshenko's party is expected to win around 24%.
Significantly, there was a high abstention rate. CWI supporters in the
Ukraine called for a 'no party' vote.
Much political 'horse trading' will ensue before a new government is
formed. But the result is a spanner in the works for Western governments
who wanted Ukraine to move closer to the EU and to join NATO.
for background article.
Left success in Germany
ON 26 March, there were local council elections in the German state
of Hessen, where several left alliances stood in nearly all city
In Kassel, a joint list of the new left party WASG, PDS, Socialist
Alternative (SAV, the German section of the CWI, the international
organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated), some immigrant
organisations and individuals stood under the banner: 'Kassel Left for
Work and Social Justice' with demands such as no cuts and no
privatisation in the local hospital.
The Kassel Left got 6.8%, one of the best results in Hessen. Five
councillors were elected, one of them Nico Weinmann, a member of SAV.