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Elections in Ukraine - the show goes on

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Yelena Shesternina) - Ukraine has come up with one more surprise.

It seemed the results of the early parliamentary elections have been predetermined beforehand. Judging by the polls of the last few months, the pre-election trips of candidates from the Big Three have not changed much the situation.

The Big Three are Yulia Tymoshenko, Viktor Yanukovych and Yury Lutsenko, who has replaced President Viktor Yushchenko as the leader of the Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense bloc. The head of state was not allowed to take part in any promotion campaigns. All polls predicted victory to Yanukovych with more than 30%, a second place to Tymoshenko -- about 23%-25%, and a third place to Our Ukraine with 13%-15%.

Having analyzed the tentative alignment of forces, Russian TV channels started broadcasting exit poll results without waiting for the completion of the elections on the pretext that Ukrainian law does not apply in Russia.

They showed that the Party of Regions was in the lead. The mood changed for the worse in the morning when it transpired that Tymoshenko's bloc was getting ahead the Party of Regions headed by Yanukovych, a long-term opponent of the Ukrainian Revolution's Iron Lady.

The lead was small - less than 3%, but still unpleasant. The situation may still change - the votes in eastern Ukraine, which traditionally supports the Blue-White, have not been counted to the end.

Our Ukraine has reaffirmed the results of the polls - the same 15%.

As for the "third forces," they have brought quite a few surprises. Meanwhile, political scientists believe that they were supposed to determine the final alignment of forces in the coalition and the nominees for the presidential and ministerial positions.

First, nobody believed that the Socialist Party of Alexander Moroz, the speaker of the previous Rada, had a chance to overcome the 3% barrier. He was to blame for the collapse of the Orange coalition, and Tymoshenko lost the much-wanted prime minister's position also because of him. They said that the Ukrainians would not forgive him such betrayal. He did not believe that he would be elected into the Rada himself and promised to dispute the results of the elections himself. But judging by the preliminary results, he still has a chance to get into the Rada - during the whole of yesterday he was balancing on the brink of the 3% barrier.

Secondly, the bloc of Vladimit Litvin, Rada speaker under Leonid Kuchma, has also made it to parliament. At the previous elections, he failed to get 3% of votes. But this time, he may be able to play a decisive role in determining the future coalition. Litvin has already made it clear that he will join the victors.

Finally, the Communists have also consolidated their position by getting 5% of votes (in preliminary estimate).

Now, the Party of Regions will not be able to create a coalition even if it succeeds in winning all blocs which have occupied the last three places to its side. This time, the Orange are not going to dig their own grave as they did a year and a half ago when they were too obsessed with dividing ministerial portfolios and allowed the Party of Regions to come to terms with Moroz and set up a Blue, Red and Crimson coalition (Party of Regions, Communists and Socialists).

Tymoshenko declared yesterday that the coalition would be formed in the next couple of days, and that she would take her proposals to the president as soon as the Central Election Commission announces the official results.

Lutsenko also said yesterday that this time any compromise was possible - the main idea is not to give power to the Party of Regions. He said that his party would fulfill all its preliminary agreements with the Tymoshenko bloc and that the government positions would be divided fifty-fifty. This means that Tymoshenko will become prime minister, while Lutsenko or some member of his team will become the speaker.

During the years since the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has proved that it is totally unpredictable. Moreover, the voting itself may be also called into question. The Constitutional Court has not yet passed the final verdict on the legitimacy of the presidential decree on the dissolution of the Rada and conduct of early elections.

Who can guarantee that the losers will not seek a verdict to declare the voting invalid? But even if this does not happen, courts will be flooded with suits on numerous violations during the voting. Nobody says there were none, but is this worth plunging the country into a new political crisis?

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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