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December 03, 2004

Just In -- Supreme Court Has Ruled!

Our friends Lena and Seryozha just came over. At 5:58 the Supreme Court decision was read. The Supreme Court has ruled that:
1. The election from November 21 is invalid.
2. There will be another run-off election, between Yushchenko and Yanukovich.
3. The election will be held before the end of December.

We were all jumping up and down and so excited. This decision is wonderful and right. And honestly, I am so happy and amazed at how things are turning out. We're celebrating!

As soon as I find this from an English news source, I'll provide a link.

Update: Here's the story from the Kyiv Post Some excerpts:

Ukraine's Supreme Court on Friday invalidated the official results of the disputed presidential runoff election and ruled that a repeat vote must be held.

Presiding Judge Anatoliy Yarema said the rerun should be held by Dec. 26.

. . .

The court's ruling is binding and cannot be overturned.

Yushchenko has pushed for a quick rerun of the runoff, saying it may come as early as Dec. 19. He has rejected outgoing President Leonid Kuchma's call for a completely new election, which was widely seen as a bid to field a new candidate more popular than Yanukovych.

Tens of thousands of opposition protesters who had massed in central Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in anticipation of the decision cheered, waving blue-and-yellow Ukrainian and orange Yushchenko flags and chanting "Yushchenko! Yushchenko!" The crackle of fireworks could be heard in the distance.

. . .

"This is a great victory of all people who have been standing at the square, a great victory for Ukrainian democracy," said Mykola Katerinchuk, the Yushchenko lawyer who wrote the appeal.

Read the rest here.

Update: Read the text of the decision at obdymok.


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Ukraine High Court Calls For New Election from CALIFORNIA YANKEE
The Ukrainian Supreme Court has thrown out the results of last month's run-off election between Prime Minister Yanukovych opposition leader Yushchenko and called for a "repeat vote" to take in three weeks. Reuters reports that this decision suggests th... [Read More]

Tracked on December 3, 2004 07:45 PM



Posted by: Dana at December 3, 2004 05:11 PM

Nice! It was the only sensible option - but it has to be said, I didn't have much faith they'd pull it off...

Fingers crossed that it can all run smoothly.

Posted by: Nosemonkey at December 3, 2004 05:25 PM

Yes, wonderful news. I called my wife just a few minutes ago and she broke down in tears.

I'm still wondering about some of the procedures for the re-vote however. What about the issue of absentee ballots and the make-up of the Central Election Committee?

Posted by: Daniel at December 3, 2004 05:44 PM

A new blog - great pictures

Posted by: Jane at December 3, 2004 07:12 PM

Hey, great news! Thanks for being a super source for the "real" truth about this situation.

(formerly http://afternoon-tea.blogspot.com)

Posted by: Melissa at December 3, 2004 07:32 PM

Tell the Ukranians that their fight for liberty is awe-inspiring. The walls are still coming down.

Posted by: Brian at December 3, 2004 07:54 PM

As we say down South:

Yeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Posted by: WRY at December 3, 2004 08:02 PM

I'm just so amazed and rejoicing. Like you said, Nosemonkey, I just almost didn't hope it could all come together.

Daniel! I'm almost crying reading that. I thought of you and your wife right away (tried to post on your blog, had I-E issues. Back to firefox. . .) Isn't it amazing!?

WRY, I shoulda known you were a southerner. *grin*

Thanks Jane, for that URL. I saw the site the other night and have been wanting to add it to my UkrLinks, but have had so little computer time the past few days.

Posted by: TulipGirl at December 3, 2004 08:27 PM

I just discovered your blog from an article linked at realclearpolitics.com

The Clementine Rev has been on a constant news loop on the cable tv stations in the USA.

What a party! Looked like a blast, to only have been in Kiev. Keep warm and keep up the fight. Vstavay!

December 3, 2004 --
WE'VE learned from bitter experience about the Law of Unintended Con sequences how government action that's meant to help people can end up making things worse. That was the case with welfare on demand: It was supposed to help the poor, but wound up contributing to the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

We only hear about the Law of Unintended Consequences when things go bad. But what about good surprises when the government takes action in one area and the results end up providing a wholly unanticipated but wonderfully welcome benefit elsewhere?

A strong argument can be made that America's conduct over the past three years in fighting the War on Terror against Islamic extremists has borne surprising fruit in the glorious and thrilling display of liberty in the streets of Kiev.

Millions of Ukrainians are creating an entirely new kind of democratic revolution: They've simply refused to let their election be stolen by a government run by a kleptocratic mafia, and they've taken to the streets of the capital. As their peaceful, high-spirited, optimistic and profoundly moving protest has grown over the past weeks, it has taken an amazing turn.

This isn't just a fight against electoral fraud. It's become the communal expression of the basic human need for self-government.

What we are seeing in Ukraine is the birth of the second stage of the liberation of the former Soviet Union from Communist totalitarianism. The corrupted pseudo-system that arose in Communism's wake with strongmen taking more and more power with the support of billionaire "businessmen" who got hold of the reins of the economy in the midst of chaos is dying before our eyes.

The only hope for Ukraine's collapsing leadership would have been to massacre the protestors at the start to dissuade others from joining in. But as Natan Sharansky explains in his extraordinary new book, "The Future of Democracy," an oppressive political system can't survive forever because it takes too much energy to sustain the oppression.

Ukraine's thugs couldn't come down hard on the protest because they no longer had the power to do so. The last gasp of their power came when they stole the election. They couldn't give the order for a massacre because the order would not have been obeyed. And so an entire political system was delegitimized instantly.

So what does all this have to do with the Law of Unintended Consequences?

For more than three years, the United States has been at war with Islamic extremism. One aspect of it is military the war against al Qaeda, the Taliban, Saddam Hussein and his remnant. But another aspect is ideological: As never before, America has made the promotion and extension of democracy the centerpiece of its foreign policy.

This relentless push for democracy has been focused exclusively on the Islamic world, to offer a positive counterweight to the seductive ideology of Islamic extremism a future offering earthly progress rather than earthly misery followed by 72 virgins after death.

But President Bush's argument on behalf of democracy is universalist. "Liberty is not our gift to ourselves," he has said, "it is God's gift to humanity." No matter where or how they live, human beings are free down to their marrow. The problem is that in too many places, they can't make full use of their God-given liberty because of oppressive or hostile governments and ideologies.

When the world's only superpower stakes the future of the world on democracy, it's going to have ramifications and we saw one intended ramification in the astonishing conduct of the Afghan people, who went to the polls in mass numbers two months ago.

And now, in Ukraine, we're seeing this new popular commitment a commitment by Ukrainians to take charge of their own lives and their own politics.

The blogger Tulip Girl (tulipgirl.com), an American living in Kiev, published a beautiful letter from her Ukrainian friend Lena last week. Ignore the grammatical problems and revel in it:

"Quite recently I didn't believe that my people able to resist to violence and humiliation. Two months ago I guessed that I live in the worst country in the world. I was oppressed when I could not see a dignity in my fellow citizens, willingness to freedom and happiness. . . . Now I can see that they are not passive mammals who want just to dig [a] comfortable burrow, to generate they own posterity and to finish life in poverty, pretending that there is no another way.

"Since Nov. 22 there are not a crowd on the main square of my country. This is the PEOPLE. This is the NATION. Love, faith and hope filled up a whole space of capital of my country."

To what extent the Ukrainian revolution has been influenced by American evangelizing about the power of freedom and democracy is something we won't know for a while. But we can be sure it played some kind of role and that's an unintended consequence of which we can all be deeply, deeply proud. And another reason to give thanks for the sacrifice of those who are fighting for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan.



Posted by: Justiz at December 3, 2004 11:24 PM

We have been elated about this all day. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!

Posted by: kristen at December 4, 2004 03:13 AM

So excited for what is happening there!!

Posted by: swamphopper at December 5, 2004 02:44 AM

This is such a happy event. I wish I was in Maidan. I wish my grandparents were alive to see this - Ukrainians joining together to finally become a nation. I have always been proud of my Ukrainian heritage but never so proud as I am now.
Thanks for the blog.

Posted by: Bluecanary at December 5, 2004 05:53 AM

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