Central Election Commission rushes to announce Yanukovych as President

From the Associated Press:

Election officials named Russia-friendly Viktor Yanukovych as the official winner of Ukraine’s presidential election Sunday

The announcement appeared to have been rushed, coming three days before the deadline, even as complaints of fraud poured in from Tymoshenko’s staff. One Tymoshenko representative on the commission refused to read out the results from her districts, forcing a commission secretary to read them out in her place.

International observers deemed the election free and fair

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It’s deja-vu all over again, with the CEC taking the place of Putin during the 2004 Orange Revolution:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has telephoned Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych to congratulate him on winning the Ukrainian presidency despite the lack of a final official result.

Earlier today, Ukraine’s Central Election Commission said that with 99 percent of the ballots counted, Yanukovych was leading with 49 percent of the vote compared to just under 47 percent for his rival Viktor Yushchenko.

Yushchenko has refused to accept the results.

Election observers from the East and the West are also at odds over the official numbers. Monitors from the CIS hailed the poll as democratic.

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In 2004, the run-off results that were deemed illegal by the Supreme Court were in favour of Yanukovych 49.42% vs. Viktor Yushchenko receiving 46.69%. In 2010’s election results Yanukovych gained 48.95% vs. Tymoshenko’s 45.47% as she prepares to take the results to court. Is the 2004 election fraud deja-vu, or should this year’s election results despite striking similarities be considered fair?

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