Monday, October 19, 2009

Let the Games begin

Yushchenko becomes a caretaker President with 90 days to go until Ukraine elects a new President

Today is the official start of Ukraine's Presidential election campaign 

90 days until January 17, 2010 when Ukraine goes to the polls to elect a new head of state.

All public opinion polls have been consistent in showing a final contest between the leader of the opposition Viktor Yanukovych and Ukraine's incumbent Prime-minister Yulia Tymoshenko. All other potential candidates come in a far distance behind.  Under Ukraine's Presidential electoral system  the two highest polling candidates will face off in a second round ballot to determine the winner.

Elections are not cheap and even more expensive when you have to two rounds of voting.

The 2010 Presidential elections are expected to cost over 1 billion dollars with a direct cost of one hundred dollars per round and a further estimated 100 million dollars per candidate in campaign costs.

Ukraine toyed with the idea of electing the head of state by a constitutional majority of Ukraine's Parliament as is the case in Moldova and other western democracies such as Greece, but failed to reach a consensus as to the terms of the new Constitutional requirements.

Axxording to the latest opinion polls incumbent President, Viktor Yushchenko, has less then 3% support . In 2004 Viktor Yushchenko enjoyed 52% support, his rating has since plummeted and he is now a certain to lose in the first round of voting.

Each candidate is required to pay a 2.5 million hryvina nomination deposit which will only be refunded to the two highest polling candidates that progress to the second round of voting.  The high deposit (Approximately US$275,000) is designed to try and limit the number of nominations that have no real prospect of winning. You fall sort you lose the election and your deposit and the people of Ukraine thank you for your contribution to State revenue.

Nominations open tomorrow October 20 and close on November 6.