Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Ukraine: A tinder box waiting to be ignited

Part of democracy is the ability of a state and political force to accept defeat as well as they accept winning.

Sunday's presidential election could end in civil unrest as the losing party refuses to accept the out come of the election.

There are reports of planned military style action designed to disrupt the final ballot in the making. Reports of para military agents imported from Georgia, Poland and  Lithuania by Ukraine's Prime-minister, the possible engagement of Tatars in Crimea and plans for mass protests and civil action to arrest power.

To add to the tension Ukraine incumbent president, Viktor Yushchenko, who was defeated in the first round of voting, is waiting in the sidelines and could be called on to declare a state of emergency if things appear to be getting out of hand.

If Sunday becomes Ukraine's Bloody Sunday Yushchenko may use this as an excuse to declare a State of Emergency and implement a planned presidential coup.  It is even feasible that Yushchenko and his forces may consider it in their interests to fuel the perception of civil unrest in order to prolong his term of office.

Should Yushchenko not be able to maintain law and order and ensure the transfer of power to whoever is declared the winner of the election then he should be replaced and a caretaker president appointed without delay.

The potential for civil unrest depends on just how close Sunday's ballot is and whether the losing party will feel cheated and has the ability to motivate a civil protest movement.  It is unlikely that the people of Ukraine will take to the streets as they did in 2004, but there is a real threat of an orchestrated military style provocation and takeover by various interested parties.

It has been suggested that the dismissal of Ukraine's Interior Minister was part of the planned provocation action.