Saturday, October 30, 2010

Girl who cried wolf - Credibility or Liability?

There has been a lot of speculation and allegations about Ukraine's local elections which are being held this weekend.  Normally local elections would not rate much attention but in Ukraine the word election and corruption go hand in hand.

Former Prime-Minster come self declared opposition leader in exile (She is not a member of parliament) Yulia Tymoshenko, has come out and declared the election fraudulent with another round of allegations of vote rigging and illegal printing of ballot papers.

Tymoshenko last week took the media with her to expose a illegal printing of ballot papers in Lviv.  Problem was when they got there there was no signs or evidence of any ballot papers.  Similar allegation were made in Kharkiv region but it turned out the factory was authorised to publish ballot papers.

The real problem facing Tymoshenko is credibility.

During the 2010 Presidential elections Tymoshenko also made allegations of vote fraud and declared that the elections in which she lost by a margin of 3 percent were fraudulent.  This in spite the fact that the result of the elections had been endorsed by all International observer groups and was backed up by public onion polls and exist polls all which confirmed the official results.  On review there was no evidence to back up the claims made by Tymoshenko.  Tymoshenko never the less stated that she would pursue her allegations and challenge the results in the courts and if need be would appeal to the International Community. Weeks went by and Tymoshenko failed to provide any evidence of any serious wrong doing or any facts that substantiated her claim that the elections was fraudulent. Faced with growing criticism and lack of international backers and a serious loss of confidence Tymoshenko withdraw her challenge against the results of the election.

Nine months later Ukraine is back in a new election cycle and Tymoshenko is again alleging election fraud.  It is not that there is no concern about the election, there is, but Tymoshenko has to date not provided any substantial evidence to support her claims.

The International community concerned about the need for open transparency and confidence in the internal elections has set a delegation of observers.  Many who have a bias agenda . Most are reluctant to be seen to back Tymoshenko's allegations and there is growing concern that she may have lost all credibility to such an extent that no-one is prepared to take her seriously.

It has become a situation where even if there is voter fraud no one will come to her aid or believe her, such is the loss of her credibility.  The polls are also showing a corresponding loss of Tymoshenko's support in the electorate.