IN OTHER WORDS
On Sunday, Ukraine held its third general election since the Orange Revolution of 2004, and the outcome reflected the country’s nearly even split between pro-Russian forces and those that lean toward the West. This election will hardly resolve the East-West tension at the core of Ukrainian politics, and it cannot be expected to overcome deeply rooted corruption and stark economic disparities. Nevertheless, the openness of political debate and the politicians’ quest for the consent of the governed suggest that Ukraine is not turning back from the Orange Revolution.
Election observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe attested to Ukraine’s election being free and fair. On Monday, while Ukrainians were tallying the ballots in their close and competitive election, Russian President Vladimir Putin was declaring that he himself would lead the Kremlin’s United Russia Party in parliamentary elections scheduled for December.
Ukraine may have its own oligarchs who buy political favours; Ukrainian politicians may be subject to petty vendettas, and the country’s rust belt may be uncompetitive with Western industries. But Ukrainians, unlike Russians, have a free press and the right to change their rulers at the ballot box. Ukraine is moving toward Europe. — The Boston Globe