Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another Update from the Front

On Tuesday, Yuliya Tymoshenko finally received enough votes to become Prime Minister. Erik watched the proceedings on TV, while recovering from two consecutive nights on the train. You can see the photos of her triumph on Korrespondent's website. Tymoshenko received the bare minimum necessary - 226 votes. Members of parliament voted by raising their hands and recording a voice vote one by one because of suspicions raised about the electronic voting system. Also, having deputies record their vote publicly is an easier way to hold them to the party line. Ivan Pliushch, a dissenter from the president's party, voted to abstain. His voice vote was met with disapproval from other deputies in his party. While this is a short-term victory, it presages highly contentious votes on the horizon. Tymoshenko and her allies will have to work hard and fight for every initiative because she cannot rely on disciplined deputies in her coalition to vote along party lines. In addition to Yuliya's elevation to PM, the rector of Ivan Franko National University, Erik's host, was named Minister of Education. Two and a half months after the election, Ukraine now has a new government in place.

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