And, by all accounts, Ukraine has a new President, judging by exit polls. This is impressive in a nation where the candidate has to have over 50% to win, and there are many candidates; usually there are run-off elections after the initial one.
Meet President Petro Poroshenko. He's known as the "Chocolate King" - Roshen Candies is his company. He seems to be a good choice. Poroshenko supported the Maidan protesters against now-ousted President Yanukovich.He says ...
- ... his first trip will be to eastern Ukraine - to Donbas - in an effort to bring unity to the nation.
- ... amnesty for separatists who give up their guns, but not for terrorists - i.e. separatists who killed.
- ... this was a vote for Europe - wants to strengthen relations with Europe.
- ... if Russia wants to dialogue, they can now acknowledge that there is a legitimate President with whom they can (as Putin was calling the interim government illegitimate).
- ... he wants early Parliamentary elections; they are separate from Presidential elections. This would be a good thing too, I think, as the government is not set up to work together well if they don't want to. So it would be good to have elections across the board. (Disclaimer: I'm no political analyst. Just going by the little I've learned.)
So far, Tymoshenko has conceded, and both Canada and the US have acknowledged his victory, and congratulated the people of Ukraine on holding fair and free democratic elections, in very difficult circumstances.
Yesterday, I flipped back through some previous posts, through all the drama of Maidan. This one ... this one ... this awful day ... and this good one. I sighed deeply. It seemed finished ... and then it got more complicated ... and I wrote this.
It has been a long road to this point. There is a long road ahead.
I am hopeful.
Ukraine - land I love - you should definitely be proud.
Free, fair, peaceful democratic elections,
in the face of significant challenges,
even in the face of violence.
God keep your land.