Vanquished Ukraine President concedes defeat

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 21:35

Kiev: President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday said
he accepted the results of Ukraine`s Presidential Elections,
where he was eliminated in the first round, but defiantly
vowed to stay in politics.

Yushchenko, the figurehead of the 2004 Orange Revolution,
won just 5.45 percent of the vote in the first round
elections on Sunday amid widespread disappointment with his
presidency.

But in a characteristically defiant statement, Yushchenko
said that the holding of free elections, warmly praised by
international observers, was in itself proof of the victory of
the Orange Revolution.

"As head of state, I accept the will of the people in the
January 17 elections. The main thing is the elections were
free, democratic and legal," he told reporters in his first
public comment after the vote.

"But national and state circumstances do not give me the
moral right to leave political life," he added.

Yushchenko had vowed to turn Ukraine into a prosperous
nation anchored in the European Union and NATO but his
ambitions were undermined by political infighting and a dire
economic crisis.

Analysts also criticised the President -- a passionate
defender of Ukraine`s cultural heritage -- for focusing on
grandiose historical projects at the expense of concrete
reform.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 21:35

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