One overriding memory that followed President Bill Clinton’s victory over George Bush senior during the US Presidential campaign of 1992 was the latter’s graciousness in defeat.  When pressed for comment by journalists, President George Bush senior simply stated: “We have seen the majesty of democracy...”.

Ukraine has not been renowned for the majesty of her own democracy since gaining independence in 1991.  But there is now some hope!  However kindly or unkindly history records President Yushchenko’s five year term in office, there is something very positive about the fact that he allowed free and fair elections to take place over and above any personal ambitions that he may have had to secure another term in office.  This is a giant leap forward and we must hope that President Yushchenko’s successors will follow his lead and not revert to old ways in the future for the sake of their own personal political ambitions.

Yushchenko was instrumental in opening the way to freedom of speech in Ukraine and this should not be underestimated.  Democracy has taken root.  And though the electorate in Ukraine has chosen to elect a new President, it should, above all else, ensure that the new incumbent protects and develops these values.

Ukrayinska Dumka


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