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The Orange Revolution was featured as a series that made-up protests as well as political events which happened in Ukraine from the end of November 2004 up to January 2005. This happened after the run off of the vote in 2004 of the presidential election. The Ukrainian presidential election was claimed to have been affected by corruption, electoral fraud as well as voter intimidation for those people who voted for the opposition (Arel, 168). The capital city of Ukraine, Kiev was the main focus point under which the movement had its roots for the civil resistance. Thousands of protestors and activists were roaming around and held their demos daily. There was a nationwide revolution of the Democrats, which was characterized by a series actions that were made of the civil disobedience, general strikes, as well as sit-ins. All these activities were organized by the opposition movement as their bid to push for their voices and opinions.
The protests were dared by the reports which were made by the various news which arose from the domestic as well as the foreign election indicators and monitors that were spread across the public believe that the results for the run-off vote were rigged. The runoff vote was to be conducted on 21st November 2004 and the candidates who were contesting were Viktor Yushchenko and Victor Yanukovych and Viktor Yanukovych was declared to have won the highly-contested seat. The new protests were geared up when the results for the initial run-off were announced and the Ukraine’s Supreme Court ordered a revote in 26th December 2004 (Kuzio, Taras 253). This underwent a serious scrutiny, which was conducted by international observers as well as the domestic expertise on election matters. The second run-off was announced to be true and fair (Kissinger, Henry 88). The final results demonstrated a clear picture of how Yushchenko winning by 52 % over his rival Yanukyoch whose standings were at 44%. It marked the end of the Orange Revolution, since after the declaration of the winner, the inauguration ceremony took place in 23rd January 2005 in the nation’s capital. In the years that followed, the Orange Revolution had a negative perspective among the federal circles of Belarus and also Russia.
Yanukovych was declared the winner of the presidential elections which took place in 2010. This happened after the Central Election Commission as well as a panel of international observers gave a report and declared that the presidential elections were conducted fairly (Arel, 168). It is important to note that Yanukovych was thrown out of power after four years when the Euro maiden clashes took place in February 2014 in the nation’s capital, Kiev Independence Square. This results resulted in many deaths of the protestors and activists, claiming more than 100 lives which occurred between February 20th and 20th.
Among the research questions that were used to determine the study include, what were the impacts of the Orange movement and what did they achieve in their daily fight? Have there been changes in political bodies, parties, political institutions, leaders and regional political orientations that took place in Ukraine after the Orange Revolution. If there were, were the changes evolutionary or revolutionary? What were the impacts of the changes that were necessary for the fight of democracy in Ukraine? The political reform came into implementation after the 2006 elections and have been enforced by the parliament (Kuzio, Taras 238). This was as a result of the compromise of the between the orange leaders and the Orange party of the national congress. It impacted the country since they moved from a presidential parliamentary to a parliamentary-presidential republic. The Socialist Party of Regions and the communists party switched sides and joined a coalition that was made up of the party of regions as well as the communist’s party. The opposition leader, Viktor Yanukovych was nominated to become the Prime Minister of Ukraine and had more power assigned to him this time, compared to the time of the Orange Revolution. The implications for the foreign policy was crucial for Ukraine as well as the neighboring countries which were post-communists like Russia and Poland.
The revolutionary changes would just reveal a deviation from the ruling parties, the leadership and the population away from the pro-Russian orientation which would be a move towards a pro- Western life orientation of their foreign policy (Arel, 168). This would particular affect the North Atlantic Treaty Association, NATO. The ideology of the NATO membership would only divide the country for both USA and Russia. It is notable that the Orange Revolution produced evolutionary changes in the political institutions, parties, leadership as well as the values that held back Ukraine. In the contrary, the revolution was composed of rapid change that varied the wide range and the fundamental changes which are referred to as evolution. This was thought to be slow and a complex system of political change. The evolutionary change was lying between revolutionary transformation and political stagnation.
The main hypothesis for this work is that the Orange Revolution produced the evolutionary changes. These changes took place in political institutions, parties, leadership and the values that apply in Ukraine. The evolutionary changes that is associated with the Orange Revolution lied between the revolutionary transformation as well as the political stagnation. The evolution was revealed by the political reforms in the nation.
The causes of the Orange Revolution can be said to be the outburst of the public due to the 2004 presidential election. The countrymen were impatient during this time and were waiting for transformation in their political and economic areas of their country. However, the election was thought to have fraud and motivated the death of the events that happened there before (Kissinger, Henry 105). The Ukrainian regime that ruled before the Orange revolution paved a way so as to create a way which would facilitate the emergence of the democratic society. This was based on the competitive authoritarian regime, which was viewed as a hybrid regime, since it allowed the democracy and economic health of the economy. The fraud that was noted in the election put more focus on the citizens to have a government which was more pluralistic. This would obviously raise the desire for of the public to create a social reform movement. This was only meant to undermine the respect of the people for Kuchma to be president, which included the elite as well as the ruling class.
The Orange movement focuses on the change of power more so, changes in political institutions; parties, leadership as well as the attitudes in Ukraine. This study uses data from the election polls, opinion poll data, the daily review of the major Ukrainian as well as the Western news sources on politics for Ukraine. The study also involves news from BBC and the field research before, during and after the presidential elections for November 2004 (Arel, 199). It also uses data from political crisis which happened in 2007, especially during the snap parliamentary elections that were used to determine the changes in Ukraine were revolutionary or evolutionary. The article focuses on major areas like political institution which experienced the impact, before and after the Orange Revolution, the orientation as well as the behavior and background of the main leaders of the Orange Revolution together with the opposition. The third issue is the changes in national support for the major political parties since the parliamentary elections of 2002. The fourth issue addressed by the issue is the change in the national support that was experienced by the main presidential candidates since the presidential elections which took place in 2004.
In late 2002, Viktor Yushchenko, Petro Symonenko, Oleksandr Moroz and Yulia Tymoshenko gave a joint statement that was concerned with Ukraine the state of evolution. The communists pulled out of the alliance that had been formed and Syomonenko was against one aspirant who was part of the team that was vying during the presidential elections in Ukraine in 2004 (Kuzio, Taras 243). The other three aspirants however, remained as close friends. During the autumn of 2001, Yushchenko and Tymoshenko made a deal whereby, they were to create an alliance.
Yulia Tymoshenko and our Ukraine formed a coalition named the Force of the people, whose main aim was stop the process that seemed destructive due to the incumbent authorities and became a component of the Ukraine (Kissinger, Henry 123). In 2004, the presidential election featured the two candidates, the Prime Minister who was Viktor Yanukovych, who was largely supported by the outgoing president, Kuchma and the opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. He was the leader of the Ukraine faction at the Ukrainian parliament and once acted as a former prime minister.
The elections were held in a in an atmosphere that was highly charged and intense. The team for Yanukovych and also the outgoing president’s administration was using their government control and the facilities of the state so as to intimidate the supporters of Yushchenko. More to that, in 2004, Yushchenko was poisoned in unclear circumstances (Kuzio, Taras 253). However, he survived and was back on his campaigns but the poisoning undermined his health and appeared on public drastically. His face however remained disfigured up to the present day due to the poisoning.
The behavior of Kuchma was tainted with scandals and hence he lost many supporters and also the positions in the government that were highly ranked. The many government officials who were on his side went to fully support the election of Yushchenko as well as his ideas in his campaign trial. Due to the lack of faith by the people of Ukraine, Yuschenko’s role was never important to the revolution even though he was a charismatic aspirant who exhibited no sign of being corrupt (Arel, 206). He presented his ideas for the nation in a non-Soviet way and was on the same level as his constituents. The younger generation who voted at that time were very important in determining the outcome of the 2004 presidential election. However, they had a different perspective of the main figures of the Ukrainian government that they wanted. They experienced a lot of negativity from Kuchma and hence had very skewed visions about the ability of Kuchma to lead the country for a longer period. The large population of the young people who participated in voting exhibited a huge sense of nationalism and hence brought out very varying ideas on how to develop their country. The Orange Revolution had enough influence so as to make people of all ages impactful.
Orange was initially adopted by the campaigners of Yushchenko and was seen as the signifying color that was going to be used for his election campaigns. Later on, the colour gave the name to the entire documents that were to be used in political aspects to his political supporters and also camp (Kissinger, Henry 105). By the time when the mass protests grew, they brought about political change in their country and hence came up with the word Orange revolution which was used in the entire series of events.
Even though there was a negotiation between Yushchenko and the outgoing president, Kuchma to resolve the situation in the country peacefully, the negotiations broke down and Yanukovych was declared the winner of the election (Åslund & Michael 230). This was seen as falsification of the election results and hence withheld the results by withholding the information that was being received from the local districts and was put up by the computer servers so as to manipulate the results (Arel, 228). Yushchenko spoke with the supporters in the country’s capital city band and urged them to start mass protests as well as general strikes as well as the sit-ins. This was meant to paralyze the government and forcing it to accept defeat. Since this was seen as a threat where an illegitimate government was coming to power, Yushchenko’s camp came up with the Committee of National Salvation, which then announced a national political strike.
However, in December 2004, a resolution was brought up which strongly opposed the pro-Separatists and the Federalists activities which was passed by a vote of no confidence by the cabinet ministers in Ukraine. Yanukovych who by then was the minister refused to recognize the decision and disregarded it. Since the vote of no confidence was meant to issue a resignation of the government, the parliament had no ways in which to enforce a resignation without cooperation from the outgoing president, Kuchma as well as the Prime Minister Yanukovych. The supreme court had to break the political tie and since it was impossible to establish the election results due to fraud, the court had decided to scale the electoral fraud (Arel, 245). Therefore, it invalidated the results and as a resolution to the marred election, they ordered a revote of the runoff that was to be held later the following month. The parliament approved the amendments that were to be put in the constitution and implemented a reform that was supported by the president who was outgoing, Kuchma. This was part of the political compromises that existed between the federal and the opposition.
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