Tens of thousands of opposition demonstrators in Ukraine are vowing to keep up their street protests until opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko is recognized as the new president of Ukraine. The official announcement from Ukraines Central Electoral Commission (Wednesday) declaring Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych the winner has done little to stem their zeal.
Having braved three days of driving snow and plunging temperatures, the opposition demonstrators show no signs of letting up. Kievs central Independence Square remains packed with Yuschenko supporters, who say they will not go home until he is declared the rightful winner.
This middle-aged lady says Ukraine is the only country in the world that can claim to have three presidents, the outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, the newly declared president-to-be Viktor Yanukovych and, in her words, the president of the people, Viktor Yushchenko.
She also says she is sure this fraud, as she calls it, will be exposed and that she and the other Yushchenko supporters will have their day. Even Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych seems uncertain of his win.
Far from making the traditional acceptance speech, he said he could not personally accept the results until he was
certain all was done according to the law.
Mr. Yanukovych spoke in brief remarks carried on Ukrainian state television. In contrast, opposition leader Yushchenko addressed his supporters in the streets and was met with a loud cheer when he said he would continue to act like Ukraines next president.
A short while later, the skies of Kiev were filled with fireworks and the near constant echo of car horns honking in support of Mr. Yushchenko, in scenes eerily reminiscent of Georgias peaceful Rose Revolution.
But not far from the central square, a different scene unfolds. Hundreds of large trucks are barricaded outside the entire perimeter of Central Election Commission headquarters. And nearby, some one thousand special police in full riot gear were unloading as the midnight hour
The only thing noticeably absent from Kiev's streets are any signs of Yanukovych supporters.