Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ukraine Election: Vitali Klitschko a Serious Challenger

A western leaning government in Ukraine is good for international
adoption in Ukraine. I think it is good for the world. The
political situation in Ukraine in the last years has not been
good, in my opinion. I recently saw the movie "Klitschko" about
Vitali and his brother Vladimir and I gained a lot of respect for
them both. I think this would be a good thing for Ukraine. I
would also do away with immunity from prosecution for
parliamentary members. This article from the BBC, says he has a
chance to make a difference. Go Vitali!

By David Stern BBC News, Kiev

Vitali Klitschko, a world famous Ukrainian sporting hero, is
making a very good fist of his attempt at politics.

Udar, the political party led by the reigning world heavyweight
champion boxer, has surprised many observers by catapulting to
second place in opinion polls before Ukraine's parliamentary
election on 28 October.

This is not Klitschko's first election: He ran twice,
unsuccessfully, for mayor of Kiev.

But this election battle has a different vibe altogether. Udar,
which means "punch" in Ukrainian (and stands for Ukrainian
Democratic Alliance for Reforms) is regularly landing its blows.

At a recent rally in the small central Ukrainian city of Lubny,
Klitschko's growing popularity was unmistakable.


Many were drawn simply to see him up close and possibly get an
autograph from the WBC heavyweight champion, a man nicknamed Dr
Ironfist, who is worshipped by Ukrainian sports fans.

But others said they came because they see Udar as an alternative
to the cronyism and politics-as-usual of Ukraine's mainstream
parties, both in the government and opposition. They consider
Klitschko's political inexperience a plus - easier to believe him
when he says that he is a new force that will pulverise Ukraine's
pervasive and suffocating corruption.

All of which is buttressed by Klitschko's reputation as a
punishing and disciplined fighter.

I will keep my reputation and my name. Believe me"

Vitali KlitschkoWorld heavyweight boxing champion and UDAR leader

"I'm voting for Klitschko, because he's a person of iron will and
strong character - just the kind of person we need," said Maria,
a pensioner.

When Klitschko arrived, the crowd of a few hundred surged
forward, and then settled back into rapt, respectful attention.

Corrosive politics

Klitschko is vast - a huge presence, more than 2m (6ft 7in) tall,
with hands like watermelons.

He is not the most comfortable of orators, and his stump speech
lacked the oomph of a more seasoned politician. But his massive
grassroots campaign, which began nearly a year ago and sometimes
includes up to five rallies a day, has undoubtedly sharpened his

"I have never been bought, and no-one has ever been embarrassed
because of me in my sports career, and no-one will be embarrassed
because of me as politician," Klitschko said to cheers. "I give
you my word, and I will keep my reputation and my name. Believe

The speech however was light on specifics. Klitschko, of course,
is not the first politician to trade mostly on hope.

He says that he will enforce the rule of law, and those
politicians caught enriching themselves will be sent to jail.
Ukraine will become a full member of Europe, including part of
European security structures. He will bring a completely new team
of ministers and aides, young and untainted by Ukraine's
corrosive political culture.

How he plans to do all this is somewhat vague. But this strategy
of being all things to all people seems to working exceedingly
well. According to the Democratic Initiatives Foundation,
Klitschko's party is polling at 16% - up from 9.6% two months

These numbers are behind President Viktor Yanukovych's Party of
Regions (23%), and just in front of Ukraine's United Opposition
(15%), a collection of eight parties led by jailed former Prime
Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's Fatherland party.


How many deputies this would constitute in Ukraine's 450-seat
parliament is still not clear however. Half of parliament is
chosen proportionally from party lists, though only those parties
that cross a 5% threshold are eligible. The other half is elected
through first-past-the-post single mandate districts.

But if Udar and the United Opposition join forces in parliament,
as they now are speaking of doing, they might control enough
seats to form a majority. And in any case, Klitschko is now
well-positioned to assume the leadership of the anti-government

And what of his supporters' expectations, which may be too high
and could face crushing disappointment when Klitschko is forced,
as part of the expected political to-and-fro, to compromise with
his opponents?

"I'm afraid to disappoint people, but this gives me the
additional motivation to work even harder," he says.

"We have to make compromises, but under no circumstances should
we compromise our consciences."

If you or someone you love would like to expand your family,
provide a permanent home for a needy orphaned child, welcome a
sibling for an existing child or discover an alternative for
infertility treatments - contact us to learn more about Ukrainian
adoption, Adoption Services International can help.

Adoption Services International unites loving US families with
Ukrainian children. We provide a unique combination of western
quality service (including a maximum guaranteed adoption fee),
personal adoption experience, affordable local cost and 20 years
Ukrainian experience.


Upcoming Events:

Ukrainian Adoption 101:

Conversation On International Adoption: Opportunity, Process,
Concerns and Questions

Monday, November 12, 2012 6:00-7:00PM

Location: Califon Book Store: 72 Main Street, Califon, New Jersey

Ukrainian Adoption Information Meeting

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:00-8:00PM

Location: Wellness Rocks: 133 Rupell Road, Clinton, New Jersey

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