The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 3, 2004 - 5
Putin comes out against
new election in Ukraine
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Russian President
Vladimir Putin injected himself directly into the
election crisis in this former Soviet republic yes-
terday, strongly attacking the opposition's central
demand for a new presidential runoff.
Tens of thousands of opposition supporters
waving Ukrainian flags and wearing orange
armbands, sweaters and scarves rallied for
the 11th straight day in Independence Square.
While awaiting a Supreme Court ruling on
whether to throw out the results of the dis-
puted election, they listened to rock bands and
watched large-screen televisions broadcasting
the court sessions.
The demonstrators erected a Christmas tree
- also bright orange, which is the emblematic
color of their movement - in the tent camp they
have maintained since shortly after the Nov. 21
runoff. Protesters kept up their blockade of the
Cabinet building, banging on drums improvised
from metal canisters, the sound echoing off the
walls of the imposing Stalin-era building.
Putin, hosting Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma, again issued a warning to the West.
"Neither Russia, nor the European Union, nor
international organizations will solve the prob-
lems," he said outside Moscow. "They all can
play the role of mediators, but the Ukrainian
people have the last word."
Following Putin's remarks, President Bush
issued a warning that appeared to be directed at
Russia. If there is to be a new election, it "ought
to be free from any foreign influence," Bush said
in comments that were considered more forceful
than those he has made in the past.
Putin had openly supported Prime Minister
Viktor Yanukovych in the election. The Krem-
lin fears that a victory by opposition leader
Viktor Yushchenko, who favors closer ties with
the West, could drag this country of 48 million
out of Moscow's orbit and generate pressure for
greater democracy in Russia.
The Supreme Court is considering an appeal
by Yushchenko's campaign to invalidate the
result of the runoff, which the Central Election
Commission said Yanukovych won by about
900,000 votes. The appeal centers on claims of
widespread violations across the prime minister's
the east and "Neither Russio
south, near Rus-
sia. European Uni
The 18 red-
robed justices international o
final arguments will solve thef
but adjourned The U rina
hours after dark The U rainian
without a deci- the last word."
If the court
sides with Yush- - Russian P
chenko, it would
put him in a strong negotiating position with
Kuchma to schedule a repeat runoff. If the court
rules against Yushchenko's appeal, Kuchma's
administration might seek to inaugurate Yanu-
kovych or schedule new elections with a more
As the court edged toward a ruling, Kuchma
flew to Russia and won Putin's support for his
proposal to hold an entirely new election - not
just a repeat of the runoff.
"A revote couldbe conducted a third, a fourth,
a 25th time, until one side gets the results it
needs," a grim-faced Putin said in televised
comments from the meeting in a sparsely deco-
rated, parquet-floored room at the government's
Vnukovo-2 airport outside Moscow before leav-
ing forlIndia. He said another runoff would likely
Kuchma derided the idea of rehashing the
runoff, saying, "I don't know a single country
that has such a legal norm asa revote."
Yushchenko criticized Kuchma's trip to Rus-
sia, saying "the source of power is located in
Ukraine - it's the Ukrainian people."
, nor the pressed his posi-
tion in an address
n, nor to supporters
after the court
rganizations adjourned, say-
ing he would not
)roblems. ... take part in any
pe ple have negotiations on
peop a settling the crisis
if they included
talks on starting
an election from
resident Vladimir Putin scratch.
"If a revote
date isn't set quickly after the Supreme Court's
ruling, we will take adequate steps against the
government," Yushchenko said.
Kuchma appears to hope a new election would
enable him to field a more popular successor as
his government scrambles to stay in power with
his 10 years in office running out.
Ukrainian media have frequently tipped
Yanukovych's former campaign chief, Serhiy
Tyhypko, as the most likely choice. Tyhypko, a
young andcharismaticpolitician, might fare bet-
ter against Yushchenko than Yanukovych, whom
Kuchma picked to run last spring in hopes that
his prominence and publicity as prime minister
would attract votes.
Opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko's supporters, one of them wearing his portrait
as a hat, attend a rally in Kiev, Ukraine, yesterday. Supporters awaited a Supreme Court decision
that could be tihe turning point they need to win a revote in the disputed presidential runoff election.
Two issues stalling passage of intelligence reform bill
WASHINGTON (AP) - Two issues have
ligence bill President Bush says he wants.Reps. split on control of satellites, rights of terror suspects
military control of soy satellites and provisions
that, some lawmakers say, let terrorists shield Wis.). Despite entreaties from the White House
themselves with claims of political asylum. to support the bill, the lawmakers remain the
Negotiators are working down to the wire in main opponents.
hopes of getting an agreement so the GOP-con- Bush, in a call yesterday to House Speaker
trolled House can vote Monday on legislation to Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Senate Majority
put the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission's recom- Leider Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) told them he wants
mendations into law. If the House goes ahead, an intelligence bill completed.
the Senate would act Tuesday, sending Bush leg- Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joseph
islation that would set up a national intelligence Lieberman (D-Conn.), the lead Senate negotia-
director and a national counterterrorism center. tors, say they are not prepared to open nego-
Still standing in the way, however, are House tiations again. Bush was expected to send
Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Congress a letter today that outlines what he
Hunter (R-Calif.) and House Judiciary Com- wants done with the bill. Collins and Lieber-
mittee chairman James Sensenbrenner (R- man said they expect the letter would endorse
The bill has not received noticeable support
from the Pentagon, which now controls much of
the money that would go to the national intel-
ligence director. Crucial to winning Hunter's
support is ensuring that the Defense Depart-
ment would retain direct control over the agen-
cies that operate the nation's spy satellites and
analyze the.information they pick up.
Under the legislation, the intelligence direc-
tor would oversee the CIA as well as Penta-
gon-controlled agencies such as the National
Reconnaissance Office, which operates spy sat-
ellites, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence
Agency, which analyzes satellite pictures.
Hunter says battlefield commanders need
direct access to those satellites and should not
have to waste time by asking the intelligence
director's permission to use the equipment.
"We need to have here a strong chain of com-
mand between the combat support agencies -
those are the satellite agencies and those who do
the signal intelligence and the pictures - and
the warfighters on the ground in the Depart-
ment of Defense," he said in an interview with
The Associated Press last week.
"Inmy judgment this bill ... would play into
rendering that area confused to the detriment of
our Americans in combat, so I will not support
it," he said.
Collins said yesterday there was nothing in
the bill that would hinder military operations.
"The bill leaves tactical and joint military
intelligence under the exclusive control of the
Pentagon. The language could not be clearer on
that point," Collins said.
She said the bill would put into law "the
existing practices where the CIA director sorts
through the priority uses of national intelligence
assets, such as spy satellites that are relied upon
not only by our 'military, but by the secretary of
state and a host of other consumers."
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