Tymoshenko relents... sort of

After almost two weeks of protest, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has dropped her charges of electoral fraud against Viktor Yanukovich, but not without a parting salvo. On February 20, after officially withdrawing her petition with the Ukrainian High Administrative Court to annul the election result, Tymoshenko declared that

"Sooner or later, an honest prosecutor's office and an honest court will assess that Yanukovich was not elected president of Ukraine, and that the will of the people had been rigged."

Bitter much, Yulia?

While Yanukovich has managed to weather the post-election fallout -- his inauguration is still scheduled for February 25, and the vast majority of Ukrainians view him as their legitimate president -- it remains to be seen how he will deal with Tymoshenko, who still retains her premiership. Although Yanukovich has called on Tymoshenko to resign her post, many suspect that she has other ideas in her mind: it has been reported that she is planning to initiate a parliamentary vote of no confidence against the newly elected president upon his taking of office.

Tymoshenko may be no Nigerien colonel, but it should still be interesting to see how the Yanukovich-Tymoshenko conflict plays out after the inauguration.  



Quiz: How many ambassadors to the United States are women?

For those of you who don't subscribe to the bimonthly print edition of Foreign Policy, you're missing a great feature: the FP Quiz. It has eight intriguing questions about how the world works.

The question I'd like to highlight this week is:

How many ambassadors to the United States are women? 

a) 3    b) 15    c) 25

Answer after the jump ...


C, 25. The number of female ambassadors posted in Washington is at an all-time high, the Washington Post recently reported. Some have attributed it to the "Hillary effect," with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bringing more women into the diplomatic corps. With three of the past four U.S. secretaries of state being women, some ambassadors and diplomats have said it makes it easier for heads of state to choose a woman for ambassadorship to the United States.

And no, these female ambassadors aren't coming from countries like Sweden. Many of these 25 female ambassadors are from areas of the world not commonly perceived as being on the leading edge of women's rights:

  • 11 are from African countries, including Mozambique and Burundi.
  • 4 are from Caribbean countries.
  • 3 are from Europe (Croatia, the Netherlands, and Liechtenstein -- where women didn't get the right to vote until 1984).
  • 2 are from Middle Eastern countries. (Bahrain's Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo is the first Jewish ambassador from an Arab state, and Oman's Hunaina Sultan Al-Mughairy, who assumed her post in 2005, is the first female ambassador from an Arab country to the United States.)
  • 2 are from Asian countries (India and Singapore).
  • 3 are from Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, and Nauru.

And for more questions about how the world works, check out the rest of the FP Quiz.