The Economist (subscription required) describes dubious elections best:
"Leading the protest was Ukraine's pro-western opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko, for whom exit polls had predicted a comfortable win. Instead, the country's electoral commission announced that the winner, by a margin of three percentage points, was Viktor Yanukovich, currently Ukraine's prime minister, who was backed by both the outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, and Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin. America, the European Union and other international observers have denounced the election as a fraud, while an official Russian observer said it was “legitimate”.
Over 200,000 people have taken to the streets to protest, what they believe to be a staged election for Yanukovich on behalf of the ruling government. Viktor Yushchenko, the Ukrainian opposition candidate took a symbolic "oath of office" after not having a quorum in parliament to pass a no confidence vote against the Central Election Commission.
The events in Ukraine demonstrate again the importance of fair elections, and the belief in the former Soviet Union that personal protest can bring change. I have not been following the election crisis close enough to know which way I think this will all turn out, but the Ukrainian Government surely has a legitimacy issue on its hand.
Democracy must be encouraged by the US. If we fail to defend free and fair elections our credibility in Iraq will suffer as well. Watch for the US response, and if the Ukrainians increase their protest in size and voice.