Ukraine’s parliamentary election took place on 28 October. In Western democracies election results are announced on the next day, but in Ukraine this process takes 2 weeks, so the results were only published officially published at the end of the first week in November. Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions (PoR) received 30% of the vote – the first time a ruling party has won in a parliamentary election in Ukraine. Contrary to expectations, however, this victory was not greeted with the loud popping of champagne corks, but with a deafening silence. Firstly because the PoR share of the vote was less than expected. Secondly because support for the party has fallen by 2 million votes over the last 5 years, which represents about 5% of the electorate. Losses like these are a real blow in the period before the main electoral battle, the presidential election in 2015, which will decide a great deal more than this parliamentary election.
Articles about voting issues in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Central Elections Commission believes a partial re-vote may be needed in five key districts to determine who won parliamentary seats in Sunday’s elections. The decision came amid opposition accusations of vote-stealing by the ruling Party of Regions of President Viktor Yanukovych. An estimated 500 protesters are spending the night outside the CEC headquarters in Kiev as part of an open-ended protest action called by the opposition Batkyvshchyna, UDAR and Svoboda parties.
Ukraine’s opposition demanded a recount or a fresh vote in a dozen hotly contested constituencies on Monday, stepping up their campaign against a parliamentary election last month they say was rigged by President Viktor Yanukovich’s ruling party. Hundreds of people gathered outside the Central Electoral Commission headquarters in the capital Kiev to protest against fraud in the October 28 vote, defying warnings by police that the protest was illegal and might be broken up by force.
Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich’s party was on course on Monday to secure a parliamentary majority but international monitors said flaws in the way the election was conducted meant the country had taken a “step backwards”. Exit polls and first results from Sunday’s vote showed Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions would, with help from long-time allies, win more than half the seats in the 450-member assembly after boosting public sector wages and welfare handouts to win over disillusioned voters in its traditional power bases. They will face, though, a revitalized opposition boosted by resurgent nationalists and a liberal party led by boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko.
International observers delivered scathing criticism on Monday of Ukraine’s parliamentary election, saying the vote was heavily tilted in favor of President Viktor F. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions through the abuse of government resources, the dominance of media coverage and the jailing of two prominent opposition leaders. International observers on Monday said that the vote was heavily tilted in favor of President Viktor F. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions. “Considering the abuse of power, and the excessive role of money in this election, democratic progress appears to have reversed in Ukraine,” said Walburga Habsburg Douglas, a Swedish lawmaker who led an observer mission for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.
The pressure is on for Ukraine as it heads into their parliamentary elections today. So far, the country seems to be doing beautifully with the process. Six hundred observers – three times the normal amount – will help monitor the process along with cameras at polling stations. Ukraine should be commended for being open to international inspection of their process, while other post-Soviet states remain unwilling or unable to endure international scrutiny. One major and excellent change to Ukraine’s reformed process is the advent of the Single Mandate District. Essentially, the reform changes the old closed party list proportional system so that half the elected parliament (Verkhovna Rada) now comes from geographically defined districts, much like US congressional districts. So on Oct. 28, Ukrainians will cast two votes, electing 225 deputies proportionally from party lists and 225 representatives of their respective districts.
Ukraine is preparing for its parliamentary elections on October 28th. The main question is as old as Ukrainian history: will it be a transparent and fare election by western standards or will the ruling party use questionable methods to win their seats in Parliament? The main players in this election are the government’s Party of Regions and the United Opposition party, Fatherland (Batkivshchyna). In addition to those, there is UDAR (Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms), lead by famous Ukrainian boxer, Vitali Klitschko, the Communist Party and about thirty other smaller groups. With Yulia Tymoshenko, former prime minister and the leader of the opposition, in prison, her party is still remarkably strong. Tymoshenko is serving her seven-year term over a gas deal with Russia and abuse of the office – charges that she denies.
Ukraine geared up on Friday for an election which many commentators expect to cement President Viktor Yanukovich’s rule, despite his jailed rival Yulia Tymoshenko calling on voters to stop an imminent “dictatorship”. Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions and a union of opposition forces backing Tymoshenko were scheduled to stage their final public rallies later on Friday in the capital Kiev ahead of Sunday’s poll for a new parliament.
Ukraine’s parliamentary election campaign has entered its final straight. Winners and losers will be known on Sunday. This election campaign has not become significant for either politicians or admass and moreover, it has become the most predictable and boring election in Ukraine. Such was the conclusion made by respondents of the Voice of Russia, experts and observers. The basic reason for such an apathy, according to them, is the voters’ tiredness, as well as the country’s political drama has nothing to do with the day-to-day life in Ukraine. The problems of medical insurance, corruption and doing business and tax rises worry ordinary people. All these problems have not been solved in the years of frequent elections and an unending “Orange Revolution”. This tiredness has seriously lowered the country’s protesting potential. Sentiment in the society is far from revolutionary, says Ukrainian political scientist Vladimir Fesenko.
The ruling Party of Regions and its allies look set to win Ukraine’s parliamentary election on October 28th. They may even gain a constitutional majority with control of two-thirds of the parliament. This will likely happen despite the fact that most Ukrainians regularly tell pollsters their country is heading “in the wrong direction” and less than a quarter of them plan to vote for the Party of Regions. Perhaps the most important reason for this is that Ukraine has reverted to the mixed proportional and first-past-the-post system last used in 2002. Back then, it allowed Leonid Kuchma, an unpopular president, to secure a working majority in parliament thanks to a divided opposition and post-election defections to his camp. The same conditions are in place now for Viktor Yanukovych (pictured above), the current president. His candidates can come out on top in first-past-the-post constituencies where three or more opposition politicians are competing. On October 14th the two main anti-Yanukovych forces agreed to withdraw some of their candidates in some districts in order to limit this phenomenon, but they have stopped far short of a genuine alliance. It is testament to the current parliamentary opposition’s ineffectiveness that it allowed this electoral reform to pass last year, giving the ruling party a chance to retain power in an election that could be classed as free and fair (given that an elected parliament had agreed to its rules).