By Ilya Kharlamov and Mamonov Roman
The elections to Ukraine’s Parliament are a little more than one week away. For the first time in recent years, they will be held with the use of a mixed system – 225 deputies will be elected based on the party lists and 225 – on the majority districts.
According to the latest polls, nearly 77 per cent of the Ukrainian citizens with voting rights plan to vote. The parties are actively campaigning for their candidates. Staying in prison, Yulia Tymoshenko is doing her utmost in a bid to unite her supporters while political analysts and sociologists are making forecasts about the new Parliament’s structure and about the possibility of new “maidan” events in Ukraine.
The main passions are flaring up around the rivalry between the political forces in Ukraine. The ruling Party of Regions remains the leader. And as regards its opponents, judging by the facts, they will make attempts to create a coalition after the elections. The earlier-made attempts proved unsuccessful. Surprising enough is the fact that the UDAR (Strike) Party led by the well-known boxer Vitaliy Klychko was actively supported by the Ukrainian residents, who showed a great deal of interest in the local ultranationalists as well. Sociologists say that the UDAR Party may prove to be Party No.2 in the Ukrainian Parliament. The All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” whose rating is nearly 5 per cent also has a good chance. Should a coalition in Parliament be created after the elections, the opposition may seize the power in the ruling Party of Regions led by Viktor Yanukovych.
The main struggle is developing between the big players, and the Party of Regions is an evident favourite on that list. Not only because it has a great administrative potential. Its election campaign is correct because it covers the interests of people living in the south east as well as in the west of Ukraine. But the main thing here is the fact that Ukraine’s economic problems prevail over all others, General Director of the Centre for the Studies of the Post-Soviet Space Alexei Vlasov says.
The united opposition, headed by Arseny Yatsenyuk, also has a good chance to be widely represented in Parliament. This is quite understandable. The Party Front for Change led by Yatsenyuk announced this April that it had merged with the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) Party led by Yulia Tymoshenko who is serving her prison term now. Tymoshenko, who is regarded by the Ukrainian opposition as a victim of political repressions, has many supporters among the pro-Western forces in Ukraine that strongly disapprove of the policy of official Kiev. The proposals on the offer list of the Ukrainian opposition are not new: the latter is well known for its criticism of the current regime, a Ukrainian political analyst, Dmitry Vydrin, told the Voice of Russia. The slogans, put forward by the united opposition have aroused no interest among the people in Ukraine.
The situation may change though: everything here depends on the voters’ moods, Head of the Council of the Laboratory of Legislative Initiatives Igor Kogut said.
And still, should the arrangement of forces in the new Ukrainian Parliament remain unchanged – even if we take into account representatives of the new parties – the Party of Regions will remain under threat.