Ukraine's Snap Elections LIVE

July 1, 2019
Snap parliamentary elections will take place on 21 July. Their outcome will be mostly defined by new faces and new parties, while old politicians will try to re-define themselves and their political forces to seem new. This article is your go-to place for all election-related news.
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[18 July, 17:05] — Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said that it would be better if his party Servant of the People would win a single-handed majority in the next Verkhovna Rada, as it would mean that the party would not have to compromise while creating the new government. Zelensky also noted he did not like the "politics of compromises."

[18 July, 16:33]"Party Gold" platform developed by Chesno civic movement and IFES allows to track party incomes and expenses during the electoral campaign. Orange bar shows income, while the blue one shows expenses.

[18 July, 13:43] — the Ukrainian youth is very passive in politics. That's why civil society organisations are trying to stimulate youth to participate in the elections. Below is one of the examples.

[18 July, 12:11]Texty.org.ua have developed a model to predict the results in first-past-the-post constituencies. Here are their predictions:

  • Servant of the People — 60-85 MPs
  • European Solidarity — 7-12 MPs
  • Opposition Platform-For Life — 4-10 MPs
  • Holos — 2-6 MPs
  • Fatherland — 3-4 MPs

There is also a huge group of candidates which used to belong to parties but now run independently:

  • ex-Petro Poroshenko Bloc — 30-42 MPs
  • ex-People's Front — 13-21 MPs
  • ex-Revival — 10-15 MPs
  • ex-Will of the People — 7-12 MPs
  • ex-Opposition Bloc — 4-9 MPs
  • ex-Radical Party — 1-4 MPs

[17 July, 17:22] — Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, the leader of Holos party, said in an interview with Hromadske that Ukrainian politics would benefit from more ideologic parties. We totally agree.

[17 July, 15:42]Human rights centre ZMINA and IFES Ukraine have gathered some data on the representation of women in the current Verkhovna Rada and prognosed how many women could be in the next Rada:

[17 July, 11:46] — Brian Mefford, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and director of Wooden Horse Strategies LLC, lists eight things to expect from the snap elections:

  1. Zelensky’s popularity is strong and his Servant of the People party will take a near majority.
  2. The pro-Russian Opposition Platform-For Life party will finish in second with close to 15 percent.
  3. Petro Poroshenko’s European Solidarity party has stopped hemorrhaging voters and will receive 8-10 percent.
  4. Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party will return to parliament and win 7-9 percent.
  5. Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s Holos party will enter parliament and may benefit from a late breaking surge.
  6. Opposition Bloc is polling at 2.5 percent, which is only half of the support needed to enter parliament.
  7. At the start of the campaign,Civic Position (Anatoliy Hrytsenko), Radical Party (Oleh Liashko), and Might and Honor (Ihor Smeshko) all seemed to be within striking distance of winning seats in parliament. At this point, all three are out of steam, and their support has either flatlined or petered out.
  8. The late surge in this campaign is from Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman’s Ukrainian Strategy party, which is pushing four percent and has doubled in support over the last few weeks.

[16 July, 17:07] — sociologic services did a very good job predicting the results of the first and second round of presidential elections. However, with parliamentary elections this is not the case. Let's take three recent polls which were conducted within a similar timeframe:

  • Rating Group (6-10 July) estimates Servant of the People rating at 47%;
  • KIIS (3-13 July) gives Servant of the People 52,3%;
  • Razumkov Centre (5-11 July) says Servant of the People has 41,5% support.

At least one of these sociologic services is gravely wrong. But which one?

[16 July, 16:23] — Andreas Umland, a well-known German political scientist, explained how electronic instruments are helping Ukrainians to distinguish parties according to their political, socio-economic and cultural agendas.

Voting Advice Applications in Pre-Electoral Ukraine

[15 July, 14:13] — according to the poll by Razumkov Centre, 5 parties pass the 5% barrier:

[15 July, 13:38] — Ukraine's national police have uncovered a scheme to buy votes in one of the first-past-the-post constituencies in Zakarpattia region. People were paid 1500 UAH (around 58 USD) to support one of the candidates.

[12 July, 17:29] — Facebook has published a report on political ads purchased by Ukrainian parties and organisations ahead of parliamentary elections. Here are the leaders:

  1. European Solidarity40 ads worth $66,672 on party's FB page+18 ads worth $12,671 on party's FB page without political disclaimer+124 ads worth $30,868 on the page of Petro Poroshenko=$110,211.
  2. Holos238 ads worth $88,742 on party's FB page +16 ads worth $10,801 on the page of Sviatoslav Vakarchuk=$99,543.
  3. Fatherland58 ads worth $30,405 on the FB-page of Yulia Tymoshenko+11 ads worth $10,851 on the FB-page I support Tymoshenko — Fan Club=$41,256.
  4. Opposition Platform — For Life1,971 ads worth $29,535 on the FB-page BOYKO for Prime Minister=$29,535.
  5. Servant of the People239 ads worth $27,625 on party's FB page=$27,625.

[12 July, 14:57] — Ukraine's Central Electoral Commission has already registered 755 official foreign observers for the snap parliamentary elections. 56 of them are representatives of 9 countries, while 699 represent various international organisations.

[11 July, 18:10]Opposition Platform—For Life has an ace up its sleeve—Russia's president Vladimir Putin. The party works with pro-Russian Ukrainians mostly living in southern and eastern regions of Ukraine, so close ties with Putin work indeed. When Yuriy Boyko and Viktor Medvedchuk, the leaders of the party, went to Moscow to meet with Russian PM Dmitriy Medvedev on 22 March, a week prior to the first round of the presidential elections, Boyko's rating went up by 2%.

Medvedchuk and Boyko are doing the same prior to parliamentary elections. On 10 July they went to Moscow and met with Medvedev in order to facilitate cooperation between Opposition Platform—For Life and Yedinaya Rossiya, a party of Putin and Medvedev, and to "launch a dialogue between Ukraine and Russia". Medvedchuk also commented on the war between Ukraine and Russia.

[11 July, 16:27] — Ukraine’s snap parliamentary elections will take place in 10 days time. We have prepared a “survival guide” for you: here are 10 key things to know ahead of the vote.

10 Things To Know 10 Days Before The Snap Elections

[11 July, 12:29] — Verkhovna Rada has adopted the new Electoral Code in the second reading! It foresees abolishment of the first-past-the-post constituencies and introduces the open party lists. However, it will only be applied to the next parliamentary elections.

Verkhovna Rada has adopted the new Electoral Code in the second reading.

[10 July, 15:21] — For the last year Ukrainian streets have been filled with political ads on billboards and citylights. Sometimes it is really excessive:

[10 July, 13:57] — Previously we've reported that Moscow’s propagandistic state-controlled Russia 24 television channel announced that it would partner with Ukraine’s pro-Russian NewsOne channel to air a television conference between the people of the two countries. The planned broadcast sparked outrage across the country and protests in Kyiv — and was cancelled. Now it turns out that this broadcast was planned by Serhiy Liovochkin, former head of Yanukovych presidential administration and #5 on Opposition Platform—For Life party list, in order to mobilize the electorate of his party, Ukrayinska Pravda writes with reference to its source in Opposition Platform—For Life.

[10 July, 13:28] — a rare alternative poll was published by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. It shows results which are rather different to the ones provided by Rating Group (see on our interactive graph above).

[9 July, 18:02]25% of all candidates on party lists are actually not the members of these parties, Civil Network OPORA reports.

[9 July, 15:41] — A group of some 25 young and idealistic former civil society members widely respected in the West, where many received a higher education, the Euro-optimists were leaders of the uprising that broke out when Yanukovych, already seen by critics as corrupt, scrapped plans to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union and called for closer trade ties with Russia. All of them entered the Verkhovna Rada in 2014 via party lists of three political forces — Petro Poroshenko Bloc, Samopomich and Fatherland. Now Euro-optimists face a re-election where they are mostly running in the majority constituencies. Do they have chances to succeed? Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty explains this:

Ukraine's 'Euro-Optimists' Blazed A Trail And Got Burned. In The Elections, Can They Rise From The Ashes?

[8 July, 18:39] — Let's face the reality: very few Ukrainians read programs of political parties. People mostly choose parties based on charisma and promises of their leaders. However, “political tests” are also rather popular. You answer some questions and in the end you see which political parties’ programmes are most similar to your views. Here’s one of such tests (available in Ukrainian language only): PROVybir.

[8 July, 16:51]European Pravda published an extensive overview of the strategy of all parties which can make it to the parliament regarding EU and NATO integration based on the questionnaire which was prepared with the assistance of several analytical centres. It should be noted that Opposition Platform—For Life did not take part in the survey, while Servant of the People, European Strategy, Fatherland,Holos, Might and Honor parties did. Here are some key conclusions:

  1. All parties fully support EU and NATO integration;
  2. All parties except for Opposition Platform—For Life support NATO Membership Action Plan and modernization of the Ukrainian army according to NATO standards;
  3. Fatherland is the only party which underlined the importance of international audit of Ukraine’s defence industry;
  4. Might and Honor party has shown the most expertise in NATO-related bloc of questions;
  5. When asked about language conflict between Ukraine and Hungary, all parties except for Fatherland said the current strategy of Ukraine’s foreign ministry is worth continuing. Fatherland party said that they would open new negotiations with Budapest involving the European Commission;
  6. All parties are ready to ratify The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention);
  7. All parties except for Fatherland support establishment of the land market;
  8. All parties except for European Strategy would allow Ukrainians to have several citizenships (but not for public officials).
  9. European Solidarity has the most robust programme regarding the EU;
  10. Servant of the Peopledeclares the right things but may be hampered by lack of experience;
  11. Holos does not want to change the status quo in any significant way, which, according to the article, is not so good, for it will keep in place the obstacles that are currently existent in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement;
  12. When it comes to the Fatherland party, it stands for the establishment of the legislative procedure according to which Euro-integrational bills will be considered a priority and all other proposed bills will be verified against the Association Agreement.

[8 July, 10:43] — Central Electoral Commission decided not to conduct another draw for party numbers in the voting ballots. Commission's argument is that in case of the second draw the ballotswould not be printed in time by 21 July.

[5 July, 13:59] — a Ukrainian court obliged the Central Electoral Commission to conduct another draw for party numbers in the voting ballots. Agrarian Party of Ukraine went to court when another party — The Movement of New Forces of Mikheil Saakashvili — was added with number 22 after the first draw. The problem is that more that 5 million ballots have already been printed and paid for from the state budget, while the parties already use their ballot numbers in campaigning.

[5 July, 13:37] — President Zelensky did nothing to return captured Ukrainian sailors home, Opposition Platform — For Life party claims. The party underlines that the public conflict between Zelensky and Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine's foreign minister, does not help as well.

[5 July, 13:27] — Last night Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the Fatherland party, made an appearance at NewsOne TV channel last night. Basically, she countinues her presidential campaign promising decrease of utility tariffs and increase of wages and pensions.

[4 July, 16:22] — Ihor Smeshko, the leader of Power and Honor party, said in an interview with Dmytro Gordon that he would be ready to create a coalition with the Servant of the People if his party made it into the Verkhovna Rada.

[4 July, 15:08] — The latest poll by Rating Group shows that Opposition Platform — For Life continues to grow, while the support of Servant of the People continues to decrease. Meanwhile, Fatherland, Holos and European Strategy are tied closely. See the trends on our interactive graph above.

[4 July, 13:12] — Last week we published an analysis of Ukraine's newcomer parties. It is still worth attention:

What Ukraine's New Parties Bring to the Table

[4 July, 11:51] — Ukraine's foreing ministry replied to the yesterday's statement of Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, on PACE monitors for Ukraine's elections. According to the ministry, PACE itself stressed that its resolutions were not obligatory when it allowed Russian delegation to return to the body even though Russia did not act on seven PACE resolutions regarding Russian aggression in Ukraine.

[4 July, 11:05] — In the end, Central Electoral Commission cancelled the registration of Kliuyev and Shariy for the parliamentary elections. Ukraine Security Service (SBU) provided proof that both did not live in Ukraine for the last five years.

[3 July, 17:30] — Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has expressed regret at the Ukrainian Parliament’s decision to withdraw its invitation to the Assembly to observe the snap parliamentary elections. This decision followed PACE allowing Russian delegation to return to the body. Pasquier underlined that Ukraine is obliged to invite Assembly observers.

Here's why PACE did no good allowing Russia to return:

Russia's Return to PACE: Open Letter to the Citizens of Europe

[3 July, 13:26]Holos party claimed it returned donations worth 2 million UAH which "were received from people with tax debt or outstanding conviction." Previously Yulia Klymenko, the head of the party, said in an interview for Ukrayinska Pravda that Holos lacks 10-15 million UAH for the desired electoral campaign and is constantly raising funds.

[3 July, 11:40] — Central Electoral Commission could still cancel the registration of Kliuyev and Shariy if it proved that they had not lived in Ukraine for the last five years, MP Mustafa Nayyem writes. Meanwhile, Ukraine's interior minister Arsen Avakov submitted a letter to the Commission saying that Kliuyev has not visited Ukraine since 2014.

[2 July, 17:19] — Ukraine's Central Electoral Commission had to register for parliamentary elections Andriy Kliuyev, the former head of Viktor Yanukovych Presidential administration, and Anatoliy Shariy, a popular blogger who often spreads pro-Russian messages. Both have not lived in Ukraine for the last five years — which is a requirement to run for Rada. However, Ukraine's High Court ruled otherwise, as it did previously with former Odesa region governor Mikheil Saakashvili.

[2 July, 12:08] — Volodymyr Groysman, Ukraine's acting prime minister who also runs for the parliament with his political party Ukrainian Strategy, said he would make a claim for the prime minister seat again if his party made it into the Verkhovna Rada. So far, Ukrainian Strategy polls under 2% and has no chances to pass the 5% barrier.

[1 July, 16:30] — In the video below we have listed key parties which will fight for the places in the parliament. The race will be intense.

UkraineWorld editorial team

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