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The Party of Regions gained a majority in a newly elected Ukrainian parliament

October 30, 2012, 12:18 UTC+3
Yanukovich’s Party of Regions together with the allied Communists and loyal deputies will control more than a half of seats
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Upon the results of the elections to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, President Viktor Yanukovich gained a majority in a newly elected parliament. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions together with the allied Communists and loyal deputies will control more than a half of seats. After the first results of the exit polls favourable for the opposition were made public it turned out that this goal is hardly attainable. However, as a result the Party of Regions improved substantially its figures thanks to the one-seat majority constituencies, in which a half of deputies in the Verkhovna Rada are elected.

When summing up the results of the voting on the party lists the situation has changed during the whole day on Monday, the Kommersant daily noted. On Monday morning it seemed that the Party of Regions and the Communists also won a convincing victory, as their headway from three opposition movements, which cleared a 5% election hurdle, was not so big at first. These opposition movements are the united opposition party Batkivshchina, Vitaly Klitschko’s UDAR Party and the ultranationalist party Svoboda. The reason was that the Ukrainian Central Elections Commission has first processed the protocols from the Russian-speaking regions in eastern and southern Ukraine, which traditionally vote for the Party of Regions and the Communists. As long as the voting reports were coming from western and central regions (a stronghold of the opposition), the lead of the Party of Regions was on the decline, UDAR was ousting the Communists running third, Svoboda was gradually getting closer to ten percent. By Monday evening, when three fourths of protocols were processed, three opposition forces almost equalized with the Party of Regions and the Communist Party.

If in the last few years the Verkhovna Rada was elected only on the party lists, the Party of Regions could have some problems with the forming of the parliamentary majority. But the parliamentary elections in 2012 were held with another majority-proportionate election system. The ruling party has prepared for the voting better than others in the majority constituencies, securing a decisive advantage thanks to them.

Batkivshchina, which brings together supporters of former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko and other politicians of the Orange revolution, won a confident victory in the Kiev Region on the party lists. But at the same time she suffered a crushing defeat in the majority constituencies. In all 13 Kiev election districts the Party of Regions came only at the fourth place, gaining from 11% to 15% of votes and lagging behind not only Batkivshchina and the UDAR Party, but even Svoboda. The high percentage of the ultranationalists, who gained 17% in tolerant Kiev, which is not inclined either to russophobia or anti-Semitism, surprised many experts.

According to a forecast of political expert Dmitry Ponamarchuk, who is cited by the Kommersant daily, the preliminary election results in each election constituency is that the Party of Regions may gain 239 seats in the newly elected Verkhovna Rada. “So, the Party of Regions will gain a majority and an opportunity to form a government on their own, without attracting the Communists or independent deputies, who were elected in the majority constituencies,” the expert predicted.

The Ukrainian parliamentary elections, the final results of which will be summed up in about two weeks, produced two predicted sensations, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily believes. The nationalistic party Svoboda was elected for the first time in the Verkhovna Rada. The name of a new leader, who will play the role of the third force at this stage, is Vitaly Klitschko, whose party UDAR will form an influential faction in the new parliament. The third sensation is expected to be the approval of a new government.

As it was forecast five parties were elected in the parliament on the proportionate system, the newspaper reported. The Party of Regions is leading, as according to the results of the exit polls, the party will poll 28-31%. The united opposition is following the Party of Regions with 22-24%. The opposition brought together party partisans Yulia Timoshenko and Arseny Yatsenyuk.

The exit polls forecast 14-15% to Klitschko’s UDAR Party. The Communists and the right-radical party Svoboda are expected to gain close results of 11-13%.

The Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily believes that in the night after the elections some near political future, though it is still vague, began taking shape. So, the main result can be considered the unanimous opinion of high-ranking functionaries of the Party of Regions that a dismissal of Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov is not expected, the newspaper noted.

“I believe that Nikolai Yanovich will remain at the post of the prime minister. But several ministers will come to the Verkhovna Rada all the same. It is not ruled out that their posts will be taken by people from those political forces, which will be willing to form a coalition with them, but this is a matter of further negotiations with possible partners,” deputy chairman of the Party of Regions and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Tigipko explained to the newspaper.

For his part, leader of the Ukrainian Communists Pyotr Simonenko, whose party showed an untraditionally high result, pledges “not to support blindly” a candidacy for either new or old prime minister, which the Party of Regions will nominate. However, he did not deny that the only possible variant of coalition for the Communists is the Party of Regions.

The oppositionists also outlined their plans for the near future. First, according to their leader Arseny Yatsenyuk, they will conduct a detailed monitoring of violations and the vote counting process, and it is not ruled out that they will challenge some results in the one-seat constituencies. The opposition intends to approve a law on amnesty and thus release Yulia Timoshenko, Yatsenyuk underlined.

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