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Re-run elections leave political landscape in Ukrainian parliament unchanged

December 17, 2013, 10:46 UTC+3 KIEV
The opposition has refused to accept the elections, traditionally explaining its defeat by ‘mass falsifications’, experts say
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Ukrainian parliament

Ukrainian parliament

© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

KIEV, December 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Ruling party independent candidates won in four out of five problem precincts in Ukraine where re-run parliamentary elections were held on Sunday, which means the balance of forces will remain unchanged in the Ukrainian parliament.

According to the Central Election Commission, Ruslan Badayev won by a landslide in precinct 94 in the Kiev region. He was a self-nominated candidate, but is a member of the ruling Party of Regions. Incumbent governor of the southern Nikolayev region Nikolai Kruglov won in region’s precinct 132. Rector Mikhail Poplavsky won in precinct 194 in the Cherkassy region outdoing the candidate of the united opposition. In Kiev, independent candidate Viktor Pilipishin outstripped Yuri Levchenko, a candidate of the Svoboda (Freedom) nationalist party. Levchenko himself said “the opposition defies the falsified results of the elections” and threatens “a total obstruction to ruling party candidates and members of the commissions falsifying the results”.

Only in the Cherkassy region opposition candidate Leonid Datsenko got 63.22% votes, outdoing the nearest competitor by 40%. He is a reporter and was nominated by the Batkivshchina party of former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who is currently serving a jail term for past occupational abuses.

Experts and deputies believe Badayev, Poplavsky, Kruglov and Pilipishin will join the Party of Region’s faction, which will be 212-strong then. However, this is short of the majority of 226 deputies needed in parliament voting. Datesnko will become member of the opposition Batkivshchina party’s faction. After eight parliamentarians quit it earlier, it will now have 92 mandates.

Thus, the opposition gets 171 deputies all in all, including 92 from Batkivshchina, 42 from UDAR and 37 from Svoboda. The communist faction has 32 parliamentarians, and 27 deputies don’t belong to any of the factions. The voting in the parliament often depends on the communists and non-faction deputies. In most cases, communists support the ruling Party of Regions.

The opposition has refused to accept the elections, traditionally explaining its defeat by ‘mass falsifications’, experts say. Observers believe the opposition was keen to win the elections to show pro-EU protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square “an overall support by the people and raise their spirits for fight against the regime”, but it failed.

Although experts admit that the elections were “not quite democratic” they say they were valid and the Central Election Commission had no grounds not to recognize them as such.

International observers delegated by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said in their conclusions that the elections had been well-organized and had not been marred by incidents.

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