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Ukraine’s parliamentary election campaign kicks off

August 28, 2014, 20:54 UTC+3 KIEV
Last Monday, Poroshenko made a decision to terminate the powers of Verkhovna Rada and call early elections
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, August 28. /ITAR-TASS/. The official publication of the Ukrainian presidential decree to disband the Verkhovna Rada has set the parliamentary election campaign rolling. The polling day is set for October 26. The nomination of candidates began on Thursday and will last till September 15.

The registration of candidates is to be over by September 30, and October 15 is the last day when a candidate can be formally removed from the race. Foreign observers are expected to apply for registration by October 18, and the official results of the voting must be published by November 10.

In Ukraine’s 450-seat parliament, five political parties are represented at the moment, including the disbanded Communist Party faction, and three groups of deputies.

At a congress of the Solidarity party on Wednesday, Poroshenko urged “democratic forces” to unite.

“It is very desirable to see them (democratic forces) attain victory, for which they should unit into one political bloc - Petro Poroshenko Bloc and all democratic forces - before the elections. If someone finds this format of our pre-election model not convenient, a declaration should be signed now on forming a coalition after the parliamentary election victory,” Poroshenko said.

Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko said that his party was determined to participate in the elections. “We shall do our utmost to ensure that the Communist Party of Ukraine is represented in a future parliament,” he promised.

Symonenko said the CPU had already considered several options of its members’ participation in the elections if the party was outlawed. A court is expected to consider the Justice Ministry’s request for banning the Communist Party on September 4.

The Batkivshchyna party, whose faction in the Ukrainian parliament is the largest, will offer a list of candidates. Its leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, said the party’s list should be updated and renewed by drawing the largest possible number of public figures.

The party is determined to support the candidacy of Arseniy Yatsenyuk for Ukraine’s prime minister after a coalition in the yet-to-be elected Verkhnovna Rada is formed.

Last Monday, Poroshenko made a decision to terminate the powers of Verkhovna Rada and call early elections. The pro-government coalition in parliament fell apart on July 24 and no new one emerged within the one-month deadline established by the law. In such cases, the president has the constitutional power to disband the parliament. Poroshenko explained his decision to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada because its current composition "fails to meet the sentiment of Ukrainian society". He added that the forthcoming elections were “part and parcel of a peace plan".

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