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KIEV, November 15 /TASS/. The Ukrainian authorities will use the second round of municipal elections in Ukraine this Sunday to overcome a split in Ukrainian society. Voters in 29 Ukrainian cities are going to elect their mayors whom they did not elect in the first round on October 25. The pro-presidential forces won the elections only in three major Ukrainian cities in the first round three weeks ago.
The fiercest battle for the votes is expected in Kiev where its incumbent mayor boxer Klichko from the pro-government Pyotr Poroshenko Solidarity bloc will run against his rival Borislav Beryoza, a former member of the Right Sector extremist organization who currently represents the Party of Decisive Citizens.
Dnepropetrovsk is expected to become an arena of fierce election clashes between the Opposition Bloc’s candidate, Alexander Vikul (a vice-premier under President Viktor Yanukovich), and Boris Filatov from the UKROP oligarchic party sponsored by Igor Kolomosiky, a billionaire in disgrace.
Conflicts in the runoff elections are likely to take place in Pavlodar where Opposition Bloc’s candidate Anatoly Vershina will run against a former fighter of a paramilitary battalion, which took part in the punitive operation in Ukraine’s Donbas region and which was not subordinate to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.
Self-nominated candidate Vladimir Buryak (Zaporozhstal plant), a representative of another Ukrainian oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, and Nikolai Frolov, a candidate of the pro-presidential Pyotr Poroshenko Solidarity bloc, will run for the mayor of Zaporozhye. Akhmetov has to infiltrate his people in the power bodies in order to gain control over the city where the main assets of the SKM group are still located.
"Protest voting is playing the key role in Ukraine. People are voting ‘against’ more than they are ‘voting’ for," Ukrainian political scientist Alexander Neberikut said commenting on this Sunday’s vote.
According to Zoryan Shkiryak, Ukraine’s Interior Minister’s aide, 31,600 law enforcers and 5,800 public activists will guard law and order during the second round of elections. Their reaction to any offences and provocations will be tough and decisive.