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Ukrainian expert says parliamentary election wasn’t fair

The expert noted some positive aspects though

KIEV, July 22. /TASS/. Sunday’s snap parliamentary election in Ukraine was neither fair nor democratic, Head of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Political Management Ruslan Bortnik told TASS on Monday, adding that the vote had been overshadowed by the earlier presidential election.

"This election was neither fair nor democratic, but it was competitive and relatively peaceful," Bortnik said, pointing to unequal competition and use of dirty technologies. The official highlighted some positive processes though. "The lack of control over the financing of the electoral campaign, unequal terms of use of the media, ‘dirty’ electoral processes in single-mandate constituencies and campaigning on the part of high-ranking state officials was somewhat offset by the rapidly weakening administrative pressure and the elimination of nationwide networks aimed at vote buying," the expert explained.

According to Bortnik, "to a large extent, the parliamentary election became the third round of the earlier presidential election and was overshadowed by it." Out of the top ten parties that have either made it into the parliament or qualified for state funding, eight nominated strong candidates to run in the presidential election, the expert noted. In his opinion, this time, the winners include "superbrands," namely Servant of the People and Golos, as well as parties of political action, such as Opposition Platform — For Life that held talks with Russia, Pyotr Poroshenko’s European Solidarity that seeks to pave the way for rapprochement with the European Union and Yulia Timoshenko’s Batkivshchina, which focused on the tariff policy. "Outdated brands and parties based on rhetoric — Self Reliance, Oleg Lyashko’s Radical Party, Opposition Bloc, People’s Front and Civil Position — have lost," Bortnik emphasized.

The expert described the parliamentary election vote as "protest and populist." He explained that whereas in the presidential election voters had cast their ballots against Poroshenko’s team and the country’s authorities, now they voted against the entire Ukrainian system of elites that involved both the government and the opposition. "However, a protest vote is dangerous because it increases the level of populist demands and it will be very difficult to deal with the tidal wave of social expectations," Bortnik pointed out.