Batkivshchyna (Motherland) party of Yulia Tymoshenko has begun another campaign on parliamentary elections. On Monday, Yulia Tymoshenko, the permanent leader of Batkivshchyna, unveiled the top five candidates on the electoral list on the porch of the capital's central party office on Turivskaya Street: the ex-chairman of the Security Service (SBU), the ex-governor, the former shadow prime minister and "chief media officer." Tymoshenko expects to bring her 30 MPs to the next parliament, although the situation is such that not all party members are sure even to overcome the electoral threshold.
Yulia Tymoshenko appeared together with former chairman of the Donetsk Regional State Administration, Serhiy Taruta, who withdrew his candidacy in her favor during the presidential election, former SBU head Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, who, according to unofficial information, was the technical candidate of the Tymoshenko team at the last presidential election, long-term associate of the ex-prime minister Serhiy Sobolev, MP and former chairman of the Kherson Regional State Administration Yuriy Odarchenko.
Tymoshenko called for a unification of efforts on single-member districts of Svyatoslav Vakarchuk and his Holos party. By the way, Tymoshenko called on incumbent President Volodymyr Zelensky to create a coalition in the new parliament, “to prevent revenge,” hinting at Poroshenko’s team.
“Our team is ready to join a strong coalition with the new president and other democratic pro-European forces. We are ready to propose a new coalition plan of action and do everything to make it a reality,” Yulia Tymoshenko said.
In contrast to Poroshenko’s European Solidarity, the host of the event presented the top five candidates. Batkivshchyna made a bet on proven personnel, not the "new faces:" former head of the Donetsk Regional State Administration Serhiy Taruta, former SBU head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, former “shadow” prime-minister Serhiy Sobolev, wife of the ICTV channel general producer Olena Kondratyuk. The rest of the list is not publicly submitted. According to our sources, most likely, MPs Hryhoriy Nemyria, Serhiy Vlasenko, Oleksiy Ryabchyn might appear in the top ten. Former MP Anzhelika Labunska, close to oligarch Kostyantyn Zhevago, might enter the top-twenty list.
The top-thirty might probably include Vadym Ivchenko, head of the independent trade union of miners Mykhailo Volynets, long-term assistant of Tymoshenko Mykhailo Livinsky, an associate of former SBU head Nalyvaychenko Markiyan Lubkivsky, MP Evgeny Rybchynsky. According to 112.ua sources, Tymoshenko’s party considered the option of Rybchinsky’s balloting in district #122 in Lviv region, where Volodymyr Parasyuk won in 2014.
Tymoshenko’s party headquarters would be headed be her long-term associate Ivan Kyrylenko. Our own sources in Batkivshchyna expect that Tymoshenko’s political power would be able to bring 30 MPs on party lists. Some parliamentarians point out that there are too many sponsors on the list, which might be a losing strategy. At the same time, the interlocutors admit that it will be extremely difficult to compete in the majority districts with the Zelensky team.
“A candidate from the Ze!Team will get a good start. According to the polls in the capital, candidate from Zelensky’s team might get 15% -20% just because he is nominated from the president’s party, and the election campaign lasts only a month,” the interlocutors remind.
Andrei Zolotariov, the head of the Third Sector think tank, agrees that obtaining 30 mandates for Batkivshchyna is a quite achievable goal. According to the expert, the popularity of the former prime minister and the absence of "obviously toxic figures compared to individual competitors" would help.
“Tymoshenko has not put completely toxic people on her list. She relied on proven and reliable personnel and voiced her steps in the first 100 days in the new parliament, which voters expected to be done by Zelensky. It will be very difficult to fight with representatives of the Zelensky’s team in the single-mandate districts. We have conducted focus groups and the candidate from Zelensky’s team gets at least 40% at once," Zolotariov notes.
Speaking about the possibility of appointing Tymoshenko as prime minister, Zolotariov noted that now Zelensky’s team is "dizzy with success and it believes that it will be able to independently form a majority." But there is a high probability that there will not be a one-party coalition.