Snap parliamentary elections: How Ukrainians elected new MPs

Author : Natalia Lebed

Source : 112 Ukraine

All about voters, candidates, voting process, voter turnout and violations during the elections
22:07, 22 July 2019

President Zelensky votes in snap parliamentary elections
Ukrainian President

The restless 2019 continues: after the dramatic presidential elections, the snap parliamentary elections were held. There is a rumor that President Zelensky will hold early local elections too. The latter, in particular, threatens with the fact that the mayor of Kyiv will lose his position - however, the consent of the Verkhovna Rada is necessary for holding elections of the capital’s head. And the Rasa is just at the stage of birth: yesterday, July 21, Ukrainians have elected the parliament of the ninth convocation.

And while the CEC counts votes, sociologists announce the exit poll data. According to the calculations of 112 Ukraine exit poll (done by SORA and Social Monitoring Center), five parties enter the Parliament. The Presidential Servant of the People has a support level of 42.7%, the Opposition Platform - For Life - 12.9%, European Solidarity - 8.8%, Batkivshchyna - 8.5%, Holos - 6.5%. On the verge of passing was the Strength and Honor party of Igor Smeshko with  3.9% - its final fate will be decided by further vote counts.

If we translate the percentage of exit poll into mandates, we have the following picture: Servant of the people - 121 mandates, Opposition platform - For life - 36, European solidarity - 25, Batkivschyna - 24, and Holos - 19.

On the eve of elections

Just before the election, one rather bright character dropped out of the race: on the night to July 21st, the Supreme Court approved the CEC appeal on registering Oleksandr Onishchenko as a candidate for MP - and the applicant was denied. Earlier the lower court allowed Onishchenko to run for parliament. But the long-term epic was finally completed in favor of the CEC, which spoke out against the fugitive MP.

Earlier the CEC also refused to register the video blogger Anatoly Shariy - on the grounds that the latter does not live in Ukraine for five years. However, political group under the name "Party of Shariy" participated in the elections - among the other 22 parties. And the party scored a good result for a beginner - at 3%, according to exit polls.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Committee of Voters of Ukraine reported mass violations on the "day of silence". "Campaign materials of political parties and candidates were still placed in the districts. Also, during the last days, new billboards were posted that did not have output data, but at the same time were made in the style of individual candidates and parties," the Committee of Voters said.

According to the organization, illegal campaigning took place in the Zakarpattya, Zaporizhzhya, Kherson, Kirovograd, Donetsk, Odesa, Cherkasy, Mykolaiv, and Chernihiv regions. In a word - almost everywhere. The capital of the country should also be added to the report of the Committee of Voters - in Kyiv, they were also in no hurry to remove advertising materials from the streets. Plus, advertising of candidates and parties was actively present on the Internet.

A similar situation, by the way, occurred on Election Day. There were enough of both visual agitation, and the one that was conducted online. A separate scandal broke out due to the premature publication of exit polls by a number of media.

VIP voting

And on election day - as it has already become a tradition - the majority of VIPs came to the polling stations before lunch. At ten in the morning (by the way, at this moment only eight stations did not open all over Ukraine), one of the leaders of the Opposition Platform, Yuriy Boyko, voted. Boyko said that, in his conviction, the era of radicalism in the state was over and that he had come to cast his vote for peace and a stable Ukraine.

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Press office of the political party Opposition Platform - For Life
Opposition Platform - For Life

About eleven, the civic duty was fulfilled by the leader of the Servant of the People party Dmytro Razumkov and Yulia Tymoshenko with her husband and MP Grygory Nemyrya. For Tymoshenko, this was not the first experience of voting at the same time both as a voter and a leader of political power. That is why the head of Batkivshchyna was confident and smiling, dressed in a light suit - a photo from the polling station appeared in her Instragram under the hashtag #you must act and with the slogan "Today everything depends on each of us."

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But Mr. Razumkov was busy - he had to withstand the attack of the pensioner, who called her counterpart "pro-Russian." By the way: witnesses claim that, answering the woman, Razumkov first spoke in Ukrainian. By the way, he commented on the rumors that he might become a speaker in the future parliament. "Everything is possible, but it is still too early to talk about it," said the head of the Servant of the People.

About twelve o'clock the “chief” of Razumkov - the current president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, arrived to vote. He was wearing a blue shirt and sunglasses, and the first lady who accompanied her husband chose a navy blue outfit. Remembering the casus of the presidential election, when Zelensky imprudently showed the ballot to journalists and paid a fine for this offense, at present the head of state did not tell the press whom he had voted for.

But, answering questions from media representatives, he noted that he wants to see progress in criminal cases opened in connection with the murders of journalists. First of all – regarding Pavlo Sheremet, the third anniversary of the death of whom was marked recently.

Another quote from the president, now regarding the future prime minister: “I think that this person should be an absolutely professional economist who is not associated with any political movement. I would very much like this person to be never prime minister neither the speaker nor the leader of any faction. I see such a person, "said Zelensky, and thus dealt a blow to the hopes of Volodymyr Groysman and Yuliya Tymoshenko to take the place of the head of government. The President stressed that he has in mind a professional who meets his criteria, and is negotiating with several more.

And while his chair is being considered by all, the still acting Prime Minister Groysman went to the polling station in his native Vinnytsia - at his place of registration. Approaching an improvised press point, the head of government said that he had voted for the future of Ukraine.

Half an hour later, the civic duty was fulfilled by the ex-president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. He arrived at the polling station with the whole family. According to him, he voted for the EU and NATO, and also stressed that leads political special forces to the Rada, which will stop the “fifth column of Putin” and will not allow revenge.

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The last of the leaders of the top five political parties was Svyatoslav Vakarchuk. The frontman of music band was not original, saying that he had made a choice in favor of the future of Ukraine - a similar phrase had been heard before him several more times. The leader of Holos did not say anything concrete about the future coalition — he only noted that not parliamentary majority was important, as were the points of the coalition agreement that would be studied by its political force. And in addition, he denied rumors that he would step down as soon as his party passed to the Rada. Vakarchuk is not going to refuse from being the MP.

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Voter turnout and violations

As many experts said on the eve of the elections, those win them, who will be able to better mobilize their electorate. At the same time, low voter turnout is a salvation for parties that balance on the edge. Because in absolute numbers, the lower the turnout, the lower the entry barrier. As of 4:00 p.m. voter turnout was almost 35%, as of 8:00 p.m. it was expected about 50%. These are data from the CEC and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. But the OPORA civil network, comparing electoral activity now and in 2014, notes that the east and south are voting more actively than in previous elections. As for the west and center, the opposite is true there.

With regard to offenses, they are also most of them in the east - so, at least, assures the regional office of the Opposition Platform. In the Donetsk region, there was a bribery of voters, the removal of ballots outside the polling stations and the concealment of them in unauthorized places.

Traditionally, serious crimes border on more or less funny cases. In Lviv, the old lady ate the ballot, and in Kyiv, a drunken man tore it, shouting that he did not support anyone. For hooliganism, a man faces criminal liability. In Mykolaiv, they detained an offender who, by throwing a ballot into the ballot box, threw off his pants and underpants in addition. At another polling station, a woman imitated her own death, because she was not given a ballot due to lack of a passport. Also, traditional photos of huge pans and cauldrons with the words "safe" and a seal in the form of a piece of paper pasted on top were posted in social networks. Such improvised shelters were guarded by the police - in the absence of normal safes.

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They also did not have safes at the special polar station named after Academic Vernadsky. There the ballots were thrown right into the boxes for food. Polar explorers voted only on national party lists. The station in Antarctica is not attached to any of the majoritarian districts, it is located 15 thousand kilometers from Kyiv. Therefore, the bulletins were self-made - printed copies of those sent by the CEC.

And if polar explorers - despite unfavorable conditions - voted in unison, some other overseas sections openly failed. For example, in Australia, 57 voters apperaed, which is 4% of the total number of Ukrainian citizens registered in this country.

If we return to offenses and specific figures, the National Police opened 44 criminal proceedings for violations in snap parliamentary elections. There were 1 792 reports of various kinds of illegal actions. Of the 44 criminal cases, 23 of the proceedings concerned the facts of the unlawful use of the ballot, five were obstruction of the exercise of the right to vote, six were voters bribing, four were obviously false reports about the threat to the security of citizens. One more proceeding is investigated on the fact of the terrorist act, hooliganism, falsification of electoral documents and robbery, and two - on the fact of forgery of documents, police said.

But in the meantime, the Central Election Commission emphasizes: it has not yet reported any systemic violations that could affect the results of snap elections. And this means that the parliamentary elections can be considered valid. What future will they bring to the country and what will be the balance of power in the new Parliament, we will analyze in the near future.

Related: Number of illegal campaigning cases highest in past 25 years, - Committee of voters of Ukraine

Related: Servant of the People states about possible electoral fraud at 64th district

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