Urban legend: Who to run Kyiv mayoral elections?

Author : Natalia Lebed

Source : 112 Ukraine

Key figures of Kyiv mayoral elections
16:51, 26 May 2020

Kyiv mayoral elections candidates
112 Agency

May 22, Mykola Tyshchenko, MP from Servant of the People party and a possible candidate for mayor of Kyiv, used municipal public transport to check if Kyiv residents are keeping a social distance.

The fact is that Kyiv launched its municipal transport (buses, trolleybuses) on May 23, so how did he get into the shuttle bus is a separate issue. When the elections are close, you will even get an intergalactic ship.

Klitschko: one’s own master

Mayor Vitali Klitschko is the first who is at a low start before the October elections. He was twice elected mayor: in the early elections in 2014 and in the urgent 2015. The year 2020 might become a year of his third victory. Klitschko does not hide his intention to run for a long time.

Kyiv mayor
Open source

And he motivates such a desire with the same thing as President Zelensky: with the need to complete what he started. Therefore, let us give Vitali Klitschko another 100 or 1000 days.

All experts interviewed by are unanimous that Klitschko is the favorite of the current race. Head of the Third Sector Center Andriy Zolotariov believes that Klitschko benefited from the situation with the coronavirus. “He cleverly dealt with the pandemic,” the expert says, adding that polls show the increase in the “quarantine” rating of the mayor.

Political scientist Kyrylo Sazonov gives a positive answer to this question. He believes that all the contradictions between Zelensky and Klitschko have sunk into oblivion, along with the resignation of the head of the presidential office, Andriy Bogdan.

Servant of the People faction and personnel shortage

Meanwhile, the largest parliamentary faction (aka the presidential party) got lost in several likely candidates. Until recently, among the rating candidates for mayor of Kyiv, MPs, and the chairman of the committee on humanitarian and information policy Oleksandr Tkachenko were most often mentioned. In the fall of 2019, he actively promoted a new bill on the capital, which was supported in the first reading.

Related: NABU opens case against Klitschko on potential state treason, - media

The Cabinet of Ministers decided to dismiss Klitschko from the post of chairman of the Kyiv City State Administration, leaving him only the post of chairman of the city council. Then Tkachenko filed a declaration of the candidate for the post of head of the Kyiv City State Administration. But the appointment did not take place either in the fall or later, and Klitschko was not reassigned. The elections in Kyiv were never held in December 2019, and since then this conflict has fallen out of public space.

Tkachenko himself disappeared. It is not known exactly what his plans and intentions are, but for some reason he ceased to head the candidates' parade. And since a holy place does not happen empty, Tkachenko began to push back the restaurateur Mykola Tyshchenko, mentioned at the beginning. His self-presentation was eloquent – almost like Vitali Klitschko. "I am a native Kyiv resident. I know the problems, I touch them, I smell them – garbage issues, corruption scandals that just pierced the whole Kyiv life like a cancer tumor," Tyshchenko said.

After Tkachenko and Tyshchenko, the list of possible candidates from the ruling party includes parliamentary speaker Dmytro Razumkov. “Thank you, I’m not going to do it, I’d better do what I do. I hope that I meet the criteria that the chairman of parliament should have and I hope that I will do my work quite effectively,” he said.

But his party colleague Oleksandr Dubinsky, obviously, believes that he can be equally effective both in parliament and in the city hall as well. “The corresponding decision is made by the President’s Office, it will be made after internal primaries among the candidates, which will be determined by the President’s Office. The final word will be with President Zelensky. If there are such primaries, I will take part in them. Will I be a candidate from the party - primaries will show the results,” said Dubinsky.

Related: National Anti-Corruption Bureau open criminal case against Klitschko

MP Oleksandr Kachura also voiced his desire to play in the primaries. “If I am invited to take part in the primaries, then most likely I will agree. Recently, I talked with many colleagues, and they all asked me to take part in the internal party elections. This is a great honor and trust,” Kachura writes on his Telegram channel.

Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that the circle of candidates for mayor could be expanded by a chief sanitary doctor of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko. However, this information is not confirmed by Lyashko himself.

Lyashko could run the mayoral elections, but not in order to seriously count on his victory or at least a significant result, political analyst Ruslan Bortnyk is convinced. “He does not have his own rating in Kyiv, and the nomination of such a candidate (if it takes place at all) will mean that in fact the government is betting on Klitschko. Such a two-way approach, according to which Klitschko becomes mayor, and in the city council a coalition between his party and Servant of the People is formed. Part of Zelensky’s entourage, in particular, head of his office Andriy Yermak, is promoting this scenario. Moreover, they don’t have a real candidate with a chance to win against Klitschko,” the expert notes.

Related: Statistics of domestic violence did not increase during lockdown in Kyiv, - city hall

Earlier, first deputy chairman of Zelensky’s office Serhiy Trofimov told reporters that the mayor’s candidacy, which will be presented by the Servant of the People, will be “a surprise to everyone.” Perhaps Lyashko is such a surprise.

Batkivchshyna, Holos, European Solidarity

According to the measurements of the sociological group “Rating”, showman Serhuy Prytula comes out in the second round with Klitschko (because the mayor of Kyiv, as well as the president of Ukraine, is held in two rounds). He has silver in these races (9.1%), while Oleksandr Tkachenko has bronze (8.8%), and businessman Andriy Palchevsky (8.2%) closes the top four. At the same time, Klitschko defeats everyone with his support of 38.7% in the second round, but still Prytula remains the most popular candidate after the current mayor.

Another possible candidate from parliamentary parties may be the representative of the Batkivshchyna party Vitaliy Nestor. A completely unknown to the general public 31-year-old lawyer, who in the last parliamentary elections ran for this party in one of the districts of Kyiv, but lost.

Sazonov calls Nestor “the new star of the Fatherland”, recalling that he is the head of the capital’s branch of this party, while Ruslan Bortnyk notes that Nestor might be entrusted with the task of not only defeating Klitschko but of “entering” the Kyiv City Council and forming his own faction there, and it will be a significant help to the “senior” political partners.

Related: Underground opens in Kyiv and Kharkiv

Another candidate from the parliamentary party might become founder of the Eurolab clinic, Andriy Palchevsky. His participation in the elections is not decided, however, billboards with his face have been hanging in the capital for a long time. He closes the four most popular candidates for mayor of Kyiv. “Palchevsky is the most serious competitor for Klitschko both in terms of rating and promotion. But his trouble is that he is associated with the Opposition Platform – For Life party, and this is not the best option for Kyiv,” says Sazonov.

However, Ruslan Bortnyk believes that the Servant of the People can support Palchevsky if Servant of the People decides to turn away from Klitschko.

A bit of “exotics”

The remaining names of candidates, connected with the Kyiv elections do not even fall into the second or third tier. There is no time left for their promotion, because in five months Kyiv residents will vote. The names of former Prime Minister Groysman, former Foreign Minister Klimkin, and even journalist Dmitry Gordon were voiced but this sounds like a joke.

And the trend to return to politics and the executive branch of the “old” people can be supported at the Kyiv level by running of former mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko and former chairman of the Kyiv City State Administration Oleksandr Popov. However, this is only in theory.

Related: Cherkasy Mayor Bondarenko comes for questioning

Although, we can talk about the sight of the City Council, not on the mayor’s chair. Ruslan Bortnyk emphasizes: “Popov, who will concentrate his blue-and-white electorate around him, as well as Omelchenko, has chances to create his own faction, and Omelchenko has a chance to enter the second round,” he says.

“The trend towards the return of old people is somewhat nostalgic, but this is not the leitmotif of the real choice of the electorate. Such people will not be really popular - they have already become history,” expert Bohdan Petrenko sums up.

But businessman Garik Korogodsky, known for rather specific antics, has not yet become history. He is one of those who expressly declares his desire to run. Such an “exotic candidate,” says Bortnyk, “might create a crisis situation for Klitschko.”

Korogodsky, an Israeli businessman, is connected with Kyiv (where he has a very solid business) for a good quarter of a century, but he received Ukrainian citizenship about a year ago.

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