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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cosmic elections or astronomical farce?

Courtesy of M. F.
Voter turn out was unexpectedly low in Sunday’s local government election: initial reports quoted 48%, but the Kyiv Territorial Electoral Commission was saying more than 53% by March 28. The TEC has 5 days after E-Day to establish official results (presumably by Friday). This posting is based on preliminary returns from 964 of 1,026 polling stations.

Blocs/parties in Kyiv Rada May '08 Seats* March '06 Seats Difference
Leonid Chernovetsky Bloc 43 21 22
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc 32 41 -9
Vitaly Klitschko / Pora PRP 15 14 1
Volodymyr Lytvyn Bloc 11 6 5
HAK Hrom. Aktyv 8 7 1
Party of Regions 6 9 -3
Mykola Katerynchuk Bloc / Nasha Ukrayina 5 15 -10
* Source: Ukrayinska , 964 of 1026 poll stations reporting

An alarming majority of apathetic, inebriated or otherwise incapacitated voters opted out of the electoral process. As a result, 1% in the final election tally equaled 10,000 votes, according to Ukrayinska Pravda. With that math, a party/bloc needed to “organize” only 30,000 ballots to secure a spot in the city council sun. The fact that more than 30 parties and electoral blocs split 15% of the popular vote also made life easier for the 7 political forces that qualified for rada with at least 3%.

4 more years of “Cosmos”?
Kyiv mayor L. Chernovetsky appears to have come away the big winner from Sunday’s snap election in Ukraine’s capital city: he bested his March 2006 mayoral results by more than five to 37 percent in May 2008.
The anti-Chernovetsky vote was efficiently split, most notably by Yu. Tymoshenko Bloc mayoral candidate O. Turchynov (19%) and V. Klitschko (18%). (One for the “told you so” files). Klitschko’s support fell from 24% fourteen months ago, but the former heavyweight boxing champ will still have a 15-member caucus in the Kyiv rada. His bloc has vowed to prove electoral law violations and challenge the results in the courts.

Kyiv Rada math
Chernovetsky’s eponymous bloc gained 17% and 22 seats in the Kyiv Rada and will now have 43. His will be the largest caucus and best suited to court coalition allies in the 120-seat chamber.
Reports suggest that L. Chernovetsky bloc will likely find common ground quickest with the V. Lytvyn Bloc and the Hromadsky Aktyv Kyeva, because they are political projects financed by business partners V. Khmelnytsky and A. Ivanov, with whom the mayor has done business. Together, these 3 caucuses have enough for 62 seats.

Coalition Combos for 120-seat Kyiv Rada*
Chernovetsky + Lytvyn + HAK 62
Chernovetsky + Lytvyn + HAK + Regions 68
Tymoshenko + Klitschko + Katerynchuk 52
* Source: Ukrayinska , 964 of 1026 poll stations reporting)

The Party of the Regions’ 6 seats could further solidify the majority. One analyst suggested that the Mykola Katerynchuk Bloc could join to form a “grand coalition” in the council. That would leave the Y. Tymoshenko and V. Klitschko blocs with less than 50 seats; M. Katerynchuk’s 5 seats are not enough to form anything resembling an orange/democratic coalition.

Full party lists:

“Leonid Chernovestky vyhrav match na svoyemu poli,” Ukrayinska, 26.05.08:

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