Recently in Elections Category

After a lengthy layoff, today seems like a good time to return to discussions about Ukrainian politics. Ukraine's next presidential election is scheduled for January 17, 2010. If a second round ballot is necessary, it is expected to occur in February 2010.

According to an August 20, 2009 poll of 3,011 respondents by Kyiv-based Research & Branding Group, the Party of Regions' Viktor Yanukovych will become Ukraine's next president. Incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko has little chance of being a factor in the election. The poll results were:

  • Viktor Yanukovych - 26%
  • Yulia Tymoshenko - 16.5%
  • Arseniy Yatseniuk - 12.6%
  • Petro Simonenko - 4.5%
  • Vladimir Lytvyn - 4.2%
  • Viktor Yushchenko - 2%
  • Others - 7.3%
  • Against all candidates - 9.9%
The same poll provided the following results when asked who they would vote for if Tymoshenko and Yanukovych entered a second round of voting:

  • Viktor Yanukovych - 39.6%
  • Yulia Tymoshenko - 28%
  • Against all candidates - 19%
  • Will not vote - 6.8%
  • Difficult to answer - 6.6%
The poll also asked respondents which political party they would vote for in a parliamentary election.  The results were:

  • Party of Regions - 27.9%
  • Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc - 16%
  • Arseniy Yatseniuk Bloc - 9.2%
  • Vladimir Lytvyn Bloc - 4.8%
  • Communist Party - 4.4%
  • Others - 9.4%
  • Against all parties - 9.6%
  • Will not vote - 7.1%
  • Difficult to answer - 11.6%
President VIktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party fell into the "Others" category. If these results hold through the election, expect some big political changes in Ukraine's government.

Technically, with the exception of less internal bickering, it may be difficult to see any changes in government, but it could very well be a throwback to the Leonid Kuchma era. Remember, Yanukovych was Kuchma's handpicked successor, but still lost to Yushchenko in the 2004 election, due in part to the Orange Revolution.

Don't expect a repeat of the Orange Revolution this time. Yushchenko and Tymoshenko completely blew their chance to effect real change in Ukraine. After all the nonsense of the last five years, all the people want now is a stable political situation and to reverse the course of the country's economic downturn.

April 2009 Ukrainian Presidential Poll Results

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A recent public opinion poll conducted by the Kyiv International Sociology Institute indicates Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych has increased his lead heading toward the next Ukrainian presidential election.

The poll results are:

  • Viktor Yanukovych (Party of Regions) - 25.6%
  • Yulia Tymoshenko (Prime Minister/BYuT) - 14.4%
  • Arseniy Yatsenyuk (former Parliament Speaker) - 13.6%
  • Petro Symonenko (Communist Party) - 3.3%
  • Volodymyr Lytvyn (current Parliament Speaker/Lytvyn Bloc) - 2.9%
  • Viktor Yushchenko (current President) - 2.4%
Yanukovych's lead has increased from 1.4% in a March poll by the Ramukov Center to 11.2% over current Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. President Viktor Yushchenko remains at the bottom of the poll and continues to lose support.

This latest poll was conducted by interviewing 1,984 Ukrainian citizens between March 26 and April 17, 2009. The margin of error is 2.5%.

Ukraine Election Delayed Until 2009

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Last week, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko indicated that the snap election scheduled for December 14 will be delayed until 2009. Yushchenko said it would not be reasonable to hold elections during the holiday season.

That may be his public line, but the real reason for delay is Yushchenko’s inability to get the government to approve funds to hold the election. Political Analyst Volodomyr Fesenko said that Yushchenko is waiting until the country’s deepening financial crisis chips away at Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s popularity and influence.

If this is true, it is the latest move by Yushchenko as he tries to position himself for a run at a second term of President.

Yushchenko Postpones Election Until December 14

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Due to a severe economic downturn, Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchennko postponed the upcoming pre-term parliamentary election by one week, to December 14.

Yushchenko issued a decree to allow the now dissolved Parliament to work for several days on legislation to aid the country’s economy, which has been hit hard by the world financial crisis. The decree also set up a 1 billion hryvnia fund ($200 million) to help Ukraine’s banking sector.

The election delay is most likely due to Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s attempts to block preparations for the vote. The original December 7 date cannot be met due to appeals filed by Tymoshenko in court.

Ukrainians Prefer Tymoshenko/Regions Coalition

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According to Sofia Social Research Center expert Oleksandr Levtsun, Ukrainian citizens would prefer a new parliamentary coalition consisting of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) and the pro-Russian Party of Regions.


The poll of 2,005 people, conducted between September 9 and September 17, followed the dissolution of the “Orange” coalition between BYuT and President Viktor Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine People’s Self Defense Bloc (OU-PSD). Poll results revealed the following:

Positive Responses

  • BYuT/Party of Regions - 41.4%
  • Party of Regions/Communist Party/Lytvyn Bloc - 34.4%
  • BYuT/OU-PSD - 26.4%
  • OU-PSD/Party of Regions - 7.5%
Negative Responses

  • OU-PSD/Party of Regions - 77.7%
  • BYuT/OU-PSD - 57.9%
  • Party of Regions/Communist Party/Lytvyn Bloc - 48.5%
  • BYuT/Party of Regions - 42.1%
The poll also noted that 22% of respondents supported the Ou-PSD withdrawal from their coalition with BYuT. 27.8% were opposed, 36.1% were indifferent and 14.1% undecided.

Wow. I’m surprised the researchers found enough participants that currently care about a parliamentary coalition. My understanding is that most Ukrainian citizens have had enough of all the elections and political battles that have plagued the country since the 2004 Orange Revolution.

Photo: Qatar - Creative Commons

Social Democrats Lead Slovenian Election

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With 99.99% of votes counted in Slovenia’s September 21, 2008 parliamentary election, the opposition Social Democrats hold a narrow lead over the incumbent Slovenian Democratic Party. Total turnout was estimated to be 62.2%. Official results are not expected until September 30 or October 1 so votes from abroad can be counted.

Borut Pahor, leader of the Social Democrats, said coalition talks would begin as soon as the official results are announced. The new coalition will likely consist of the Social Democrats, Zares, Democratic Party of Pensioners and Liberal Democracy of Slovenia.

The vote reflects the feelings of many Slovenians - that conservative Prime Minister Janez Jansa failed to properly deal with high inflation. Allegations of corruption also hurt Jansa’s party.

Currently, the State Electoral Commission has provided the following unofficial results (with vote percentage and number of seats won)*:

  • Social Democrats (SD) - 30.5% (29)
  • Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) - 29.3% (28)
  • Zares - 9.4% (9)
  • Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia - 7.45% (7)
  • Slovenian National Party - 5.46% (5)
  • Slovenian People’s Party/Youth Party of Slovenia - 5.24% (5)
  • Liberal Democracy of Slovenia - 5.19% (5)
  • New Slovenia - Christian People’s Party - 3.25%
  • Lipa - 1.82%
  • List for Justice and Development - 0.56%
  • Greens of Slovenia - 0.49%
  • Christian Democratic Party - 0.43%
  • List for Clear Drinking Water - 0.39%
  • Party of the Slovenian People - 0.24%
  • Green Coalition: Green Party and Green Progress - 0.21%
  • Forward Slovenia - 0.04%
  • Acacia - 0.02%
* Note: The Hungarian and Italian ethnic minorities receive 2 seats in parliament despite not participating directly in the election.

United Russia Wins Parliamentary Election

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The results are in from the December 2, 2007 Russian Parliamentary election and there are no surprises. United Russia easily won, gaining an additional 16 seats in the Duma as compared to the last election. 63% of eligible voters turned out to vote for one of the 11 competing political parties.

The structure of the new, incoming Duma is (party with number of seats):

  • United Russia - 315
  • Communist Party of the Russian Federation - 57
  • Liberal Democratic Party of Russia - 40
  • A Just Russia Party (pro-Kremlin) - 38

I guess it's time to get ready for Prime Minister Putin.

Reports that boxes at three polling stations contained more ballots than there were voters has delayed the release of official results from Croatia’s parliamentary election. The Croatian State Electoral Committee has announced that the vote will be repeated on December 9, only at those three polling stations.

Branko Hrvatin, President of the State Electoral Committee, indicated that they are legally bound to repeat the vote at those stations, even though those votes will not affect the overall election.

Official election results will be released on or after December 11.

With 99% of votes counted, the incumbent Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) holds a slim lead in Sunday’s Croatian parliamentary election. Preliminary results from the Croatian State Election Commission indicate HDZ leads with 34.78% of the vote, while the opposition Social Democrat Party (SDP) trails with 32.46%.

If these results hold, the structure of the new Parliament will be (seats by party):

  • Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) - 61
  • Social Democrat Party (SDP) - 56
  • Croatian Peasant’s Party (HSS)/Croatian Liberal Party (HSLS) Coalition - 8
  • Croatian People’s Party (HNS) - 7

Minorities are guaranteed 8 seats, and the remaining 12 will most likely represent the diaspora.

A parliamentary majority of 77 seats is required to govern. Both HDZ and SDP have begun coalition talks with potential partners to create a majority. President Stipe Mesic will ultimately decide who has the best chance of governing.

2007 Ukraine Election Results

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I have published an article at Suite101.com covering Ukraine's Parliamentary election results. I was trying to hold off for the absolute final results, but figured it was safe enough with 99.93% of the votes counted.

I am very happy that the democratic forces have won a majority of seats in the Verkhovna Rada (as an alliance). However, I am dumbfounded as to why it has taken so long to count all the votes. It seems like it has taken 2-3 days to count the last 2% of ballots. Something doesn't seem right about the process, but at least we should be avoiding another round of demonstrations like we saw during the Orange Revolution after the 2004 Presidential election.

What are your thoughts about this election and the results?