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Original article in Ukrainian by Tetyana Nikolayenko, UP
Translated by Eugene Ivantsov
The Party of Regions (PRU) has been persuading everyone that it won the election thus having the right to form a coalition. At that, the PRU MPs keep repeating that they received 2% more at this election.
However, the election results declared by the Central Election Commission (CEC) give cause for reflection: was it maybe Pyrrhic victory?
The Party of Regions
Considering the election outcome for the PRU percentagewise, the Donetsk-based party has indeed improved its result by 2%. But absolute figures are not so attractive.
If at last year’s election 8 148 745 voters supported the PRU, in 2007 the party received 8 013 918 votes.
Thus, the PRU has lost 135 000 votes. In fact, these losses could be even greater.
Nestor Shufrych and Inna Bohoslovska received positions in the top 5 of the party list not simply for their public speaking skills. Theoretically, they had to contribute to the election result of the PRU with the votes of their followers. Last year Viche and Ne Tak received almost 700 000 votes altogether.
Of course, all those 700 000 did not vote for the PRU at this election, but supporters of Mrs. Bohoslovska and SDPU are closer to the PRU than to the BYuT and Our Ukraine –People’s Self-Defense.
But PRU did not receive additional votes. Or maybe it did but these votes ‘mended’ holes in the PRU electoral support.
As compared with 2006, the PRU preserved its influence in western and southern regions. Moreover, Yanukovych and Co. managed to increase their popularity in the so-called ‘expansion zones’ covering central and western Ukraine.
Of course, they did not receive desirable surplus of 5-10%, but they coped with the task in Khmelnytsk and Cherkasy regions, and even in Zakarpattya where the PRU is traditionally unpopular.
The PRU received 4% more in Zaporizhya region. Most probably, these are the votes of Natalia Vitrenko who received 6.54% in Zaporizhya last year, having got only 1.71% this time.
At the same time, the PRU lost votes in its small Motherland – Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions. Mr. Yanukovych lost there130 600, 70 600 and 106 500 votes respectively.
The PRU may boast of its phenomenal election results (34%) but one cannot run away from figures. The number of supporters has reduced, and so has the number of seats in parliament (175 against 185).
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
In spite of Gallup Polls the BYuT receives more votes at the second election in a row. This time Yulia Tymoshenko received 30.7% having increased the number of her supporters by 1.5 million (5 652 876 in 2006 against 7 162 174 in 2007).
This year the BYuT won election in 16 regions while last year it was only 14.
This year the BYuT received the first position in Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv regions that used to contribute much to Our Ukraine last year’s victory in these regions.
In general, the BYuT increased its popularity in all regions. There is not a single region where the BYuT results got worse at least percentagewise. The BYuT scored the best results in Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Rivne and Ternopil regions, receiving 15-20%.
The Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk remain problem regions for Yulia Tymoshenko.
Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense
Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense received 4 million votes less than the BYuT. But more importantly, this time 3 301 012 Ukraine’s citizens voted for the president’s party. It means that the united democratic forces received 238 000 votes less than Our Ukraine alone at the last year’s election (3 539 140).
NU-NS received less votes even despite personal popularity of Yuriy Lutsenko and despite the comeback of Ukrainian People’s Party and Mr. Karmazin who received about half million votes at the last parliamentary election.
If last year Our Ukraine celebrated victory in Zakarpattya, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions, this time only Zakarpattya favored NU-NS.
NU-NS improved its results in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Cherkasy and Zakarpattya regions by 3-5%. At the same time, the bloc received 7-9% less in Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions.
NU-NS received the third position in Zhytomyr region run by NU-NS member Yuriy Pavlenko. The president’s bloc was fifth in Zaporizhya region headed by Yevhen Chervonenko who was not included on the party list at this election.
In general, the results of NU-NS became worse in 12 regions.
The Communist Party of Ukraine
At the last election it seemed that Lenin’s followers were almost dead. But the Communists did not only manage to improve their last year’s results but they appeared the only left-wing force in parliament.
Calling to vote for the only left-wing political force with real chances of entering parliament, Petro Symonenko and Co. improved election results by 327 000 votes.
The Communist Party entered parliament due to traditional support of western regions, having received the second place in Luhansk and Sevastopol and the third position in the Crimea, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhya, Mykolayiv, Kharkiv and Kherson regions.
The lucky beggar of this election Volodymyr Lytvyn received 304 000 votes more than last year. 924 568 Ukrainian citizens chose to vote for his bloc.
Volodymyr Lytvyn’s best results were in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zhytomyr regions.
The Socialist Party of Ukraine
SPU that failed the election this year had lost 776 000 voters during one year of Mr. Moroz’s speakership and participation in the Anticrisis Coalition. This year 668 185 Ukraine’s citizens voted for Mr. Moroz’s party.
SPU appears outside the Verkhovna Rada. The party declares it will not dispute the election outcome in courts. However, Oleksandr Moroz warns of his soon comeback to the big-time politics.
Does he maybe hope that the Party of Regions will help him by refusing to take the oath of office, thus making parliament incompetent?
Comparison table of the election results:
Traditionally, the PRU’s results in the western regions are very low, while the BYuT and Our Ukraine are unpopular in the eastern regions. Politicians take advantage of it speculating on the issue of split in Ukraine and demanding to form a broad coalition.
The PRU is expected to receive 175 seats in parliament while the BYuT will have 156.
That means that although both political forces failed to receive majority at this election, they received enough seats to bloc the work of a new parliament or even destroy it in the event they do not agree with the share of positions in authority.