Ukraine’s opposition party has rallied outside parliament demanding mayoral elections for Kiev and for the city council.
The capital has had no mayor since last summer. The incumbent Party of Regions is withholding their vote until the Constitutional Court rules on a legal date.
But the opposition has seized on the city authorities recent inability to cope with a bout of heavy snowfall. Trains stopped and roads were blocked, paralysing Kiev. Some held up banners during the rally, which read “Stop paying council tax”.
One protestor expressed her lack of faith in the system. “Even if the elections won’t take place in Kiev, I don’t think much will change. I believe we have to change the state system from the inside”.
And another man on the street told euronews, “People in Kiev are really tired of all these disasters. But if the situation stays like this for another month or two, they will all take to the streets”.
Opposition parties also claim the Party of Regions wants the date pushed back as they stand a better chance of winning if they schedule elections alongside presidential elections in 2015.
The fate of elections in Kiev now depends not only on the outcome of negotiations between the opposition and ruling party, but on the decision of the Constitutional Court, demanded by the ruling Party of Regions. This decision could happen anytime within the next three months.