Following the instalment of the provisional government and then the election of a new president, Ukrainians will choose new lawmakers in their October 26th parliamentary election. The theme, clearly, seems to be ‘out with the old, in with the new’.
On the list of the president’s party, Mustafa Nayem was one of the earliest protest organisers in Maidan last November. He’s a journalist now determined to work for reform in parliament.
Nayem said: “We have a chance to change this system. We’re not the only list running. There are fifteen of us on the list. Plus, there are different parties. To be successful, we’ll have to persevere over time, and see how hard the system fights back.”
Ukraine is facing unprecedented security challenges, with Crimea annexed and war in the east. Trusted commanders of combat volunteers are running for parliament. Former businessman Semen Semenchenko led the renowned Donbas Battalion, which lost many. He stresses the violence is irrational.
Semenchenko said: “I realised we’ve been fighting consequences rather than the cause. Our political system lacks competition, and that is the cause. It also lacks proper economic and military management. If the system continues to work like this, the ship of state will keep on leaking no matter how hard we try to plug the holes.”
There is suspense over how many associated with the old regime will enter the new parliament. The former ruling Party of Regions, of ousted president Yanukovych, decided not to run a list. MP Hanna Herman explains why, giving a high estimate of the number of voters disenfranchised by the hostilities in the east, where separatists do not think this election is legitimate.
Herman said: “Donbas won’t get an opportunity to vote in this situation. One quarter of Ukrainians will not participate in this vote. That means we’re cutting Donbas out of Ukraine with these elections.”
Faces that Ukrainians have long been familiar with are expected to reappear, many having rebranded under new party names or shifted blocs, some in constituencies where they enjoy majority support. On the other hand, some polls suggest that, for the first time in history, the Communists might fail to win any seats at all.