Ukrainian parliamentary election, 2014
423 of 450 seats of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
226 seats needed for a majority
Winning party in each constituency in party-list (above) and single-member voting (below)
Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, had pressed for early parliamentary elections since his victory in the presidential election. The July breakup of ruling coalition gave him the right to dissolve the parliament, so on 25 August 2014 he announced the early election.
The voting was not provided in the annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. The voting also did not reach significant parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts because of the ongoing War in Donbass. Because of this, 27 out of the 450 seats in the 8th Verkhovna Rada remained unfilled.
This election can be called a realigning. Ruling in 2010-2014, the Party of Regions did not participate in this election, while its informal successor Opposition Bloc showed modest result with only 9.43%. For the first time since Ukrainian independence, the Communist Party of Ukraine gained no parliamentary representation. Four newly created parties got the highest support in this election: Petro Poroshenko Bloc (formed in July 2014 by Poroshenko's supporters), People's Front (split from Fatherland in August 2014), Self Reliance (registered in 2012) and Opposition Bloc (formed in September 2014 by a group of the former Party of Regions members).
Since the parallel voting system was used, the allocation of seats is not proportional. For example, the winner in party-list voting (22.12%) People's Front got second faction with 82 seats, while Petro Poroshenko Bloc took 123 seats with 21.82% of votes.
The work of the new parliament started on 27 November 2014. On the same day, five factions formed the "European Ukraine" coalition: Petro Poroshenko Bloc, People's Front, Self Reliance, Radical Party and Fatherland. On 2 December the second Yatsenyuk government was approved.
According to the election law of November 2011, elections to the Verkhovna Rada must take place at least every five years. That law came into effect with the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election. If the Rada had sat for the maximum allotted time, the next parliamentary election would have occurred on 29 October 2017. Despite this, the president-elect Petro Poroshenko said that he wanted to hold early parliamentary elections following his victory in the presidential election on 25 May 2014. At 26 June session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Poroshenko said that he hoped to hold parliamentary elections in October 2014, portraying this as "the most democratic way".[nb 1]
The parliamentary coalition that supported the Yatsenyuk Government, formed in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and of the Euromaidan movement, was dissolved on 24 July. If no new coalition formed within thirty days, President Poroshenko would become entitled to dissolve the Rada and to call early parliamentary elections. On the same day as the dissolution, the Sovereign European Ukraine faction submitted a bill to the Rada that called for elections to take place on 28 September 2014.
In an interview with Ukrainian television channels on 14 August, Poroshenko justified early elections because the Rada refused to recognise the self-proclaimed breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics as terrorist organisations. The two republics, situated in the eastern Ukrainian region of the Donbass, originated in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine respectively, and have been fighting Ukrainian government forces in the War in Donbass. President Poroshenko said: "I don't know how to work with a parliament in which a huge number [of deputies], whole factions, make up 'the fifth column' controlled from abroad [referring to Russia]. And this danger is only increasing". He also said that new elections "are the best and the most efficient form of lustration of not only the parliament but also the political forces".
Poroshenko announced on 25 August that he had called for elections to the Rada to take place on 26 October 2014. In his accompanying television address, he portrayed the elections as necessary to "purify the Rada of the mainstay of [former president] Viktor Yanukovych". These deputies, Poroshenko said, "clearly do not represent the people who elected them". Poroshenko also painted these Rada deputies as responsible for "the [January 2014] Dictatorship laws that took the lives of the Heavenly Hundred". Poroshenko also stated that many of the (then) current MPs were "direct sponsors and accomplices or at least sympathizers of the militants/separatists".
The Verkhovna Rada has 450 members, elected to a five-year term in parallel voting, with 225 members elected in single-member constituencies using FPTP system and 225 members elected by proportional representation (closed list) in a single nationwide constituency using the largest remainder method with 5% threshold. Parties are not allowed to form electoral blocs (in contrast to 1998-2007 elections). Attempts to return to proportional representation with open party lists and electoral blocs were failed.
The division into 225 electoral districts was the same as at the 2012 election. The voting was organized only in 198 of them.
The voting was impossible to provide on the territories that was not under government control. Particularly, because of Russian occupation of Crimea there was no voting in all 10 districts in Autonomous Republic of Crimea and 2 in Sevastopol. The voting in Donbass was provided partially. The democratic watchdog OPORA estimated that 4.6 million Ukrainians were unable to vote: 1.8 million in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, 1.6 million in Donetsk Oblast and 1.2 million in Luhansk Oblast.
About 1.8 million of eligible voters live in Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, that is 5% of the whole number of voters in Ukraine. Ukrainian government lost control over the region in March 2014 during the Crimean crisis. Since that time no legitimate elections are provided there. In the 2014 legislative election Crimean voters had ability to vote in any other region for party-lists in the single nationwide constituency, but they were unable to vote for candidates in single-member constituencies.
"Donbass" is an unofficial name of 2 the most eastern Ukrainian oblasts: Donetsk and Luhansk. About 5 million of eligible voters live there, that is 14% of the whole number of voters in Ukraine. After an active phase of War in Donbass in the summer 2014 and September ceasefire, roughly a half of the region remained to be controlled by pro-Russian separatists. On the day before the election CEC stated that there was no ability to provide the voting in the captured areas. Thus, full-fledged voting was provided only in 8 districts of 32. Other 9 districts were split by the front line for controlled and not controlled areas, so voting was provided there only partly. In 2 of them only slight number of polling station was opened: in 53rd district only 9% of voters were able to vote and in 45th district only 2%. In spite of this, the elections in these single-member constituencies were recognized as successful, and the winners (Oleh Nedava and Yukhym Zvyahilsky) got mandates. To the other 15 districts ballots were not transferred at all.
|Donetsk Oblast||Luhansk Oblast||Total|
|Districts with full-fledged voting||7||1||8|
|Districts with partial voting||5||4||9|
|Districts with no voting||9||6||15|
Instead of this election, on the captured territories separatists organized so-called "Donbass general elections" on 2 November, that were a violation of Minsk agreement and were not recognized by the world community.
In the 225 electoral districts some 3,321 candidates participated, out of which 2,018 were independent candidates. 52 political parties nominated candidates. 147 candidates withdrew after the 1 October candidate registration deadline.
In the election campaign the parties positions on foreign relations and the War in Donbass could be roughly divided into two groups. The first group consisted of pro-European parties that advocated to end the War in Donbass by use of force and consisted of Fatherland Party, Civic Position, Radical Party and People's Front (this party was ambiguous about use of force). Svoboda also wanted to end the War in Donbass by use of force. The party Petro Poroshenko Bloc was the only pro-European party that wanted to end the War in Donbass by a peaceful solution. The second group was Strong Ukraine and Opposition Bloc who were considered pro-Russian and they advocated to end the War in Donbass by a peaceful solution. The Communist Party of Ukraine (according to political scientist Tadeusz A. Olszański) "effectively supports the separatist rebellion".
Registered parties and candidatesEdit
Nationwide party listsEdit
On 26 September 2014 the Central Election Commission of Ukraine finished registering the nationwide party lists. A total of 29 parties participated in the election. Parties appeared on the ballot in the following order:
- Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko
- Solidarity of Ukrainian Women
- Internet Party of Ukraine
- Opposition Bloc
- People's Front
- All-Ukrainian Agrarian Union "ZASTUP"
- New Politics
- United Country
- People's Power
- National Democratic Party of Ukraine
- Communist Party of Ukraine
- Self Reliance Party
- Ukraine is United
- Right Sector
- Ukraine of the Future
- Liberal Party of Ukraine
- Party of Greens of Ukraine
- Green Planet
- Petro Poroshenko Bloc
- Strength and Honour
- Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists
- Strong Ukraine
- Civil Position
- Bloc of Ukrainian Left Forces
- Ukrainian Civil Movement
Forming of political coalitionsEdit
On 2 September Vitaliy Kovalchuk (the parliamentary leader) of UDAR stated that since his party and Petro Poroshenko Bloc had agreed to "joint participation in parliamentary elections" on 29 March 2014 the two parties were "in discussion" about "the format" for how to do so in these elections. On 15 September it became clear that 30% of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc election list would be filled by members of UDAR and that UDAR leader Vitali Klitschko is at the top of this list, Klitschko vowed not to resign as incumbent Mayor of Kiev.
The biggest party in the previous 2012 parliamentary elections, Party of Regions, chose not to participate in the election because of a perceived lack of legitimacy (of the election), because not every resident of the Donbas could vote. Individual members of the Party of Regions would take part in the election as candidates of the party Opposition Bloc. According to Yuriy Boyko, who is heading the party's election list, Opposition Bloc does not represent parties, but consists only of individual politicians.
The counting of votes was greatly delayed: Central Electoral Commission announced that all ballots were counted on 10 November only. The announcement of the final result for 38th electoral district was delayed till mid-November because of challenging the results in a court.
In 2014 election the number of participated voters was much less than in 2012 (16,052,228 down from 20,797,206). The main reason of this decrease was impossibility to organize voting in some regions. That is why official turnout was calculated by division by the number of people who live in areas where voting was provided only (due to CEC it is 30,921,218). So, official voter turnout was 51.91%. Anyway, this percent is less than in 2012, when turnout was 57.43%.
The turnout level had obvious geographical differences. The highest turnout (60-70%) was registered in western regions (except Zakarpattia and Chernivtsi Oblast), the level of turnout in central regions was average (54-58%) and in southern and eastern regions it was quite low (40-48%). The turnout in two oblasts of Donbass (or more exactly in the parts of these oblasts where the voting was provided) was 32% - the lowest in the country.
Previously Donbass region displayed high turnout for every election. Party of regions that had plenitude of the power over this region until 2014 Ukrainian revolution artificially increased voter turnout there by use of management reserves and falsifications. The 2014 election was the end of this artificial increase. One more reason of low turnout in Donbass as well as in other south-eastern regions was a feeling of significant part of inhabitants that no party represented their interests.
82 / 450
|Petro Poroshenko Bloc||3,437,521||21.82||New||63||69||
132 / 450
|Association "Self Reliance"||1,729,271||10.97||New||32||1||
33 / 450
29 / 450
|Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko||1,173,131||7.44||6.36||22||0||
22 / 450
19 / 450
6 / 450
|Communist Party of Ukraine||611,923||3.88||9.30||0||0||0||32|
1 / 450
1 / 450
1 / 450
|Solidarity of Women of Ukraine||105,094||0.66||—||0||0||0||—|
|Internet Party of Ukraine||58,197||0.36||—[c]||0||0||0||—|
|Party of Greens of Ukraine||39,636||0.25||0.09||0||0||0||—|
|Ukraine — United Country||19,838||0.12||New||0||0||0||New|
|Force of People||17,817||0.11||New||0||0||0||New|
|Ukraine of the Future||14,168||0.08||0.10||0||0||0||—|
|Force and Honour||13,549||0.08||—||0||0||0||—|
|Civil Movement of Ukraine||13,000||0.08||—||0||0||0||—|
|Bloc of Left Forces of Ukraine||12,499||0.07||—||0||0||0||—|
|National Democratic Party of Ukraine||11,826||0.07||—||0||0||0||—|
|Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists||8,976||0.05||—[d]||0||0||0||—|
|Liberal Party of Ukraine||8,523||0.05||0.02||0||0||0||—|
1 / 450
96 / 450
|Total valid votes||15,753,826||100||225||198||423|
|Invalid ballot papers||298,402||1.86|
|Vacant (constituencies with no voting)||27||
27 / 450
|Source: CEC (Proportional votes, Single-member constituencies)|
The Ukrainian democratic watchdog OPORA stated about the elections that they were legitimate, but that "the [election] campaign cannot be called fully free within the limits of the country" because of the fighting in the Donbass region. The NGO Committee of Voters of Ukraine asked the Central Election Commission of Ukraine to declare invalid the results of constituencies 45 and 102 because there "significant irregularities were numerous".
The OSCE stated about the elections that they were "in line with international commitments, and were characterized by many positive aspects, including an impartial and efficient Central Election Commission, competitive contests that offered voters real choice, and general respect for fundamental freedoms". European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso called the elections "a victory of the people of Ukraine and of democracy". US President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry also congratulated Ukraine "on successful parliamentary elections". The day after the election Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated "I think we will recognize this election because it is very important for us that Ukraine will finally have authorities that do not fight one another, do not drag Ukraine to the West or to the East, but that will deal with the real problems facing the country". He also hoped that the new Ukrainian government "will be constructive, will not seek to continue escalating confrontational tendencies in society, (in ties) with Russia". Lavrov's Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin stated "the election is valid in spite of the rather harsh and dirty election campaign". Karasin also "welcomed the success of parties supporting a peaceful resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine" and warned that "nationalistic and chauvinistic forces" in parliament could undermine peace efforts and were "extremely dangerous". Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov, acting chairman of the (Russian) Federation Council's International Affairs Committee, stated that "The contacts earlier established between the State Duma and the Federation Council on the one hand and the Verkhovna Rada on the other will hopefully be re-launched in some format" although he stated he could not imagine how these contacts would be developed since he believed "The new Ukrainian parliament has become more radical-minded". Dzhabarov claimed about the elections that "If such elections had been held in some other country, in Russia for instance, the West would have never recognized them as legitimate. Nevertheless, the West and Europe have recognized the Ukrainian elections as valid". Observers of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation were positive about the elections and in particular welcomed that "administrative resources" were not used in the elections. Observers of the International Republican Institute also expressed this opinion and stated that its observers had witnessed only minor non-systemic irregularities that could not have affected the outcome of the election.
On 26 July 2015 mid-term election were held in constituency 205 located in Chernihiv. These were necessary after 2014 winner Valeriy Kulich had left parliament because of his appointment as Governor of Chernihiv Oblast. 91 candidates took part in the elections; eight of them for political parties, the others were self-nominated candidates. On election day the ballot paper stretched to about 1 meter. 36 candidates had withdrawn from participation in the elections. During the election campaign top candidates Hennadiy Korban and Serhiy Berezenko were repeatedly accused of bribing voters, the use of black PR and other violations (of the electoral legislation).
The election was won by Berezenko of Petro Poroshenko Bloc with 35.90% of the vote. Second most votes were won by Korban of UKROP who received 14.76%. The official voter turnout was set at 35.3%.
On 17 July 2016 mid-term election were held in 7 single-member districts (constituency 23, 27, 85, 114, 151, 183 and 206) because their representatives had been elected to executive political positions and the death of Ihor Yeremeyev. Turnout varied from about 50% until less than 20%. The elections were monitored by 57 international official observers.
Vote counting in constituency 114 (situated in Stanytsia Luhanska) was disrupted after several members of the election commission refused to count votes. In the same constituency 14 criminal cases for violating the election were opened. Constituency 151 was last in announcing its final results when it did so on 21 July 2016.
|17 July 2016 single mandate winners|
|Region||District[District]||Candidate||Votes %||Party member|
|№||Name||№ of mandates||Geographical reference and name||№|
|3||Volyn||5||West Manevychy||023||Iryna Konstankevych||57.42||UKROP|
|4||Dnipropetrovsk||17||South-East Dnipropetrovsk-Zhovtnevy||027||Tetyana Rychkova||44.57||BPP[nb 2]|
|9||Ivano-Frankivsk||7||West Kalush||085||Victor Shevchenko||21.19||UKROP|
|12||Luhansk||11||South-East Stanytsia Luhanska||114||Serhiy Shahov||37.62||Our Land|
|16||Poltava||8||Central Lokhvytsia||151||Ruslan Bogdan||21.64||Fatherland|
|21||Kherson||5||South-East Kherson-Komsomolsky||183||Yuriy Odarchenko||25||Fatherland|
|25||Chernihiv||6||Central Chernihiv-Novozavodsky||206||Maksym Mykytas||31.45|
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Allies of Yanukovych trying for parliament, Kyiv Post (21 September 2014)
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CVU to ask CEC to declare invalid elections at constituencies Nos. 45 and 102, Interfax-Ukraine (27 October 2014)
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