Deputy Head of Ukrainian Parliament: Russia Trying to Prevent New Election


Kyiv, August 28, 2014. The Russian Federation is doing everything possible to prevent a new election to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. This was stated by the Rada’s Deputy Chairman and member of the Svoboda Party, Ruslan Koshulynskyi at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The new elections increase the legitimacy of Ukraine’s central government, as well as drastically change the composition of the body, reported the official. Despite the security situation in Ukraine, as well as an assortment of other potential obstacles, the Rada is determined to hold the vote as soon as possible.

“Russia will do everything so that the parliament will be the same as it was,” said Koshulynskyi. There remain many members of parliament that were supporters of the former Yanukovych regime, and they continue to serve Russian interests and block important reforms such as the lustration of corrupt officials, he said. Before former President Yanukovych fled Ukraine, 236 members of parliament were members of either the Party of Regions or the Communist Party of Ukraine, composing a majority of the body. According to Koshulynskyi, the Rada hopes to hold the parliamentary election on October 26, but may have to delay the election if President Poroshenko’s National Security and Defense Council makes that recommendation because of the security situation. However, Koshulynskyi stated that “nothing will stop the holding of the election,” even if it is temporarily suspended.

Other potential problems for the election include its cost, as well as the participation of citizens from Crimea and areas of the Donbas within the zone of military actions. The cost of the election is estimated at UAH 986 million, but may be decreased by 250 million if the Rada is able to implement changes to the electoral law. In addition, the Ukrainian government is trying to ensure the participation of citizens in Russian-occupied Crimea by allowing voting in nearby Kherson region. The government will also allow residents of the combat zone the opportunity to vote outside conflict area. Despite Russian aggression, Koshulynskyi once again assured that the parliamentary election will happen.