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7 Big Names That Won’t Make It to Ukraine’s Next Parliament
22 July, 2019
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MP Oleh Barna (Petro Poroshenko Bloc) presents then-PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk roses and proceeds to pick him up and carry away from the tribune in the Ukrainian Parliament. December 11, 2015. Reuters

With parties like Servant of the People and Golos (Voice”) announcing they will not have any previous MPs on their party lists, it is no surprise that we will see numerous fresh faces in the next Ukrainian parliament. But here are seven of the old faces some might miss – if not for their efforts then for their charisma.

The biggest name who will not be in the next convocation is actually the leader of the party that got most seats through party lists in the previous legislative election: Arseniy Yatsenyuk. His People’s Front party got 22.14% in the 2014 snap election, but did not even take part this time around. After his resignation from the position of prime minister in April 2016, we have heard little of him.

READ MORE: "Old Horses": Tymoshenko & Yatsenyuk Go To Parliament

Former defense minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko who came fifth in the 2019 presidential election will also be missing from the new parliament. His party Civil Position got around 1% in the current election, and thus will not be represented in the next convocation, despite the creativity of his campaign marketing team that depicted Hrytsenko as a consultant to Volodymyr Zelenskyy-lookalike in a chess game against Vladimir Putin’s doppelganger in a video clip that went viral before the election.

Three of the so-called Euro-optimists and former journalists will not get seats in the new parliament either, albeit for different reasons. Whilst Mustafa Nayyem consciously chose not to participate in this year’s parliamentary election, Sergii Leshchenko and Svitlana Zalishchuk did try their luck at two constituencies, but to no avail. 

Former Ukrainian pilot who was captured by Russia, Nadiya Savchenko attempted to get into the new parliament through the smallest constituency in Ukraine, which is in Donetsk region and where most of the voters came from the occupied territories. Savchenko, who initially had plans to campaign in the occupied Donbas, only got 8 votes, whilst 220 sufficed for the winner.

READ MORE: Six “Firsts” You May Have Missed From Ukraine’s Presidential Election

Last but not least is the charismatic Oleh Lyashko who is known for his down-to-earth style, fighting and blocking the parliamentary tribune during controversial votes. His Radical Party is currently sixth with less than 4% of the vote. The party will still get state funding though, having passed the 2% threshold.

It is also worth noting that Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi’s party Samopomich (Self-Reliance”) failed to attract enough votes to make it to the next parliament, despite obtaining 33 seats in the previous convocation. Earlier, Sadovyi gave up party leadership citing “difficulty of combining the roles of a city mayor and party leader” among reasons.

Sadovyi’s former fellow party member, a popular restaurateur and current deputy of Kyiv City Council, Sergiy Gusovsky also ran for the parliament, but this time through self-appointment. However, he failed to even make it to the top 5 in his Kyiv constituency.