UARU
7 "Firsts" of Ukraine’s Parliamentary Elections
22 July, 2019
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silver medalist from the Rio Olympic Games and was number ten on the Servants of the People party list
Parliamentary elections are now over. Votes are still being counted, but some conclusions can already be drawn. For many this will be their first trip to the parliament, but for others the previous convocation was their last. Hromadske gathered 7 “first time” facts about these elections.

1 

For the first time, turnout in the parliamentary elections fell as low as 49.84%. As of 1994 turnout has been steadily decreasing. 

Source: Central Election Commission (CEC)

2

Before this election, not a single party had gained as many votes as Servant of the People. According to preliminary estimates by the CEC (more than 50% of the ballots processed), the president's Servant of the People party will have 122 deputies on the list and 125 constituency MPs.

More than 42% of voters cast their vote for a single party - this is a historical high.

In 1998, the Communists received 24% of the vote and 123 deputies.

In 2002, Viktor Yushchenko's Nasha Ukraine ("Our Ukraine") party received 23% support and 112 deputies.

In 2006, the Party of Regions received 32% of the vote and 186 deputies.

In 2007, the “Party of Regions” again gained 32% and received 189 deputies.

In 2012, the Party of Regions received even more support- 34%,  but gained only 175 deputies because of fewer constituency wins.

In 2014, People’s Front received 22% of voter support, but because of constituency results, only became the second faction of the parliament with 79 deputies.

3

For the first time, one party, Servant of the People, won in most regions of Ukraine - in the east, west, center and in the south.

However, with a slight margin in the Lviv region, Vakarchuk's Golos party won the majority, and in Donetsk and Luhansk regions - Opposition Platform - For Life headed by Yuriy Boyko and Viktor Medvedchuk took the most votes. Additionally, The European Solidarity party of ex-President Petro Poroshenko won the foreign vote.

 

Members of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's team watch the early exit poll results being presented at their headquarters in Kyiv, Ukraine on July 21, 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE/Tatyana Zenkovych

4

For the first time, the majority party does not need to consider a coalition.  According to early estimates, Servant of the People will receive 247 deputies, and only 226 are needed for a majority. This means that the “servants” can choose the prime minister, the government, the prosecutor general and the head of the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine).

But changes in the constitution, such as the removal of parliamentary immunity, are also part of President Zelenskyy’s plan. As changes in the constitution require a constitutional majority, or 300 votes, the party will have to look for allies among other factions.

For the first time any party that received more than two percent of the vote will be financed from the state budget. This means that not only the five parties that have overcome the five percent barrier and passed to the parliament will receive financing. But, in addition to "Servant of the People", "Opposition Platform - For Life", "European Solidarity", "Batkivshchyna" and "Golos" in the next five years, Ukrainians will finance "Strength and Honor" by Igor Smeshko, "Opposition Bloc" by Vilkul and Muraev, the Party of Sharij, the Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko, the nationalists from Svoboda and the party of the Prime Minister of the eighth convocation of the parliament, Volodymyr Groysman. Sharij, for example, will receive annually more than 12 million hryvnia ($ 465 thousand) from the budget. 

6

Yukhym Zvyahilsky, for the first time since 1991, will not be a Ukrainian MP. He was an MP for all previous eight parliamentary convocations. In this election, the 86-year-old politician, the hero of Ukraine and the co-founder of the Party of Regions, decided not to run.

Then Ukrainian MP Yukhym Zvyahilsky poses during a parliamentary session on September 21, 2018. Photo: Vladyslav Musiyenko / POOL / UNIAN

For the first time, a black MP, Zhan Beleniuk, will sit in the Ukrainian parliament. He is a silver medalist from the Rio Olympic Games and was number ten on the Servant of the People party list.

/By Anastasia Stanko

/Translated by Allison Martinez-Cortes