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Rockstar Vakarchuk Announces First 10 Names on Golos Party List
8 June, 2019
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Rockstar Svyatoslav Vakarchuk (C) and his team during the Golos' party congress on June 8 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Courtesy

Ukrainian musician and leader of the party Voice (Golos) Svyatoslav Vakarchuk has announced the first ten names on his party's list for the upcoming elections to the parliament.

The following ten people were proposed by the nomination committee during the Golos party’s congress in Kyiv, Ukraine on June 8:

  • singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk;

  • former Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Ukraine Yulia Klymenko;

  • IT entrepreneur Kira Rudik;

  • activist and government adviser to the PM Yaroslav Zheleznyak;

  • member of the board of the Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC) Oleksandra Ustinova;

  • lawyer Oleg Makarov;
  • former executive director of Transparency International Ukraine Yaroslav Yurchyshyn;
  • journalist Serhiy Rakhmanin;
  • former acting head of Odesa region's administration Solomiia Bobrovska;
  • ex-Deputy Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine Olga Stefanyshyna

It was also announced that film director Serhiy Sharaskin and actor-comedian Serhiy Prytula are also joining the party.

When Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, a popular Ukrainian musician, started performing, labels were thrown at him ― such as “britpop” or “progressive rock” ― but Vakarchuk rejected those labels just as he is doing now as party leader of Golos. Instead of political labels, Golos wants to be known differently.

In an interview with Liga.net, Vakarchuk proclaims, “We are a party that comes to change Ukrainian politics. You can call us just like that.” Does that sound like a familiar motif? Well, it is a well laundered phrase in Ukrainian politics. So what makes Vakarchuk’s party different?

First, Golos is a relatively fresh party. Perhaps taking a cue from his PhD in the physics principle supersymmetry, Vakarchuk believes in superpartners, or new and undiscovered particles - in this case MPs. In fact, not a single incumbent of parliament will be registered on Golos party list.  A difficult task considering the Central Election Commission will have to file 226 names on their list. But Vakarchuk remains confident noting, that the people on the party’s list will be worthy MPs. But he is not naive.

Although the Voice party wants to influence every level of government, they move in a crescendo, meaning the party looks to the gradual long term progression rather than short term gain. His goal? Vakarchuk tells Liga.net that his mission is, “to gather around as many as possible of decent, patriotic and professional people.”

Taking a cue from Zelenskyy's Servant of the People, the popular television series of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Golos takes things back to the basis. At the core, “the center of our politics is human,” notes Vakarchuk. His party has a plan to change ordinary people's lives. Vakarchuk believes in first changing the rules of the game.

He believes that the foundation of any country is the civil society. Without a proper foundation, change is unlikely. However, like many activists, he first targets the oligarchs. He proudly notes that his party does not take any money from the richest people in Ukraine. However, when people like Victor Pinchuk are emptying their pockets for the party, how does he define “oligarch”? He tells Liga.net, that oligarchs are the top 10 richest people in Ukraine, especially people that have control over the media. The Golos party believes in ridding the Parliament of oligarchs and instead replacing them with professional and decent people. He notes that oligarchs cannot fulfill their duties to the fullest extent due to their responsibilities concerning their businesses. When voting times come, MPs are missing. With a belief that oligarchs play by their own rules, manipulate the media and have a firm grasp on Ukraine, Vakarchuk wants to “change the country, destroy old politics, and create a new one.”  

From learning to deal with both Eastern and Western neighbors, trying to halt the brain drain, dealing with the widening gap of rich and poor and creating a more efficient government, proposals from the Golos party are broad. We will have to wait for the party congress to learn more.

Golos’ plans may seem grand but at the core Vakarchuk believes that he is a modest man and a musician at heart. Despite the large responsibilities lying ahead, Vakarchuk hopes that with every unrelenting step towards sustainable change he is able to continue developing his passion for music, because for him, music is energy for change.