Ukrainians vote in elections: Coalitions on the horizon

The preliminary results of the Ukrainian parliamentary elections suggest the country’s ruling party does not currently hold a decisive majority in the Rada. The Party of Regions could secure its perch if it gets enough seats in majority voting.

­Though the Party of Regions declared victory in the elections, the composition of eventual electoral coalitions remains to be determined.

If the Party of Regions does not maintain its parliamentary majority and the opposition manages to form a broad coalition, President Viktor Yanukovich could face impeachment proceedings, as the opposition has vowed to unseat the leader of the ruling party.

With over 56 percent of votes processed so far, the Central Electoral Commission of Ukraine (CEC) reported that five parties have each obtained the minimum five percent necessary to hold parliamentary seats in the Rada:

­- The ruling Party of Regions, at around 32.97 percent
- The Motherland Party of former PM Yulia Timoshenko, at 23.35 percent
- The Communist Party of Ukraine, at 14.31 percent
- The Udar Party of former boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, at 13.24 percent
- The ultra-nationalist Freedom Party, at 9.17 percent

75.22 percent of ballots have been counted.

Recent changes in the country’s electoral law have dramatically reshaped the electoral process.

For the first time since 2002, seats in the Ukrainian parliamentary elections will be won on both a majority and a proportional vote, with each round of voting accounting for half of Ukraine’s 450 seats in the Rada.

The election will only be considered finished after winners are determined in all of the one-candidate constituencies.

This year’s election gives independent candidates a chance to win seats in the majority-vote parliamentary election. These independent deputies would then have to decide which electoral coalitions to join, with the potential to dramatically change the country’s political landscape.

The race for Ukrainian parliamentary seats was particularly contentious this year. A total of 5208 candidates – 2554 in the proportionate ballot and 2654 in the majority ballot – took part in the election. In one race, 40 different candidates vied for the same seat.

The CEC has announced the election is finished, with 58 percent of registered voters casting their ballots. No major instances of electoral fraud were reported.