The main favorite is the new party of President Zelensky, while the main opposition may be a pro-Russian party" />

Ukraine heads to the polls on July 21 – who will make it into the Verkhovna Rada?

The main favorite is the new party of President Zelensky, while the main opposition may be a pro-Russian party

Hromadske

This Sunday Ukraine is going to the polls in snap parliamentary elections. 

There are 6,000 candidates for 424 seats in the country’s highest legislative body, the Verkhovna Rada. 22 parties are represented in the elections, but judging by opinion polls, only five of them will pass the five percent threshold. 

President Volodymyr Zelensky’s party will likely take a majority in parliament, and the main opposition will be the pro-Russian Opposition Platform.

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich 

The president’s party – Servant of the People

Polls suggest 49.5% of voters are ready to vote for the Servant of the People party. The Zelensky party expects a serious majority in parliament of at least 226 seats. To do so, it will need 130-140 MPs from the party list, and another 100 majoritarian MPs as well. 

Key figures

The most recognizable representative of the Servant of the People party is, of course, the President of Ukraine and the showman Volodymyr Zelensky. 

Among the key figures who will be in the Rada are Dmitry Razumkov, the head of the party and the former speaker of the Zelensky headquarters, Ruslan Stefanchuk, adviser to the president of Zelensky and the main ideologue of the party, and Irina Venediktova, an expert of the Zelensky team on legal issues.

The main points of the program

•Implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU and the expansion of cooperation with the EU and NATO

•A proportional electoral system with open lists – in such a system, voters not only vote for the party, but also choose a specific candidate from the party list

•Monetization of benefits

What to do with Russia and the occupied territories

Respond to Russian information propaganda. The party plans to reintegrate the occupied territories with an information policy and to “mentally” return the residents of Donbass.

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Opposition Platform – For Life

The Opposition Platform – For Life grouping is expected to get around 10.5% of votes. This result will allow the pro-Russian party to bring up to 40 deputies into the Rada and assume the role of the main opposition.

Key people

The main figures representing the pro-Russian party are Yuriy Boyko, who was running for president, and who came in fourth with 11.67% of the vote, Vadim Rabinovich, a businessman and co-founder of the party, and Viktor Medvedchuk, Putin’s godfather and informal negotiator for the exchange of prisoners. 

Last month, Medvedchuk organized the release of four Ukrainian prisoners without a mandate from the state. Just ahead of the elections, Zelensky was indignant. 

Party programme

•Multi-vector policy and restoration of ties with Russia and the CIS

•Abolition of laws on language, decommunization and lustration

•Decrease gas prices by up to two times due to direct supplies from Russia

What to do with Russia and the occupied territories

Be friendly and negotiate, and negotiate directly with the militants. In general, the main focus of the second most popular party of Ukraine is friendship with Russia.

European Solidarity

The former Bloc of Petro Poroshenko’s Solidarity has been renamed European Solidarity, and according to polls can expect to win 7.7% of voters. After losing the presidential election, Petro Poroshenko refocused on the parliamentary elections. Hence the renaming of the party.

Key people

The main figure of the party is, of course, the former president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. The first three names on the party list are Poroshenko himself, Andrei Paruby, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, and Irina Gerashchenko, Paruby’s deputy.

Party programme

•EU membership and obtaining a NATO Membership Action Plan

•Combating corruption by simplifying administrative procedures

•National patriotic education

What to do with Russia and the occupied territories

Keep up the pressure. European Solidarity is convinced that sanctions and a strong Ukrainian army will force Russia to withdraw from the occupied territories.

Batkivshchyna

The party of Yulia Tymoshenko polls at 6.9% of the vote. Three-time presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko, who came in third in the last presidential election, is now looking to become prime minister. The main message of the Batkivshchyna election campaign is to choose the next premier.

Key people

The main face of the party is Yulia Tymoshenko. In the first three spots of the electoral list are businessman Sergey Taruta and the former head of the SBU Valentin Nalyvaychenko.

Party programme

•EU membership and obtaining a NATO Membership Action Plan

•Gas prices at two times lower than the current price due to the use of Ukrainian gas

•Personal pension contributions and annual indexation

What to do with Russia and the occupied territories

Return territory by diplomatic means. Batkivshchyna wants to add to the negotiating group the United States and the United Kingdom and return the occupied Crimea and Donbass to the negotiations.

Holos (Voice)

Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s party Holos (Voice) comes in fifth place with a passing score of 5.9%. The leader of rock group Okean Elzy, Vakarchuk’s reputation is tightly associated with the Orange Revolution and Euromaidan.

Key people

Svyatoslav Vakarchuk is the main face of the party. Vakarchuk, whom many saw as a presidential candidate, was not ready to go to the polls in March, but conducted an active casting, selecting people for his political party, which was not yet advertised. In the Vakarchuk’s party there are: civil society activists, representatives of the expert community, representatives of medium-sized businesses. In the first three of the list are economist Yulia Klimenko and businesswoman Kira Rudik.

The main points of the program

•EU and NATO membership

•Demonopolization of the economy and the destruction of the influence of oligarchs

•Development of anti-corruption bodies and restructuring ineffective ones

What to do with Russia and the occupied territories

Return Donbass through bloodless means and reintegrate its inhabitants. Vakarchuk’s party opposes any cooperation with militants – terrorist groups controlled by the Kremlin.

Just behind the 5% barrier are the parties “Strength and Honor” and the “Opposition Bloc”, with 3.8 and 3.1% of votes respectively.


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