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Ukraine Rada backs election  Back to Home

Rada backs election

By Interns. Published March 13, 1997 at 1:00 am

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o to the polls next March to pick a new Parliament, they will cast one vote Popular Daily Mail: Ukrainian mother of 5-
for their district's representative and another for a national par under a year-old boy who …
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June 16, 6:08 pm
new elections law that won preliminary approval last week. The
legislation, seven years in the making, would reserve half of the 450 seats Honest History: Saying
in Parliament for winners of first-past-the-post races in territorial ‘the Ukraine’ is more Ukraine’s army advances slowly at
election districts. The other half of deputies would come from par lists than a mistake  2549 Russian front
July 06, 10:59 am
based on the share of the vote garnered by each par backed by at least
Ukraine celebrates
4 percent of the electorate. The rule invalidating elections with a turnout
Ivana Kupala, and H&M to open first store in
below 50 percent – a holdover from the Soviet era – would be dumped,
recreates ancient Ukraine, announces …
limiting parliamentary elections to a single round. Parliament Speaker
traditional rituals  644 June 12, 5:55 pm
Oleksandr Moroz called the approval of the legislation on first reading
Wednesday March 5 'the start of constitutional reform.' The law,
Poroshenko aide
submitted to Parliament by a special commission headed by Communist
Vashadze says corrupt
depu Valery Mishura, also pleased leaders of the country's o most
will be jailed  323
influential parties – the le-wing Communists and the Rukh par on the
right. Less happy is the administration of President Leonid Kuchma. His
representative in Parliament, Popular Demcratic Par (PDP) member
Roman Bessmertny, declared last month that 'the parties' quota [of seats in Parliament] ought to be cut to
30 or even 25 percent because socie is politically unstructured.'

Lest that stance be interpreted as an attempt by the PDP to dim the prospects of the more popular
Communist Par and Rukh, Bessmertny's par disavowed his position this week, backing the 50-50 split
beeen deputies elected from par lists and territorial districts.

'Our par welcomes the increase in the role of parties, while Bessmertny has simply not absorbed enough
of the PDP's charter,' said PDP Depu Chairman Volodymyr Filenko Monday.

An election law preserving today's system based solely on territorial districts still has the support of
Parliament's center-right Reforms faction. Faction leader Serhiy Sobolev warned that a mixed
majoritarian/proportional representation system would open the doors of Parliament to 'money bags
buying up parties.'

Communist leader Petro Symonenko disagreed. 'The current majoritarian system has let into Parliament
fat cats who are dilettantes in economics and politics,' he said. Some prominent Ukrainian businessmen
are seeking shelter within newly promising parties even before the debate is concluded and a new voting
system adopted. The Liberal Par of Ukraine is the stronghold of such Donetsk businessmen as Volodymyr
Scherban and Oleksy Dmytrenko. Natural gas magnates like Igor Sharov, Oleg Bakai and Oleg Ischenko
have joined the PDP. Valery Babich, president of the powerful Ukrainian Financial Group, which owns
subsidiaries across the country, has been the informal leader of the Christian Democratic Par for more
than a year.

Now Rukh can boast a prominent business baron of its own. Last Wednesday, it accepted the membership
application of Mykhailo Brods, president of the Dendi concern and founder of the Kiev Entrepreneurs'
Guild. According to Brods 'the arrival of businessmen into the political arena is inevitable.'

He said he would likely run for Parliament next year as a Rukh candidate.

Rukh leader Vyacheslav Chornovil acknowledged aer Brods's acceptance ceremony that the
businessman has made financial contributions to the par since 1992. That was aer Rukh's candidates
won a majori of seats on the elected council of the Moskovs district of Kiev, the cradle of Dendi's

Parliament Depu Volodymyr Chemeris, a member of the Ukrainian Republican Par, welcomed the
growing influence of businessmen on parties. 'One shouldn't worry about money flowing into parties. If
the parties don't develop, the clans will,' he said in a reference to the shady political machines that
currently dominate Ukrainian politics. But some politicians who have failed to win the hearts of
businessmen are making a virtue of necessi. The extreme-le Progressive Socialist Par has no business

'The union of businessmen and parties is a marriage not of love but of convenience,' said Progressive
Socialist Par leader Natalia Vitrenko.

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