Ukrainians set to elect 'pro-European' parliament

Parliamentary elections are final step in transforming political system after Maidan protests, says Ukraine's ambassador in Ankara

Ukrainians set to elect 'pro-European' parliament

World Bulletin/News Desk

Ukrainians are preparing to head to the polls on Sunday to elect a new parliament aimed at forming a "pro-European" government.

Ukraine's ambassador in Ankara said he was hopeful that snap parliamentary elections will bring a different political system to the country.

Sergiy Korsunsky told The Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview: "This [parliamentary elections] is the final step in transforming the political system after the Maidan protests and presidential elections.

"This will be the most pro-democratic parliament ever."

Last year's Maidan (Independence Square in Kiev) protests led to Moscow-backed former Russian President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing the country after he refused to sign a deal to have closer ties with the EU. 

'Pro-democratic parliament'

A total of 29 political parties and 6,627 candidates have been registered to run for 450 seats in the country's parliament, Verkhovna Rada.

Ukraine's election threshold is at five percent. 

However, seven or eight percent of the population will not be able to vote, according to Korsunsky, as pro-Russian separatists will not take part in parts of Eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a law on October 16 granting "special status" to local authorities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, which he said would allow them to rule themselves for three years and laid the ground for local elections to be held in the regions in December.

However, pro-Russian separatists refused to recognize the law and plan to run parliamentary and presidential elections on November 2 in the regions under their control. 

'Transparent' elections

Korsunsky said that half of voters would be able to vote in Donetsk and one third in Luhansk.

He said: "Elections will be conducted transparently and we believe that it will be a fair representation of the Ukrainian society," he added.

Politicians and officials in the EU and Ukraine who favor closer ties with Europe point to the adoption by Ukraine of the European Trade Association Agreement as a means of boosting the Ukrainian economy, as they say it will cut trade duties and give Ukrainian markets greater access to Europe, creating more jobs.

Many Ukrainians also hope the deal will lead to full EU membership.

But critics say the deal is really aimed at giving Brussels greater control over the country and say, combined with harsh "austerity measures" and free-market reforms imposed by the International Monetary Fund under the terms of its bailout loan agreement agreed with Kiev in April, ordinary Ukrainians will suffer in the long term.

The elections will be monitored by more than 2,300 observers. 

 

Last Mod: 24 Ekim 2014, 15:02
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