Ukraine changes election rules before key vote

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July 27, 2010, 6:17 p.m. | Politics — by Reuters

The new law is likely to boost his party's chances of winning the October 31 regional vote.


Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed a new law on regional elections on Tuesday, his office said, a move that is likely to boost his party's chances of winning the October 31 regional vote. Voters in the former Soviet republic will elect mayors and local councils in October in the first test of Yanukovych's popularity since his election in January.

Yanukovych's opponents have criticised the new law as a move to give his Regions Party an advantage.

The bill, in particular, bans political blocs -- widely used by opposition leaders such as Yanukovich's archrival Yulia Tymoshenko -- from running in the regional elections.

The law also bars parties that have been established less than a year before the election -- ruling out participation by the party of Arseny Yatsenyuk who also competed with Yanukovych in January's presidential vote. The October election will follow unpopular austerity measures introduced by Yanukovych's government to secure funding from the International Monetary Fund -- such as raising gas and heating prices for domestic consumers.
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Anonymous July 27, 2010, 6:37 p.m.    

who could have predicted this would happen? and he promised to be good, fair and just...instead he is worse than ANY of our previous leaders!

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Anonymous July 28, 2010, 7:05 a.m.    

I do not agree with the author's analyses. The two points he mentioned cannot be seen as restricting voters ‘rights and could improve a bit the muddy Ukrainian political field: the ban on blocks is a good think, it could oblige the registered 528 parties (please someone can check how many were created yesterday?) in Ukraine to get a small piece of the State budget cake for their founders. When will they begin to talk about politics, and the reasons why they are running for votes. Which programme, not only how to protect their own business interests? Concerning the creation of new parties, Yatsienyuk has created his party more than one year ago! and the number of parties is not sufficient today to represent all political preference? who will care, except a new oligarch ready to invest some millions in the next campaign?

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Anonymous July 27, 2010, 8:16 p.m.    

International pressure is needed at this stage to tell the President that there are limits to how election laws can be changed to favour his own side.

IMF needs to take a standing now at their board meeting in the end of the month, and make final decision on whether they want this autocrat to rule Ukraine and put Ukraine democracy in danger.

There is no groundings for this new law, apart from political weaponary. Nothing of these changes needed to be done, and he should have concentrated on making proper changes to the election law instead.

Ukraine people need to take action as well, and make uprising to this anti-democratic move made by their president - Before its too late - wirte your opinions to IMF and let them know your opinion about this, and let them know you do not want more of this in your country.

Political peace does not mean you should ban oponents from running against you, just to ensure you get power.

Ukraine is not served with a coalition that only work through power mongering and not democracy.

Yes, you get things moving in one direction, but that is only 50% of the people and not listening to the rest - that is no respect to your people - at all.

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Anonymous July 27, 2010, 10:13 p.m.    

This law will improve quality of gov't and make true self-gov't stronger in Ukraine.Only the best run parties will survive.

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Anonymous July 28, 2010, 7:24 a.m.    

There it is again - another sovok relic who clearly does not understand democracy.

Eliminating parties and narrowing the field of candidates does NOT improve the quality of government - what you wind up with is a thug like Yanukonvikt as president - and his son in Parliament, for no apparent reason other than someone put him on the &quot;list&quot; for being Yanukonvikt's son.

Eliminating candidates does NOT improve the quality of government, because many excellent candidates get artificially eliminated by this type of law - which is exactly what Mobster Yanukonvikt and his Donbass Mafia want.

The quality of government improves when the system of government itself is changed and improved.

And what's important is NOT &quot;best run parties&quot; - that smacks exactly of loyalty to a party above loyalty to country. Yanukonvikt and his thugs put loyalty to party first - they don't care about Ukraine.

&quot;Patriotism is supporting your country always. And your government when it deserves to be supported.&quot; Mark Twain

Yanukonvikt and his thugs are not doing anything good for Ukraine at all by these types of shenanigans.

It's just a bunch of government Mafia sovok relics feeding themselves.

And lying about it to the people.

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Anonymous July 28, 2010, 5:49 p.m.    

The POR team have put the economy back on track and restored relations with Russia.Elmer over 500 parties in Ukraine that isn't democracy that is chaos.All the parties needed are POR,OU,Communist,Socialist.The rest should disband.

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Anonymous July 27, 2010, 10:55 p.m.    

Another fear driven step by PoR... I guess they realize just how little support they actualluy have amongst Ukrainians... Don't believe they would do well without rigging the vote in some way... sound familiar?...

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Anonymous July 28, 2010, 4:44 a.m.    

Time to start writing to the IMF and government heads such as Obama, Harper and others who are trying to help Ukraine. I know Canada is watching what is going on here and do not like what they see. And Canada has sent a lot of money, medicine and technology to help the country.

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