It takes time for the confused
residents to understand that this “animal” campaign is part of the little-known
Movement for Reforms party’s bid to attract voters for local elections
scheduled for Oct. 25.
Movement for Reforms party’s billboard shows the cartoon of a rhino dressed in the costume colored
with Ukrainian and the European Union flags sweeping the words “corruption”
“bribe” and “taxes”
“At first I didn’t even
understand what this is,” pensioner Olga Ivanova, a native Kyivan, said.
In short but a very competitive
election campaign, which will take place all over Ukraine except annexed Crimea
and Russian-occupied parts of the Donbas, the parties and candidates are trying
to be imaginative.
Some of the 132 parties
registered by the Central Election Commission chose strange names such as Darth
Vader Bloc, Internet Party of Ukraine, Pirate Party and UKROP (dill, a word
Russians use as a derogatory term for Ukrainians) or Good Samaritan.
Others opted for unusual
emblems and messages.
The Movement for Reforms
agitators explained that the party chose a rhino as an emblem because it is a
very powerful animal which never attacks first but always rebuffs attackers.
All the same, Ivanovа is going
to vote to re-elect Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko.
A man examines the UKROP(Dill) party agitation cube near Kreschatyk metro station in Kyiv on Oct.2
“For one thing, he is from
Kyiv, and already familiar to me. We here don’t need that Jew (Gennady) Korban
or the Rhino man, or whatever,” Ivanova said, pointing to Serhiy Dumchev, the
candidate from the Movement for Reforms party.
The agitation billboards of the
party Demalians (Democratic Alliance) also disorient voters.
“Yulia is afraid of Gatsko,”
reads the message on it.
The idea is that Yulia
Tymoshenko, the ex-prime minister who leads the Batkivschyna Party, considers
Vasyl Gatsko, a Kyiv mayoral candidate, as a serious competitor.
“Yulia is afraid of Gatsko? Ha!
Funny! What is Gatsko?” said a group of men waiting for the train on the
Livoberezhna metro station.
Wealthy businessman Garik
Korogodsky decided to make fun of the election campaign. He calls himself a
self-nominated candidate for Kyiv mayor, but didn’t register officially but has
billboards in Kyiv with his photo.
Businessman Garik Korogodsky smiles from his agitation billboard with the caption “I am your self-nominated candidate for Kyiv mayor” in Kyiv.
According to Media Prostor
advertisement agency, one side of a billboard that is 3 meters high by 6 meters
wide costs Hr 4,000 per month.
Yevgen Alekeev, the founder of
School of Political Consulting and Political PR, estimated that this year the
candidates from opposition parties will spend lots of money.
“The main reason of the huge
money spent is the creation of new parties and political names…such as Serhiy
Dumchev and his rhino, for example,” Alekeev told to the Kyiv Post.
But Alekeev called the “Yulia
is afraid of Gatsko” slogan a creative step. “That is a strike to the
reputation of Batkivschyna party and a hint that Vasyl Gatsko is a powerful and
determined politician,” he said.
The expert forecasts the
election campaign will be full of populism and useless promises.
Kyiv Post writer Veronika Melkozerova
can be reached at [email protected]
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