Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman says he will run for parliament in the upcoming election — but not with the party of his ally, outgoing President Petro Poroshenko, who lost his bid for reelection on April 21.

Speaking on April 22 on a late-night political talk show on the ICTV television channel, Groysman hinted that he would run with a new political party in the election, which is currently scheduled to take place in October.

“It will be a political force that unites people with good reputations, people who are able not only to talk but to do things, who will be devoted to the country,” he said. “I don’t want to be superfluous in the next political season. I want to be active, to fight for ideas and to implement them.”

Groysman has extensive connections to Poroshenko. He is the former mayor of Vinnytsia, a city in central Ukraine where the current president started his confectionary business Roshen and where he was first elected to parliament in 1998. Poroshenko’s father and eldest son were members of the Vinnytsia regional council.


After Poroshenko won the presidency in 2014, Groysman ran for parliament on the president’s party list. The Poroshenko Bloc finished second in the race after the People’s Front party. However, it added to its parliamentary faction due to the election of lawmakers from single-mandate districts. This made Poroshenko’s Bloc the largest in parliament and allowed it to lead a ruling coalition with People’s Front.

It also allowed Groysman to become speaker. After the resignation of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in April 2016, Groysman was appointed to lead the Cabinet of Ministers.

Speaking on ICTV, Groysman stressed the importance of changing the electoral system before the next parliamentary election.

“If we elect a new parliament by the old rules, in two or three months we’ll face disappointment. Parliament will block laws. I am for reforming the parliament, for removing immunity. The decision-making system has to be changed,” he said.


Ukrainian civil society has also been pushing for the adoption of a new electoral law that would eliminate single-mandate districts and make party lists open to voters. That means that Ukrainians would not simply vote for a party list, but would also be able to prioritize their votes for different candidates on the list. That would also eliminate the opportunity for individuals to buy places on the list.

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