Ukraine is to elect a new Parliament next weekend. Snap parliamentary elections are to be held on July 21.
News of Donbas and Donbas Public Television pay special attention to this campaign - 10 journalists from Mariupol, Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, Siverodonetsk and Kyiv follow the events and make daily videos and articles for the audience telling about the most important campaign tendencies both in the country and in the region.
How it all began
Currently, Ukrainian elections are held according to a mixed electoral system. 450 MPs are to be elected to the Verkhovna Rada: 225 of them are elected according to proportional system with closed lists and other 225 according to first by the post system.
MPs are afraid of open lists and we can tell you why
According to the Constitution of Ukraine, people are the only source of power in the country and the president, Verkhovna Rada and government only fulfill the will of their chief. This means, people must have some instruments which will allow them to control politicians’ actions and enable them to use sanctions in case politicians neglect their duties or violate laws. But is it really so?
Which instruments allow Ukrainians to control their politicians?
The election campaign is in progress on the territory of the Donbas which is controlled by the Ukrainian authorities.
Zelensky backstage / Hroysman’s update
123 candidates for people’s deputies of Ukraine from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions were registered by the Central Electoral Commission.
Journalists visited constituency 51 which is situated on the frontline and whose part is located on the occupied territory, namely the village of Zaitseve in Horlivka vicinity. Among those who want to represent this constituency in the Rada there is a present MP Nataliya Veselova (Syla Lyudey), the head of local Military and Civil Administration, self-nominee Volodymyr Veselkyn, ex-deputy chief of Donetsk State Administration Maryna Cherenkova, people’s deputy Nadiya Savchenko, who represents her Civic and Political platform, and 22 candidates more. A lot of candidates do not even have their electoral campaign headquarters in Zaitseve. Nadiya Savchenko voiced her intention visit the territory which is temporarily uncontrolled by the Ukrainian authorities to persuade people to vote for her. She told about this in her commentary to the News of Donbas.
As News of Donbas journalists have discovered, people who want to change their polling station at the frontline constituency #51 are brought to the venue by a bus with Opposition Platform — For Life logo.
Both, representatives of old political elites and novices have joined the race. Names of celebrities who have suddenly decided to enter politics are sometimes surprising while nothing can sometimes be known about other new faces.
What is known about “new parties” represented in the Donbas?
Several political forces with the prefix “Opposition” are conducting electoral campaigns in Slovyansk (constituency #47). Acting Slovyansk mayor Vadym Lyakh (Opposition Block) joined the race, his opponent is people’s deputy Yuriy Solod (Opposition Platform — For Life). Self-nominee Oleh Nedava, who is Nash Kray Political party deputy is another serious competitor for both of them. Servant of the People party is represented by an associate professor of the National University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine Vasyl Patlachuk.
President’s party candidates are also present in other Donetsk region constituencies.
For example, showman Serhiy Syvokho is going to fight for a position of a people’s deputy. His two serious competitors are acting Druzhkivka mayor Valeriy Hnatenko (Opposition Platform — For Life) and ex-vice-prime Minister, head of Oppositional Block Party political council, Borys Kolesnikov.
While one DPTV shooting crew is studying parties and personalities in Donetsk region constituencies, another one has prepared a review of the most popular election offenses.
Political players often use different kinds of manipulations and sometimes even rigging. Food kits, social shops and buses, special welfare allowances paid on the eve of elections — all these methods are just a few examples of electoral fraud.
Ukrainian politicians apply all sorts of techniques for the sake of increasing their ratings. With the upcoming election, in order to please people, they appear in public places, practice informal communication with ordinary people, discuss religeous themes, help war veterans, etc. One of the most popular practices is using children. What to do in such a situation and why one should not trust this manipulation practice of politicians and candidates?
How political myth-technology manipulates you: if one analyzes modern political myths, one will see that they do not contain anything new. In order to create new political myths, ancient archetypes are used. They are "friend or foe" or the myth about the divine mission of the people. For example, the people-liberators, the struggle between good and evil, etc. With the help of myths, the whole diverse world is compressed to a certain framework. Modern political myths, whih are created artificially, employ several old archetypes or universal ideas-values to manipulate the electorate. They are Absolute Evil, Divine Power and the Archetype of the Folk Hero. The same way as it was in ancient mythology, in modern political one these personalities and those politicians around them may exchange their roles depending on political necessity. The main thing is: any political myth always extremely simplifies the picture of the world, divides into black and white, friends and foes. With this kind of manipulation, people stop reflecting on in the process of cognition. Life is easier for those who live by ready-made patterns; they are easier to be manipulated.
What attacks on the part of the RF should we be ready for on the eve of the Parliamentary election? Let us analyze Latvian experience.
How to vote for a Parliament deputy without registration? Today mobile groups of citizens (IDPs, labour migrates) cannot vote in local elections in Ukraine. At parliamentary elections they can vote only for a party with its list of candidates. The forthcoming elections will be held under a mixed system. Half of the deputies will be elected by voting for parties with their lists, and IDPs will vote only if they apply for changing the place of registration.
Millions of IDPs are deprived of their right to vote. There are 225 deputies — nominees in majority districts who IDPs have no right to vote for. Thus, it happens that IDPs who have been living in new communities for a long time, pay taxes, and use the servises offered by this community, do not have the opportunity to fully exercise their right to vote. Human rights activists think this situation violates citizens' right to elect. To solve the problem, a group of NGOs and people's deputies of Ukraine developed draft law 6240 which was submitted to Verkhovna Rada two years ago. However, it has not been considered by the Parliament yet.
Pro-Russian revanche and Zelenskiy? What's next? The purchase of an entire pool of TV channels by pro-Russian businessman Viktor Medvedchuk, Russia's return to PACE, restoration of former soviet names of streets in Ukrainian cities, the idea to make the Russian language a regional one in Donetsk. Some political players think that the things above are the consequence of the actions of the current Ukrainian government.
“Revanch! Capitulation! Treason!” instead of “The Army! The Language! The Faith!”. The slogans of the candidates at the early parliamentary elections are direct and unambiguous. Donbas is in the focus of attention of Ukrainian politicians. The early parliamentary elections and the expectation of peace expressed by the majority of Ukrainians force the parties to reflect on what to do with the conflict zone.
Thanks to the support by the Embassies of the USA and the Netherlands, News of Donbas continue to cover the pre-election race in the Donetsk region as well as in the country, having an open mind.