On July 21st, Ukrainians went to the booths to vote in the snap Parliamentary Elections.
The voter turnout reached 49.85%, which for general elections in Europe is a low turnout.
Voters were the most active in Chernihiv region – 54.8%, Ternopil region – 54.21%, and Poltava region – 54.1%. The lowest voter turnout was recorded in Zakarpattia region – 41.16%, Chernivtsi region – 42.06%, and Kherson region – 43.93 Voter turnout in Kyiv was 48.97%.
Head of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine Tetiana Slipachuk gave a statement on July 22nd, saying the elections were completed successfully.
“There were no such events that would throw discredit on the conduct of this parliamentary campaign. It is considered to be completed,” Slipachuk said and stressed that “parliamentary elections are accomplished.”
At 10 AM local time, and 41.7% of votes counted, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party collected 42.34% of the vote, the Opposition Platform – For Life party – 12.78%, the European Solidarity party (formerly the Petro Poroshenko Bloc) – 8.68%, the Batkivshchyna All-Ukrainian Association – 8.1%, and the Holos party – 6.38%.
Separately, 100% of the overseas polling stations were counted, and somewhat surprisingly former President Petro Poroshenko’s European Solidarity won the vote from Ukrainians abroad.
The European Solidarity party garnered 29.55% of the vote; the Servant of the People party — 28.13%; the Holos party — 19.67%; the Party of Shariy — 4.41%; the Svoboda party — 4.25%; the Opposition Platform – For Life — 3.6%; the Batkivshchyna party — 2.01%
Those are still part of the total, but it is an interesting tendency.
At a briefing at the campaign headquarters of the Servant of the People, Zelensky said that he would “gladly” invite Ukrainian singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s Holos party to form a parliamentary coalition.
“We cannot insist any longer, because we have a bit higher rating than that of Holos, but we invite Mr. Vakarchuk to the conversation with pleasure. A new face,” he said.
When asked whether Vakarchuk could be nominated for Ukraine’s prime minister, the president said that this question should be put to Vakarchuk himself.
“It seems to me that the question about the prime minister – Vakarchuk or not – is a question precisely to Vyacheslav Vakarchuk, because this is a great responsibility, and this should be an economics guru, who […] has never been in politics. We want this person to be independent and powerful, with professional background,” Zelensky said.
On the side of the Holos (Voice) party, head of the party Yulia Klymenko said that the party was ready to propose Vakarchuk for the Prime Minister post.
“We really understand that Svyatoslav Vakarchuk can be a political prime minister, given that the Cabinet of Ministers will be formed on the basis of technocratic, professional and patriotic ministers and this will allow the government to work efficiently,” Klymenko said.
On Petro Poroshenko’s side, he outlined some conditions about a possible cooperation with Zelensky’s party.
“If President Zelensky implements what he stated [continuation of the course of European and Euro-Atlantic integration], I will definitely support him and Ukraine’s path towards Europe,” Poroshenko said.
Poroshenko called the increase in the number of supporters of joining NATO (from 16% to 58%) and the EU (from 33% to 70%) the main change that occurred during his presidency. He claimed that this needed to continue.
Following the elections, and Zelensky expressing his willingness to work with the Holos party, Poroshenko partook in some good old-fashioned fear-mongering and Russian Hysteria.
He said that the sanctions against Russia must remain until Russian President Vladimir Putin “finally withdraws troops from Ukraine.”
“Unfortunately, the key to peace lies in Putin’s hands in the Kremlin. Therefore, we must be united in order to exert pressure in the form of sanctions, which will force Putin to return peace to Ukraine,” Poroshenko said.
Putin’s negotiations with the new head of the Ukrainian state are “a safe scenario for saving face,” Poroshenko said.
At the same time, Poroshenko says that he fears that President Volodymyr Zelensky will return Ukraine under ‘Russian influence’.
“Unfortunately, I think it is possible. And I suspect something,” the politician said. According to Poroshenko, he, “like many other Ukrainians, does not know” the strategy of his successor.
“Putin hated the idea of supporting Poroshenko’s scenario. The key to peace is not in the hands of Mr. Zelensky. And it was not in the hands of Mr. Poroshenko. And it is also not in Berlin, Brussels or Washington,” Poroshenko said.
Meanwhile, in the region of Donbass, the ceasefire violations continue with full force. An OSCE report was released on July 21st which noted 75 violations. These came after the recommitment to the ceasefire that was reached on July 17th.
If Svyatoslav Vakarchuk becomes Prime Minister, Ukraine would have a comedian and TV personality President, a singer and former MP, so they’re open to all sorts of entertainers in the other ministerial positions. A decision to branch out and appoint Ministers from other fields is also potentially possible, such as from the “Volunteer Battalions,” since instead of going to Syria or Iraq to fight on the side of ISIS and other militant groups, they may use their “patriotic drive” to help their country.
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