Parliament Election in Ukraine Confirms Right-Wing Government and Its Civil War Course

The full moon rises over the turret of a destroyed Ukrainian tank in Novosvitlivka, a village southeast of Luhansk, Ukraine, Oct. 9, 2014. The separatist-controlled areas around Luhansk were among the most badly damaged by recent fighting. (Photo: Sergey Ponomarev / The New York Times)

Roger Annis

The general election to Ukraine’s parliament (the Verkhovna Rada – Supreme Council) on October 26 was another step by the country’s wealthy power brokers to consolidate their pro-Europe, pro-austerity economic course and related war against the rebellious population in the east of the country. A large, neoconservative and far-right majority now controls the Rada.

The election outcome continues the political course begun last February with the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions. That course was affirmed in the May presidential election that saw Petro Poroshenko win a solid electoral majority from the minority of Ukrainians who took part.

This latest election comes three years earlier than the traditional, five-year cycle of Rada elections. The gambit by President Poroshenko in convening the early vote succeeded admirably, but low voter participation as well as the course of events since February show that Ukraine is very far from achieving political stability, and there are no indications that the country’s calamitous economic situation will improve.

Most ominous of all are the signs that Kiev is turning its back on its September 5 cease-fire agreement with pro-autonomy rebel forces in eastern Ukraine.

Neoconservative and Far Right Win the Election

The electoral machines (1) of Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk topped the Rada election with similar results – 3.4 million and 3.5 million votes, respectively (each 22 percent). (2) The “Petro Poroshenko Bloc” won 132 seats in the Rada while Yatsenyuk’s “People’s Front” won 82 seats. That’s short of a majority in the 450-seat Rada, but not to worry – a large majority of the newly elected deputies share the program of the two leading blocs.

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