WASHINGTON, D.C. July 23, 2019
For the first time since Ukraine gained independence in 1991, the President’s party ‘Servant of the People’ controls a majority in the parliament (Verkhovna Rada), with 251 of 450 seats, after elections were held on Sunday, July 21.
Standing in opposition, ‘For Life,’ the main opposition and pro-Kremlin party headed by Viktor Medvedchuk has 44 seats; former President Petro Poroshenko’s party ‘European Solidarity’ and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s party ‘Homeland’ each accrued 26 seats. Sources are reporting that the ‘Voice Party’, led by famous Ukrainian rock-star Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, might form a coalition with ‘Servant of the People,’ adding its 20 seats to create a supermajority. Other parties hold 8 seats, 48 seats are held by unaffiliated members, and 26 seats remain vacant due to the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine (Donbass).
The majority of new MP’s from ‘Servant of the People’ have either little or no political experience, and very little information is publicly available about most of them. Zelenskyy may call for local elections now to further consolidate power.
with Jewish activists on the ground, NCSEJ representative in Ukraine
Ilya Bezruchko learned that in light of the election results, most of
them expressed hope for Ukraine’s future. Jewish activists also told
Bezruchko that they hope Ukraine will become a more democratic state,
one which participates in international institutions that fight
xenophobia and anti-Semitism. They also hope that Ukraine will adopt the
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working
definition of anti-Semitism.
Under Ukraine's mixed election system, half the Verkhovna Rada's seats are determined by votes on party lists and the rest are first-past-the-post constituency races. Turnout for the election was approximately 50%, and over 90% of polls have now reported in.