Ukrainian elections results

Source: Transform-Network.Net

VolodyaExit-polls and preliminary results showed a decisive victory for Petro Poroshenko at the presidential elections in Ukraine on May 25. One of the richest man in the country (7th rank according to Ukrainian Forbes list) with liberal economic program is taking 54% according to over 64% counted protocols from electoral precincts. Yulia Tymoshenko – the major competitor – is far below with 13%. The third place got Oleh Lyashko who should be most precisely characterized as populist political clown. The candidates who could be seen as representing ‘South-Eastern Ukraine’ like Serhiy Tyhipko, Mykhailo Dobkin or Petro Symonenko are getting marginal support.

The high voting result for Poroshenko was anything but unexpected. He emerged as the greatest winner of Maidan uprising with the highest electoral support that was credited to him as early as in March. After the strongest contestant Vitalii Klitchko resigned from presidential elections in favor of Poroshenko the support for the former skyrocketed. Instead Klitchko balloted for Kiev mayor elections and is winning them according to the exit poll with over 57% support.

As usual, these elections were not competition of political programs. Whoever was going to win would have continued neoliberal policies of austerity being highly dependent on IMF financial support. The main intrigue of these elections was whether two rounds would be necessary to elect Poroshenko or he could win the first round with absolute majority. There was a very strong motivation to vote for Poroshenko to allow him to win in the first round. Many people saw it as a possibility to prevent more deaths in the Eastern Ukraine in the hope that the country finally will get a ‘legitimate’ president and it will stabilize the political situation.

Unfortunately, these hopes are not justified. Though Poroshenko, who according to the preliminary results got at least relative majority in every region of Ukraine (even in the East and in the South), is by far a national unifying leader. In fact the turnover appeared to be the lowest in the history of presedential elections in Ukraine. The turnover rate in the whole Ukraine was 60.3%. The major reason for this was, of course, the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions were in only 10 from 34 electoral districts totally was possible to organize elections at all. Even in these districts some precincts opened lately or closed earlier, there were several reported cases of attacks by armed separatist groups on electoral precincts. The turnover in Lugansk region (in working districts only) was only 38.9% and in Donetsk region (in working electoral districts) – only 15.4%. However, these very low voting numbers in Donbass (even in working electoral districts!) cannot be attributed only to the terror of separatist armed groups who are not recognizing the elections. Though the factor of fear to come to the elections or to open electoral precincts cannot be disregarded completely, it should not be exaggerated as well. The phone poll conducted by respectable Kiev International Institute of Sociology on the day of elections among Donbass and Luhansk regions citizens showed that only 17% were going to vote but could not do this ( 67% said that they were not going to vote. Among those who did not have intention to vote 46% did not go to the elections because of political reasons (no candidate worth to vote, did not believe that these elections were fair or because they thought Donbass were not Ukraine any more), 32% because no elections were organized or the precinct did not work, 17% because of personal and other reasons and only 7% said that it was dangerous to go to the elections. These findings show relatively high number of Donbass citizens (31% at least) who boycotted elections because of political reasons. Moreover, the turnover in two other important South-Eastern regions – Odessa and Kharkiv – where mass federalization/separation mobilizations had been taking place before also appeared to be below 50%.

This is why the elections will not be the step forward for a peace in Ukraine. It is doubtful that revolting Donbass will accept Poroshenko as the new legitimate president. To make things worse the first words from Poroshenko, after exit-polls’ results had been published, were that 85% of Ukrainians voted for ‘unitary Ukraine’ and ‘European choice’ thus not promising any significant concessions to the Donbass rebels demanding at least autonomy within federalized Ukraine if not separating from Ukraine totally. Moreover, so called ‘anti-terrorist’ operation will continue even more active. After elections Kiev government can finally declare emergency state in Donbass and proceed with full-scale army involvement against armed rebels escalating civil war but without definite chances to suppress the rebels supported by local population.
Another significant result is low voting for the far right leaders – Oleh Tyahnybok (Svoboda)and Dmytro Yarosh (Right Sector) – each is going to get something around 1%. No doubt, these number show how exaggerated was Russian propaganda, especially about the Right Sector influence. In the same time, however, these numbers should not be used to downplay the danger of the far rights in contemporary Ukraine. It is not possible to simply extrapolate from personal ratings on the presidential elections (especially when many people were voting for the leading candidate just to avoid the second round) to the party and ideological support. In fact according to the most recent poll (conducted on May 8-13 by three leading pollster Svoboda’s support has grown from 5% to 7% (support for Right Sector, though, seemed to decline from 3% to 2%). According to the exit-poll in elections to Kiev city local council Svoboda as well as the Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko are going to win around 8% each. Their party lists include some of the leadership of Neo-Nazi groups like S14 and Social-National Assembly. What is even worse, dehumanizing hate speech against ‘colorados’ (Donbass rebels are derogatively compared to Colorado beetles for their orange and black stripes) has spread among even liberal government members and pro-Maidan politicians. In the civil war situation Svoboda and Right Sector support figures are not even as dangerous as continuing shift to the right of Ukrainian political mainstream.
The only candidate that could remotely be called ‘left’ at these elections – the leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) Petro Symonenko – withdrawed his candidacy (in fact he declared about this so late that his name was still included into the voting bulletins and he is getting around 1.6% of the votes). In the last weeks the CPU has been under attack threatened to be disband as the parliamentary faction and to have the trial banning the party overall being accused in support for Donbass separatists. Overall CPU can hardly be called a leftist party as it was becoming quite culturally conservative, selling its MP places to oligarchs and playing a role of minoritarian partner for the former ruling Party of Regions. The Communist MPs voted unanimously for the laws restricting civic liberties passed by Yanukovych-controlled parliament on January 16. However, its ban might have McCarthyist consequences extending attack on the CPU to attack on the communist ideology in general thus putting under threat almost every leftist organization in the country. The banned CPU itself may radicalize up to the total support for the armed rebellion in Donbass or may give a number of radicalized activists to the far left and Russian nationalist groups in the Eastern Ukraine.

By Volodymyr Ishchenko

Volodymyr Ishchenko is a research fellow at the Institute of Slavic Studies, Technical University of Dresden. His research focuses on protests and social movements, revolutions, right and left politics, nationalism, civil society. He has authored a number of articles and interviews on contemporary Ukrainian politics, the Maidan uprising and the following war in 2013-14 for various publications including The Guardian, New Left Review, and Jacobin. He is currently working on a collective monograph “The Maidan Uprising: Mobilization, Radicalization, and Revolution in Ukraine, 2013-14”. He used to be a member of various new left initiatives in Ukraine and a founding editor of left-wing intellectual publication Commons: Journal of Social Criticism.

4 replies on “Ukrainian elections results”


Yes Ukraine’s terrible “radical, right-wing extremists” attracted about 1–2 percent of the vote—which surprised no one who knows something about Ukrainian politics. But how about the 25 percent achieved by France’s National Front in the May 25th elections to the European Parliament? How about the UK Independence Party, with 27.5 percent, or Hungary’s far-right Jobbik with 14.7 percent of the vote?

Why do those so concerned about the supposedly nefarious influence of Ukraine’s right ignore not only to these pro Russian EU right- extremists, but also to the extremism of the pro-Russian neo Nazi’s, whose roots go back to the early 20th century “Black Hundreds,” and are now the core of Putin’s special-ops teams in eastern Ukraine? But then were not all good Stalinists in 1940 also good friends with the European extreme right? Why is it all good Stalinists and too many naïve leftists consider “Ukrainian fascism” BAD but French or English or Hungarian fascism is GOOD? And what about Ukrainian anti-imperialism in all this which no-one seems to mention?

Perhaps such pro Russian “leftists” will be interested in an article by Putin spokesman Andranik Migranian former member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, who heads the New York office of the so-called “Institute for Democracy and Cooperation,” a Kremlin created on the initiative of Vladimir Putin in 2007 .

In early april Izvestia published Migranian’s attack on Andrei Zubov who, in Vedomosti, drew direct parallel between Putin’s annexation of Crimea and Adolf Hitler’s Anschluss of Austria, and annexation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland, and Lithuania’s Klaipeda region in 1938–1939. For that Zubov was fired from his job at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Migranian wrote: We should distinguish between Hitler before 1939 and Hitler after 1939, and separate chaff from grain.” “The fact is that while Hitler was gathering German lands; if he… were known only for uniting, without a single drop of blood, Germany with Austria, Sudetenland with Germany, Memel [the German name for Klaipeda] with Germany, in effect achieving what Bismarck could not; and if Hitler stopped at that, he would be remembered in his country’s history as a politician of the highest order.”

The most explicit form of double standards is to compare results of the presidential elections which are based on ‘winner takes all’ system with the parliamentary elections on proportional system. The very difference between these elections and electoral systems precludes the direct comparison of numbers, a fact that every social scientist should understand.


Communists in colonized countries realized their greatest enemy was imperialism, not some alleged “fascism” or “nationalism” — until such time as liberation was attained. It is regrettable Ukrainian leftists have not rid themselves of the Russian soviet legacy of deprecating their own national struggle for independence thus acting like a Russian fifth column rather than advocating Ukrainian national liberation as THE precondition for socialism. Ukraine post 1991 may be politically independent — in “bourgeois liberal” terms. But it is hardly economically socially mentally or culturally independent of Russia.

Let us look at the historical record

Even the craven muscophile Maurice Thorez wrote in an interview in the London Times in 1946 that the French Communists should follow a road other than that of the Russian Bolsheviks. The 22nd Congress of the French Communist Party has categorically declared that it will respect the verdict of universal suffrage under all circumstances, even if the majority of voters decide not to pursue the experiment. The party has also pledged to uphold and extend all the rights and liberties gained by the French people over centuries-freedom of opinion, of expression, of association, of the press, the right to strike, free movement of the people, et cetera.

“This approach-the conviction that democracy is the sole machine that will make France move forward-is based on our own national traditions and conditions. The French Communist Party, so closely allied to the popular masses of the country, and which, has shared their lives for more than a half-century, is indeed very attached to this notion. It rejects the idea that in some form or other there exists a “model” of socialism, as well as a unique and universal strategy for all communist parties. What it is working for in France is a socialism “in French colors.””

During the last year of World War II, American spies in Indochina found themselves working closely with Ho Chi Minh and other anti-colonial factions—compelled by circumstances to fight together against the Japanese. Dixee R. Bartholomew-Feis reveals how this relationship emerged and operated and how it impacted Vietnam’s struggle for independence.

General William Donovan’s newly-formed Office of Strategic Services closely collaborated with communist groups in both Europe and Asia against the Axis enemies. In Vietnam, this meant that OSS officers worked with Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh, whose ultimate aim was to rid the region of all imperialist powers, not just the Japanese. Ho, for his part, did whatever he could to encourage the OSS’s negative view of the French, who were desperate to regain their colony. US and Ho developed their network of informants, sabotaged the Japanese occupation’s infrastructure, conducted guerrilla operations, and searched for downed American fliers and Allied POWs TOGETHER.

Although the OSS did not bring Ho Chi Minh to power, its apparent support for the Viet Minh played a significant symbolic role in helping them fill the power vacuum left in the wake of Japan’s surrender. Had America continued to champion the anti-colonials and their quest for independence, rather than caving in to the French, there might not have been a Viet Nam war.

Meanwhile in China Mao also worked with the OSS.

Ukrainian leftist must stop obsessive self-destructive parroting of Kremlin nonsense about the Ukrainian right and deal seriously with Russian imperialism — Like the Vietnamese and Chinese Marxists dealt with Russian imperialism.
Ukrainians should also take note that in post war India Indian veterans of imperial British Army do not get pensions. The only ones who get pensions are the veterans of the anti-imperial pro Japanese India National Army.

No wonder there is no Ukrainian SD or Communist Party.

LAST PARAGRAPH “Communism and Patriotism” SHOULD READ:

Ukrainian leftist must stop obsessive self-destructive parroting of Kremlin nonsense about the Ukrainian right and deal seriously with Russian imperialism — Like the Vietnamese and Chinese Marxists dealt with French and Japanese imperialism

Comments are closed.