If elections were held tomorrow:
Ukraine’s Parliament has started to change the electoral system. Will they be able to finish the job and what will change if the reform goes through?
What types of electoral reform are on the agenda and what are its chances?
On October 19, speaker Andriy Parubiy urged MPs to hurry with their speeches. Half an hour remained until the end of the allocated time and three bills on changing the system for elections to the Verkhovna Rada still needed to be voted on.
In the end, the deputies made it on time. "Dear colleagues! I would like to inform you that we have completed the first stage of the electoral reform!" announced the speaker. The chamber replied with loud laughter and some MPs started clapping. Although they finished on time, MPs rejected all three proposed projects. Which was why Parubiy's turn of phrase was considered an apt joke.
"Attention! We still have two more electoral codes to examine. In the next plenary week, we will continue to look at two codes for electoral reform, one of them authored by your respected and beloved Andriy Parubiy," continued the speaker. The chairman of the Rada flashed a smile and paused so that MPs could appreciate his new joke, then added, "And one by Pysarenko".
The tent town that remained after the Great Political Reform protest launched on October 17 had been standing outside Parliament for two days. Although the initiators of the event have different views on its future and most of them have declined all responsibility for what happens in the camp, the Rada dedicated the day to looking at two of the three demands declared by the protestors.
Among them was the "change of electoral rules". In the statements and comments of protest leaders, this topic was mostly overshadowed by the other two – the abolition of parliamentary immunity and the establishment of the Anticorruption Court. However, on the official website of the campaign, the electoral reform was on top of the list.
"Ukraine has a mixed proportional and majoritarian electoral system, adopted in 2011 in the interests of the Yanukovych regime. This means that half of MPs are elected in majority constituencies, where they win mostly by bribing voters and using administrative leverage, and the other half from closed, proportional lists, in which places are often sold. This system is the root of political corruption in the country," read a statement on the Great Political Reform website. It was demanded that MPs approve bill No. 1068-2, authored by several deputies headed by Viktor Chumak, one of the leaders of the protest in front of the Rada.
In fact, the Chumak-sponsored bill was one of the three that the Rada rejected during the evening session on October 19. It garnered the most support out of all