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?

The Ukrainian Week - - CONTENTS - An­driy Holub

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

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