Participants of the election campaign are entering into pre-election marriages

Participants of the election campaign are entering into pre-election marriages
Former and current members of the Party of Regions are again ready to listen to each other
Photo: Ivan Chernichkin

Politicians of different camps are formalizing their pre-election alliances. Former allies in the Party of Regions plan to unite to run in the parliamentary elections under a joint project that will position itself as a “party of peace”. Meanwhile, their rival Premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk made a decision to run in the elections together with the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, though he has not yet managed to reach a final agreement on the conditions of such unification.

Opposition bloc

Yesterday, a round table was held in Kyiv under the banner “Peace. Stability, Revival” in which members of the Party of Regions, the Party of Development of Ukraine and representatives of non-government organizations participated. Prior to the round table, several sources of Capital informed that the event formalizes the formation of a new political project for running in the next parliamentary elections. Prior to the start of the round table, Head of the Executive Committee of the Party of the Development of Ukraine Serhiy Larin confirmed for the publication that the objective is to create a “party of peace”: “A war rages on in the country and not a single demand of the demonstrators on Maidan has been fulfilled. There are people that represent different political parties and non-government organizations. While they have different views, they are prepared to unite under the banner of the “party of peace”, said Larin.

According to information that Capital has, talks about joint participation in the elections of former and current members of the PoR were held over the past two weeks. It was planned that the Strong Ukraine party led by Serhiy Tihipko would participate in the new project. “Tihipko today says “yes” and tomorrow changes his mind and says “no”. Nevertheless, the talks continue,” a source in the PoR told Capital. According to his words, Tihipko was proposed to head the electoral list. “But he requested 50% of the spots on the list, which he was refused. Now the issue is about one third,” he said.

Officially, there is not talk about unification, neither in the Party of Regions, nor in the Party of the Development of Ukraine. “Tomorrow, we will hold a political council at which the format of participation of party in the elections will be resolved,” Secretary of the Presidium of the Political Council of the PoR Borys Kolesnykov told Capital.

Head of the Party of Regions of Ukraine Yuriy Myroshnychenko informed that the new political force will be named the Opposition Bloc. According to information the publication has access to, a little known party will be named as such and participants on the electoral list will run as non-party candidates. The goal of the new political project is clear – to avoid a washout of the general electoral field and not end up in a situation in which neither of the political projects will surpass the electoral threshold.

In truth, not all former members of the PoR believe in the success of the Opposition Bloc. “I do not see myself in this union. I do not know what program they plan to run with in the elections. It is always like that in the Ukrainian politics: first a party is created and only after that an ideology is formed. This is often the case prior to elections to the Verkhovna Rada,” authorized representative of the deputy group For Peace and Stability Vitaliy Hrushevskiy told Capital.

Also, not all participants in the talks on forming the new party will run on its list. For example, sources of Capital in the PoR say that Kolesnykov is considering the option of running for the Verkhovna Rada in the majoritarian constituency.

Combat trio of Donbas

Yesterday the congress of the Self-assistance Association party headed by Lviv Mayor Andriy Sodoviy was held. A decision was made at the congress on including in the electoral list representatives of the Volya party and the voluntary Donbas battalion. “At the meeting of our battalion we passed a difficult decision taking into account the situation in the eastern part of the country,” said Commander of the Group of the Information War Donbas Pavlo Kyshkar, who got the second spot on the list.

The press service of Self-assistance informed Capital that representatives of the Donbas group gained three places on the electoral list. So far it is unknown whether commander of the battalion Semen Semenchenko will run. It is also unknown who will make into the top ten of the electoral list from the Volya party as at this point sixth place has been reserved for it.

Co-founder of the public initiative Revival Reform Package Anna Hopko heads the list. Ex-minister of Economy Pavlo Sheremeta will not be on the list, which the mass media informed earlier. As a reminder, during the elections to the Kyiv City Council on May 25, the Self-assistance Association came in third place with 6.87% of the votes.

Yatsenyuk continues to haggle

The congress of the People’s Front party, which is the political project of Arseniy Yatsenyuk and VR Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov, is planned to be held in the Teachers’ Building today. Press secretary of the premier Olha Lappo told Capital that Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov and former secretary of the NSDC Andriy Parubiy will take part in the congress. “This will be a technical congress in order to prepare for the unifying congress of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc,” a source in the Batkivshchyna faction told the publication.

As a reminder, the first stage of the congress of the president’s party was held at the end of August. Then its participants limited themselves to two decisions – renaming of the Solidarnist party to the Petro Poroshenko Bloc and electing ex-Minister of Internal Affairs Yuriy Lutsenko its leader. The congress was not closed so that it could convene its delegates at any moment.

Over the past two weeks active talks on the participation of Yatsenyuk and Turchynov in the project were held. “We are currently holding very close talks with Yatsenyuk, Klitschko and other political forces. Today, we are close to achieving results,” Lutsenko said yesterday.

A source of Capital in UDAR said that as of Tuesday evening final agreements between the president and the premier were not achieved. An interlocutor of Capital said that among Yatsenyuk’s demands are that he retain his post after the elections, first place on the electoral list, inclusion of people closest to him and issuing of quotas in majoritarian constituencies.

“The requests of the premier are a bit too much. The president agrees to hold Yatsenyuk as the head of the Cabinet of Ministers, include some of his people on the electoral list and support several majoritarian candidates, but Poroshenko does not agree to give Yatsenyuk the number one position on the list,” the source said.

People’s deputy Yuriy Stets (Batkivshchyna) confirmed that the talks with potential allies in the elections continue: “Our doors are open. Consultations with certain politicians and political forces continue feverishly. But today it is too early to affirm that such unification will be created. There is so far no list and the spots on it have not been determined”. Stets said the date of the congress of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc has also not been set.

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