The Petro Poroshenko Bloc plans to form a majority in the parliament with independent MPs

The Petro Poroshenko Bloc plans to form a majority in the parliament with independent MPs
With many future allies president familiar still on the last Parliament
Photo: Ivan Chernichkin

President Poroshenko’s party expects to form the majority in the new parliament independently by resorting to the tricks of the Party of Regions, specifically including into the faction the winners in majoritarian districts running for the Verkhovna Rada as self-nominated candidates. Other winners of the election will be used as junior partners to vote on the most important laws.

Necessary measure

The Petro Poroshenko Bloc (PPB) is currently holding talks with 30 self-nominated candidates on forming a majority in the VR of the new convocation, several sources in the campaign headquarters of the pro-presidential political force reported.

They say the negotiation process is the responsibility of Head of the Presidential Administration Borys Lozhkin, though the president held several meetings with the candidates himself. The fact of the meeting with Poroshenko, where the future cooperation in the parliament was discussed, was confirmed by one of the self-nominated candidates, running for the parliament in the western part of the country on condition of anonymity,. “We know each other well through parliamentary work. We had a peaceful discussion about the campaign and future partnership in the new parliament,” said the source.

Today, the PPB expects to bring to the parliament approximately 200 MPs elected from its list. “According to our calculations, there are 120 MPs on the party lists and 80 MPs in majoritarian districts. In order to form a majority we still need approximately 30 lawmakers with whom we are holding intensive talks,” said the source in the headquarters of the PPB.

Lawmaker Pavlo Rozenko (UDAR), one of the members of the PPB campaign headquarters, confirmed that the pro-presidential party has plans for a stand-alone creation of a parliamentary majority. “The majority of 230 MPs is a realistic result. We have the highest rating among the parties and our representatives in many majoritarian districts have good chances of winning. We also hope to cooperate with those candidates that are running independently,” said Rozenko, though he refused to disclose who he had in mind.

Based on the assessments of Director of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation Iryna Bekeshkina, in order to be elected to the parliament from the PPB party list 120 candidates from the president’s party will have to win close to 40% of the votes. Despite the fact that today social scientists predict that the PPB will garner 33–35% of the votes, Bekeshkina says the 40% projected by the staff of the presidential party is “a difficult task, though not impossible”. “Of course, the 30% of the undecided voters will contribute to the ratings of the PPB. The winner of the elections will also get the voters of parties that fail to hurdle the 5% electoral threshold. If there many of them, the winners will have to share their votes and in this case the rating of the PPB will be sufficient,” says Bekeshkina.

Junior partners

Upon the insistence of the head of the PPB campaign office Vitaliy Kovalchuk, all candidates from the party submitted applications to join the faction in advance. “Yes, I wrote such a statement and I believe it is the right move, as I am a member of this team,” admitted MP Viktor Chumak (UDAR), who is running in these elections in a majoritarian district in Kyiv from the PPB.

Rozenko is convinced that not all the future MPs that win a seat in the parliament in majoritarian districts as independent candidates will become members of the PPB faction. “There will be different approaches. Some politicians will be offered to submit applications to join the faction, while others will be offered other options of cooperation,” he said. Rozenko assures that the most important thing in forming the future coalition is gathering the constitutional majority of MPs – more than 300 deputies. “Forming a constitutional majority is imperative in order to implement the necessary reforms, including those that may be painful and not so popular among voters. What is key here is to have enough votes in the parliament in order to start the process,” said the lawmaker.

Chumak believes the People’s Front, Samopomich and the Civil Position parties are potential members of the coalition with the PPB, though he does not rule out the possibility that certain MPs in the PPB will not be pleased about the fact that politicians with a controversial reputation may possibly join the coalition.

MP Andriy Pavlovskiy (Batkivshchyna) also believes there will be a possibility to form a pro-presidential constitutional majority in the parliament. “But this will depend on the situation that will allow for garnering required number of votes in support of certain laws. But if the PPB gains the majority of votes, there is a threat that the MPs may vote upon a phone call from the president as it was back in the days of Viktor Yanukovych,” Pavlovskiy admonishes.

As a reminder, based on the results of the elections to the parliament in 2012 the Party of Regions managed to form the largest faction of 210 MPs. At that time it was joined by 25 self-nominated candidates and representatives of independent parties. However, in order to form the majority the PoR was forced to resort to the support of the Communist Party.

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