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Facts & Info: Ukraine’s Parliament

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Ukraine’s Supreme Rada (Parliament) in session © RIA Novosti. Mikhail Palincha

 Ukrainians are set to vote in early parliamentary elections on Sunday, October 26.  Under the Ukrainian Constitution, the parliament, called the Verkhovna Rada, is the main one chamber, sole legislative authority in Ukraine.

The Verkhovna Rada comprises 450 members of parliament, that are elected in universal, equal and direct elections by secret ballot for a term of five years.  Only Ukrainian citizens more than 21 who’ve lived in Ukraine for the prior five years are eligible to be elected to the Verkhovna Rada.

Elections are held every five years on the last Sunday of October. Members of parliament (also called people’s deputies) are elected under a combined voting system with a five percent threshold: 225 deputies are elected under a proportional representation system in a nationwide multi-mandate constituency from lists of candidates drafted by the political parties; and 225 deputies are elected under a majority system in single-seat constituencies. The parliament starts its work only when at the very least 300 members are elected.

The nomination of candidates by political parties starts 90 days before Election Day and closes 79 days before Election Day. A candidate may only be contained in the listing of candidates from the parties or be nominated in a single-mandate constituency. The latter could possibly be with a party or through self-nomination.

Candidates in part of party election lists, which receive five percent or maybe more of the favorite vote, are eligible to be involved in the distribution of deputies’mandates.  The winning candidate in a single-mandate constituency is the main one who has received the most votes out of all of the candidates.

The outcomes of elections in the nationwide and single-mandate constituencies have to be approved by the Central Election Commission no more than 15 days following the Election.  The past election took place October 2012. On August 26 Poroshenko dissolved the Verkhovna Rada and declared an early on parliamentary vote, saying that the composition of the parliament, elected under the presidency of ousted Viktor Yanukovych, was no more relevant to  the prevailing political situation.

A complete of 29 political parties are getting ready to take part in the Verkhovna Rada election. Petro Poroshenko Bloc, backed by the incumbent president, is regarded as being the undisputed leader, having an approval rating of approximately 25 percent.

Ukrainians will vote for the parliament’s 424 members: 225 of these can be elected by party lists, and 199 by single-seat constituencies.

Crimea, a former Ukrainian republic that refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the newest authorities in Kiev following the February coup and signed a reunification handle Russia on March 18, won’t take part in the elections.

Moreover, authorities in Ukraine’s breakaway region of Donetsk and Luhansk have stated they’d not go to the polls on October 26 or on December 7, which is really a separate election day stipulated by President Poroshenko’s law that also granted them a special status.

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