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Oligarch vs. nationalist: Ukraine's 2014 parliamentary elections

[working paper]

Burilkov, Alexandr

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Corporate Editor GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies - Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien
Abstract Ukraine’s October 2014 elections resulted in a parliament divided between three new major power blocs: the Poroshenko Bloc, the People’s Front, and the Opposition Bloc. Formed from the atomized remnants of Ukraine’s pre-Maidan parliamentary landscape, the new parties differ strongly in their bases and visions for the future of Ukraine. Ukraine transitioned from a bipolar party system, mainly based on the regional patronage networks of prominent oligarchs from western and eastern Ukraine, to a post-Maidan electoral landscape where the ruling Poroshenko Bloc depends on an uneasy alliance with the activist nationalists of the People’s Front to advance badly needed economic and security reforms. The end of the old party system had the positive outcome of bringing to power a more technocratic administration that has the chance to preserve Ukrainian national unity and steer the country toward transparency and prosperity. Current challenges are the fragility of the ruling coalition, which can only gain legitimacy by improving economic conditions and avoiding corruption, and the extreme-right tendencies of some volunteer units fighting on behalf of the government in the Donbass. The tense February 2015 Minsk II peace accord and the threat of Russia deepening its support for the separatists is likely to further damage the Ukrainian government’s dwindling resources and its capacity for reform.
Keywords Ukraine; parliamentary election; party system; oligarchy; nationalism; reform policy; separatism; Russia
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy
Free Keywords Crimea; Donbass; paramilitary
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
City Hamburg
Page/Pages 8 p.
Series GIGA Focus International Edition, 2
ISSN 2196-3940
Status Published Version; not reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works