Electoral clones in the Lviv region
The burning questions right now in the Lviv region are whether “real Batkivshchyna” will be registered, and how many votes the Party of the Regions which has never enjoyed popularity in this region will receive. According to political analyst, Yury Shveda, the specific features of the current local elections in the Lviv region are linked with two crucial events. This in the first instance concerns registration of the candidate lists of the party Batkivshchyna (Yulia Tymoshenko’s Party).
Due to the fact that in the region there are two Batkivshchyna branches, one of them is having problems. The Batkivshchyna of National Deputy Ivan Dankevych who has left BYuT [Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc) in the Verkhovna Rada was registered by the Central Election Commission first. This means that the other organization which in the Lviv region is called the real Batkivshchyna has lost the possibility of taking part in the elections.
“Clearly when a political force which has the support of at least a fifth of the region’s population is not allowed to join the election campaign, it is hardly appropriate to talk of the elections being objective and likely to reflect the will of the Lviv region’s residents”, Yury Shveda points out.
There has also been a scandal linked with Batkivshchyna in the territorial electoral commission [TEC]. Almost straight after the beginning of the electoral campaign, the Security Service [SBU] accused the Head of the TEC of bribe-taking (more details here: http://www.khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1285881366 ). The Head of the Commission had allegedly asked another member of the commission to register the Batkivshchyna list headed by Roman Ilyk. The TEC Head was arrested and a 26-year-old historian elected in his place.
There are 21 people standing for post of Mayor of Lviv, and representatives of 46 parties want to enter the city council – 5 more than during the last elections.
The question of how many votes the Party of the Regions will receive. Up till now they have been unpopular in the West of Ukraine. Sociologists are for the first time predicting several seats in the regional and city councils. They also predict that Yatsenyuk’s “Front for Change” and Tihipko’s “Strong Ukraine” will get a reasonable part of the votes, although most residents of the Lviv region traditionally support either Batkivshchyna or the right wing VO Svoboda.