Indifference and money have won elections in Transcarpathia
Results of voting for representatives in Parliament in Transcarpathia were a complete surprise. According to them, the residents of the region are quite satisfied with the current government, and they want the Donetsk clan to continue ruling Ukraine. At least one third of the population do want.
Due to this, our region was the only in the western Ukraine, where the Party of Regions was victorious. Of course, the combined results of the three main opposition parties comprise nearly half of the votes, so you can say that they won. But the fact remains that PR as a separate political entity won.
What changed the opinion of Transcarpathians?
It is difficult to explain how it happened. Almost all surveys by both local and visiting companies - open and closed - predicted the Party of Regions failure: third place by the party lists and a maximum of one seat in majoritarian constituencies. The results of voting (though still electronic on CEC site and not official): first position for the PR and three victories in majority constituencies.
There are two possible reasons for such discrepancy between polls and actual results. Either research companies have completely forgotten how to work, or they ignored the true sociology and completely switched to satisfy those who employ them. Or, in the last week or even a few days before the October 28 something happened that radically changed the electoral preferences of Transcarpathian voters.
With regard to public opinion polls, it is difficult to believe that they all were wrong. In the regional media indeed there was a "war of ratings", and each gave victory to "their own". But the studies were also carried out by major nationwide companies such as GFK or "Rating", which became famous for their accuracy. Data from these companies may have differed from the local, but not too much. They definitely did not predicted such a success for the PR.
As for the reasons that could change the results, we again have to mention numerous reports of bribing of voters.
Satisfied with small
But despite the fact that no one has any doubt about massive bribery, it is not the only reason for the defeat of opposition forces in Transcarpathia. For example, a political scientist Victor Pashchenko says that bribery influences the decision of voters by about 25%, and therefore there were other factors.
For example, passive behaviour of opposition party leaders in the region. On election day, representatives of "UDAR" and "Batkivshchyna" did nothing to defend their votes.
Why did regional organizations not even try to mobilize their electorate, not encouraged to come to the polls to outweigh the voices of the paid countrymen? However, it is a rhetorical question, given the behaviour of the leaders of regional organizations of "Batkivshchyna" and "UDAR".
Both Valery Lunchenko and Valery Patskan in live broadcasts on the channel "Tisa-1" were in a quite peaceful mood and did not stressed on the cases of bribery, intimidation or other. They were satisfied to enter the parliament on the backs of their political leaders.
By the way, how many residents of the region know who Valery Lunchenko and Patskan are? They are our new MPs who refused to rigidly defend the truth and really did not fight for victory. Placing billboards, printing leaflets with faces of leaders is not too remarkable achievement. Protecting the results is much more significant.
Three to three
As for the results in majoritarian constituencies, they can be explained.
In Uzhgorod the undisputed winner was the director of "Zakarpattyaoblenergo" Vasyl Kovacs. Pavlo Chuchka, who was positioned as the strongest opposition candidate, was on the third place. Defeat of the democrats in Uzhgorod district is attributed primarily to the fact that too many of these democratic candidates ran in the election. Both Rostislav Bulanov ("UDAR") and Andriy Serbaylo ("Batkivshchyna") refused to even consider that they would withdraw in favor of Pavlo Chuchka. The latter, of course, also did not consider such an option.
The total number of votes received by all three opposition candidates amounts to 35%, so a common candidate theoretically could have won. Of course, there is no guarantee that all who supported Serbaylo automatically would have supported Chuchka. But in any case these elections will remain in history as such where representative of the government won because people who claim to be "democrats" could not agree among themselves.
In constituency number 69 the situation was the most predictable. Victor Baloha simply has no worthy rivals in Mukachevo district, thus he won gaining 50% of votes and beating closest pursuer by 37%.
But the results in the next constituency - № 70 - is another big surprise. Here there were only three candidates. And the competition was between Mykhailo Lanio from the Party of Regions and the representative of the "Batkivshchyna" Oleksandr Kemenyash. The result of the vote is impressive: Lanio scored over 60% and beat Kemenyash by as much as 25%. They believe that the representative of the opposition was destroyed by primarily his self-confidence, they say, Mr. Oleksandr believed in his own inaccessibility and relaxed too early. Meanwhile, pro-regime candidate was more than serious. This is confirmed by reports of vote buying and beating of Kemenyash electioneerers in Mukachevo district and, ultimately, the fact that Lanio blocked the road for Baloha's car. On the election day Lanio's "supporters" actively encouraged people to go to the polls and vote for their candidate. As one observer who worked in this constituency said, "I had never seen so many drunk people in the morning in my entire life."
The constituency number 71 was the most interesting in terms of the competitiveness of the candidates. Until recently, it remained unclear who would win: the Party of Regions member Stepan Derkach or representative of the United Center Pavlo Baloha. For a long time the pro-government candidate was leading, however he could not break away, and later he lost the leadership. After processing of 100% of ballots, it was established that Pavlo Baloha became the deputy, ahead of the rival by about one thousand votes.
Tyachiv and Rakhiv districts (constituency number 72) had no doubt about their choice. Vasyl Petyovka (United Center) crashed the ambitions of his rival Mykhailo Shelever (Party of Regions) with almost 55% of votes.
The Party of Regions placed the highest stake on their representative in constituency number 73. Scince the head of the region Oleksandr Ledyda could not participate in the elections, the success of his first deputy Ivan Bushko had to show Kyiv that the regime is popular in Transcarpathia. Therefore, all the resources were used for Bushko's campaign. The headquarters of the pro-government nominee did not hesitate to use black PR, fouling reputation of the opponents (especially Ivan Baloha), inventing numerous tales of violation. In addition, Bushko emphasized that he is from Vynogradiv, so the district center should support their countryman. Eventually, they used the last argument - financial. Due to all these factors Bushko received almost 4000 votes more.
Thus, in majoritarian constituencies three representatives of the Party of Regions and the same number from the United Center passed to the Parliament. In addition, Serhiy Moshak, Valery Lunchenko, Valery Patskan and Istvan Gajdos will join the Parliament by the party lists.
Summing up, we can say that, although observers reported no serious attempts to falsify the election, it can not be called honest and fair. It is hard to say if we will ever have truly democratic elections. We hope that parties and individual candidates will consider their mistakes and next time will be able to defend their own results.
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