Presidential Election 2014: candidates at the start of the election campaign
The election campaign for early presidential elections in Ukraine started in conditions of unparalleled attention to it from citizens, politicians, the public and the international community. Elections as an extremely important form of democracy must end the polilitical crisis and resolve the conflict between the society and the state. Among the officially registered candidates, there are no senior officials, only three women and a lot of new faces
Naturally, the election caused a great hype among the political leaders of the country. The CEC received 46 sets of documents for registration of candidates. After reviewing the documents, 23 candidates for President of Ukraine were registered. OPORA has not recorded violations during the registration of candidates for President of Ukraine.
In the elections of the President of Ukraine, there is a trend towards reducing the number of candidates who are members of political parties. Only 52% of them are members of parties, 70% are self-nominated candidates. For comparison, in 1999, 80% were party members, only 20% were self-nominated. This demonstrates efforts of the significant number of candidates to not be associated with parties and focus on individual social and political position. Moreover, the public confidence in political parties is currently low.
In 2014, for the first time, none of the highest officials of the state government runs for the President of Ukraine. None of the candidates serves in the Cabinet of Ministers, the central executive power bodies. Since Viktor Yanukovych was removed from office, there is no factor of the current head of state in this election campaign. For comparison, in 2010, the President, the Parliament Speaker and the Prime Minister participated in the election. The absence of senior officials in the list of candidates can reduce administrative influence on the course of the campaign and conflicts related to allegations of abuse of power.
As in all previous elections, most presidential candidates are MPs: Anatoliy Hrytsenko, Petro Poroshenko, Serhiy Tihipko, Oleg Lyashko, Oleg Tsarev, Oleg Tyagnibok, Petro Simonenko. In this election, much of the candidates are temporarily unemployed, due to the rotation in the government bodies of the country: Mykhailo Dobkin, Yuriy Boyko, Natalia Korolevska, Vasyl Tsushko, Dmytro Yarosh, Zorian Shkiriak.
Only five persons have the experience of previous presidential elections (Petro Simonenko, Yulia Tymoshenko, Anatoliy Hrytsenko, Oleg Tyagnibok and Serhiy Tihipko). The most experienced candidate is Petro Simonenko, who participated in three presidential elections in Ukraine (1999, 2004, 2010).
Only three women are running for the presidents (Yulia Tymoshenko, Olga Bohomolets, Natalia Korolevska). The average age of the candidates is 50 years old. The oldest candidate is 61-year-old Petro Simonenko; the youngest one is 38-year-old Natalia Korolevska.
All candidates, except Vadim Rabinovich, have higher education degree. Mostly, the candidates come from Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv and Cherkasy regions.
Since March, the OPORA have been conducting a major campaign for monitoring the early elections of the President of Ukraine aimed at an objective assessment of the preparation and conduct of elections and prevention of the electoral legislation violations through effectively organized civic action. The organization works with 175 long-term observers who monitor the progress of the campaign in all regions of the country. On the election day, May 25, they will be joined by another 3,000 activists to carry out quick statistical counting.
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Coordinator of electoral and parliamentary programs of the OPORA
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