July 21, 2015
By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
The latest political ratings of Ukrainian parties indicate the electorate is losing trust toward the current authorities and political party leaders. According to most recent opinion surveys, the Petro Poroshenko Block is supported by only 13.3% of the population, about the same as Yulia Timoshenko’s Batkivshchina [Fatherland] Party, while Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front is supported by only 1.5% of voters.
Since the government bears responsibility for the situation in the country, including for the economy, it’s not surprising that the governing parties’ ratings are falling. But there’s more to the story. The three above-named parties which represent the interests of the Euromaidan and define Ukraine’s politics collectively enjoy the support of fewer than 30 percent of voters. Considering there is no competition and that all opposition points of view have been suppressed, these figures indicate the authorities are experiencing a catastrophic loss of trust.
Nevertheless, in spite of the loss of trust, the current government cannot be changed through elections. Those who came to power through force will not be removed by elections. The current authorities will ensure it has the necessary representation at regional elections since the local self-governments don’t play a big role. While people are no longer willing to vote for the current leaders, there is no real alternative to them–it’s a dead end. All of this can lead to an even greater destabilization of life in Ukraine and the emergence of right radicals as the alternative. The nearest elections will see mass rigging by the government and a high degree of apathy among the population.
The authorities has two options–govern or go to jail. They clearly don’t want to go to jail and they have real power, the power of arms, at their disposal. So the elections will be carried out in a way that suits the regime, in other words through falsification. It’s unlikely the radicals will attract many votes because the authorities won’t permit it. But we can anticipate apathy and a low turnout.
J.Hawk’s Comment: I think that even the control over the “means of violence” cannot be taken for granted because they are demoralized by defeats, poor conditions of service, and the ever-present corruption. Not to mention that the Right Sector or other radicals no doubt have many adherents within the UAF and the National Guard. Yarosh’s embrace of political action and of slogans that diverge from the Euromaidan dogma indicates he thinks time is at long last ripe to take action and try to fill Ukraine’s vacuum of power.