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By Natalia Shapovalova (FRIDE)

The eighth Ukrainian parliament will be pro-Ukrainian, pro-European and hopefully pro-reform. Following the departure of Viktor Yanukovych from power in February, early parliamentary elections were one of the central demands of the Euromaidan protestors (presidential elections were held in May) as a necessary step towards genuine political change in the country. While the victory of President Petro Poroshenko’s bloc was long predicted, the election results were surprising in some respects.

The turn-out of 52.4% was lower than in the three previous parliamentary elections in Ukraine. This is largely due to Russia’s military intervention into large parts of Donbas. While Crimea is entirely annexed by Russia, elections did not take place in 9 out of 21 electoral districts in the Donetsk region (roughly covering 49% of voters in the region) and 6 out of 11 in the Luhansk region (approximately 69%). But in a number of Donbas districts where the elections were held, many ballot stations did not open due to a lack of security.

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