A Rada seat for a million bucks

15:08, 16 June 2011
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The government is drafting a bill introducing changes to the electoral system in the country, according to KyivWeekly. Specifically, there is a proposal to introduce a mixed electoral system and set a 5% barrier for political parties to win seats in parliament, said Chairman of the Voters’ Committee of Ukraine Oleksandr Chernenko.

In an interview to Komentary weekly he expressed the belief that the novelty may make lawmakers more independent from their party bosses. On the other hand, the mixed electoral system will increase the average sums that the parliamentary candidates will have to be prepared to contribute to party coffers.

According to Chernenko’s estimates, a seat in the parliament could cost approximately one million dollars to a candidate who will run in the country’s largest Party of Regions, however, “everything depends on details.”

“For example, if you are simply buying a place on the list - that will be one price. However, it is possible that besides material resources, the candidate can provide some non-material means. For example, if the person owns a regional TV channel, the price for a place on the list will be considerably lower,” the expert said.

For those who decide to run on the first-past-the-post system, campaigns will not be any cheaper, but “start at around one million,” “Naturally, everything depends on how popular you are in your electoral district and on relations with the local authorities,” the pundit says.

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