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24 August 2017
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Klitschko, Batkivshchyna clinch a deal

It would constitute an exaggeration to say that the Batkivshchyna and UDAR parties are enemies, since they both belong to the ‘opposition’, even though the former is a member of the United Opposition bloc that is contesting the parliamentary elections on October 28, an article by Oleh Polishchuk in that latest KW issue suggests, according to KW.

While there has been some antipathy between the two political forces, recent agreements show that they are actively cooperating to defeat the ruling Party of Regions, which is doing everything it can to sow enmity between the likely partners. After analyzing some lessons of the past, the article looks into the essence of the deal between the two opposition leaders.

UDAR and Batkivshchyna withdrew 26 candidates in first-past-the-post districts to the benefit of both parties. The largest number of mutual withdrawals was in Kharkiv oblast, where UDAR withdrew five candidates and the opposition replied with four withdrawals. However, while the opposition is not likely to win all nine constituencies, its chances have definitely improved. UDAR also decided to meet Batkivshchyna halfway in Zhytomyr oblast, strengthening its position in the western province. In addition, the united opposition withdrew its candidates in three counties in Poltava oblast in favor of UDAR. Batkivshchyna also withdrew its candidates in favor of UDAR candidates in Kherson and Khotyn.

In reciprocation, UDAR honored the united opposition by withdrawing its candidates in three counties in Sumy oblast and two candidates in Rivne, Cherkasy and Chernihiv oblasts.

A parity of political powers is a definite possibility: Party of Regions and the Communist Party of Ukraine should win around 200 mandates, while Batkivshchyna, UDAR and the right-wing Svoboda together should garner 200 mandates, while self-nominated candidates should get the remaining 50. For the time being and not without reason, the ruling party hopes to lure those parties to join it, though on certain conditions those remaining 50 MPs can easily join the other camp.

The article ends with a couple of crucial questions: will the heirs of the Orange Revolution (including UDAR) be capable acting together or their victory would result in infighting and instability? Or would some former Orange voters vote not for UDAR or Batkivshchyna but for the radical Svoboda?

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