Raising the parliamentary election threshold to 5% will encourage minor opposition parties to unite and force politicians to abandon their excessive ambitious. Central Electoral Commission Chairman Volodymyr Shapoval expressed this opinion in an interview with the Zerkalo Nedeli Ukraine weekly, according to UKRINFORM.

"How much logical is the recent increase in the threshold? There is certain logic in it. On the one hand, not every one is able to clear this hurdle. If the turnout is 60% (actually, I think it will be higher), then 5% is about 1,215 thousands voters. This is impressive," he said.

According to him, on the other hand, a high threshold would contribute to the consolidation of political forces. "The opposition, I believe, should thank the authors of this innovation. It encourages small parties to unite, forcing politicians to abandon their excessive, sometimes unreasonable ambitions," Shapoval believes.

"I do not deny that there certain questions to the height of the bar. But 5% is not a too critical barrier, in my opinion. The threshold can be relatively high. But it should not be too high so as not to deprive the elections of meaning. It is rather difficult to determine where exactly the golden mean is," the CEC head also noted.

At the same time, he said, "It would be nice if all the political forces agreed to withdraw from the current law the provision on the possibility of simultaneous running in a single-mandate constituency and on a party list."

Elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine must be held in October 2012.

According to the law adopted November 17, 2011, the election will be held on a mixed proportional-majoritarian system. The law raised the election threshold for parties up to 5% and prohibited party blocs from participating in the polls.

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