On August 13 the Central Election Commission finished accepting registration document from parties and single-mandate candidates. The total number of parties running for parliamentary seats is 89. There are 2 thousand 644 candidates registered from 2 political parties and 3 thousand 127 single-mandate candidates - self-nominees or nominated by political parties.

In total, 5771 candidates are running for 450 parliamentary seats, deputy chairman of the CEC Andriy Magera informed.

"There were 6 thousand 214 people, who applied documents as MP candidates, but only 5 thousand 771 candidates were registered," he said.

The registration process went smoothly, except for a scandal on refusal to register Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko as MP candidates due to their convictions. Some little-known candidates were also denied registration, mainly due to improperly filed documents.

The whole situation around elections looks suspiciously quiet, and ForUm decided to ask political scientists and sociologists about the reasons of such lull and about the level of seriousness and brutality of the fight among numerous single-mandate candidates.

Vadym Karasiov, political scientist:

- Candidates and parties have learned how o file documents, as they have lawyers who follow the process. Consequently, there are less mistakes and inconsistencies, which make CEC's work easier and less scandalous. The only scandal occurred with Tymoshenko and Lutsenko, when CEC refused to register them as MP candidates. However, the opposition did not count on it anyway.

The last elections on mixed system were held in 2002, and back then there were even more single-mandate candidates than now. I believe the most furious fight will be held in large cities, where the administrative leverage is weak and where people are disappointed in the opposition.

Oleksiy Holobudski, political scientist, deputy director of the Agency on simulated events:

- The smoothness of the application process is related to the close attention being paid by the West. Apart from Tymoshenko and Lutsenko cases, elections are the last border, which separates us from the European dream.

Such big number of single-mandate candidates will result into flows of both positive and negative information. The candidates have just started their election campaigns, and they will use all available methods to win votes of the electorate, including banal bribery. I believe, ideological candidates will have the hardest time to reach the people due to the technologies being used in this campaign.

Evhen Kopatko, sociologist, director of "Research and Branding Group" company:

- Scandal-free application process speaks about seriousness of intentions. Parties take it responsible to file the documents and nominate candidates.

The competition will turn into a good fight. There are many candidates, but only few of them are important, you should understand this.

Oleksandr Chernenko, chairman of the Committee of voters of Ukraine:

- We expected bigger number of single-mandate candidates than registered. In fact, our committee predicted up to five thousand.

At the same time, the numbers of single-mandate candidates presented in different regions are not even. In some constituencies there are less than 10 candidates, while others have more than 40, like Kyiv region for example. However, every constituency will have maximum three candidates to put up a real fight. The rest of candidates are just a crowd of extras.

We also thought CEC would fail to cope with heavy workload. However, we admit CEC did a good job and planned well. Our committee was following the whole process and we do not have any claims. Refusal to register Tymoshenko and Lutsenko was a controversial moment, but it is the fault of the legislation, not of CEC

Viktor Nebozhenko, political scientist, director of the sociological service "Ukrainian barometer":

- There number of single-mandate candidates is indeed big, but do not consider it as an outburst of democracy or people's will to do politics. In fact, politics has fallen away in public interest. The majority of single-mandate candidates are dummy candidates, though it does not mean they will not put up a fight. People will get used to the idea of running for the parliament and they will start hoping for victory. In general, it is not bad, at least we will know who is interested in doing politcs.

The absence of big scandals during the application process says that there are no strong enemies of the authorities among the candidates. Loud opposition members are not included into party lists, as they do not have serious means. Election campaign costs three-five million dollars. Which opposition member does have this kind of money? Those opposition members who run for parliament will not put serious resistance to the authorities.

Taras Berezovets, political strategist, director of "Berta Communications" company:

- The newly adopted law on parliamentary elections is well-developed. Lawmakers eliminated many disputable questions and the registration process is simpler now.

The big number of single-mandate candidates will result into a competition of ideas and budgets. Where there is no idea, there will be a fight among deep pockets. According to public surveys, 60-70% of voters want to see real actions. People will vote not for politicians, but for people who can solve problems. During the election campaign, people demand certain proofs of fulfilling promises in the future. Candidates will have to do some small deeds to prove they can fulfill their pre-election promises when they are elected.

The elections will be complicated, but without provocations, as there will be an army of delegates and observers. Everybody will observe each other's actions.


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