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Ukraine to announce results of October local elections

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Ukraine to announce results of October local elections

ukraine elections
Photo: Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times

The results of Ukraine’s October elections are set to be announced today.

The outcome will likely show incumbent mayors largely emerging victorious, cementing their positions through the creation of their own autonomous local political parties. The move away from accountability to central party officials reflects the work of Ukraine’s 2014 decentralisation reform plan to delegate more legislative authority to its localities.

Expect the local election results to be a tough pill for incumbent President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to swallow, given that his Servant of the People Party is not projected to win any major mayoral elections despite the landslide 2019 victory at the national level. This demonstrates an ever-loosening grip on power for the president already struggling with approval ratings. A weakened political base at the local level could open the door for Zelenskyy’s political rivals to call an early parliamentary election and challenge his control of the central government. Even if Zelenskyy maintains control of parliament, the mosaic of autonomous party affiliations will impede his ability to mobilise supportive coalitions towards the implementation of his heavily touted anti-corruption platform in the short term. In the long term, Zelenskyy’s party will find it increasingly difficult to retain a presence in Ukrainian politics at all.

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