Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov expressed concern today (9 November) about the ongoing disputes over the vote count in last month's parliamentary election, calling for the establishment of a “broad coalition based on European values”.
As bickering over vote counts continued for a second week, Azarov called upon political parties and candidates to end their disagreements and start a dialogue.
“The government is ready to be instrumental in adjusting and conducting such a dialogue,” Azarov said in a statement, adding that he urged the Central Election Commission to “ensure the completion” of the vote count.
Azarov acknowledged the shortfalls of the electoral system that were put in place by his own government. He said he found it necessary “to return to the development of the Electoral Code, which will make it possible to improve the electoral legislation”.
Azarov said he had instructed the Justice Ministry to organise a roundtable with political parties, civil society organisations and experts to examine the shortcomings exposed during the campaign and suggest improvements to the electoral laws.
Call for pro-EU unity
Azarov also called for establishing a broad coalition, united under a pro-EU agenda.
“I call upon all political parties that are concerned about the fate of our country, to begin negotiations in order to build a broad coalition based on European values – for the consolidation of all healthy forces of society in order to further development and implementation of Ukraine's European integration policy,” he said.
With most of the votes counted, the ruling Party of Regions won 30.01% of the vote; the United Opposition, 25.52%; the UDAR movement of boxer Vitali Klitschko, 13.95%; the Communist Party, 13.18%; and the ultra-nationalist Svoboda party 10.44%.
The Party of Regions is expected to forge a majority in the new Parliament, thanks in part to the support of the Communists.
This is why the call for a broad coalition, based on a pro-EU agenda, may appear surprising. At first sight, it looks as if the Party of Regions is making a risky gamble, as it could alienate the Communists from any future governing coalition.
The reactions of the pro-EU United Opposition and UDAR were not immediately known.