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Public feeling in Ukraine ahead of the parliamentary election. OSW Commentary No. 89, 2012-07-12

Iwanski, Tadeusz (2012) Public feeling in Ukraine ahead of the parliamentary election. OSW Commentary No. 89, 2012-07-12. [Policy Paper]

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    After two and a half years under President Viktor Yanukovych and the Party of Regions, the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians are dissatisfied with the state the country’s economy is currently in and the direction it has been developing in. There has also been a significant drop in stability and social security with the general public increasingly feeling that the government has little interest in their problems. Only 16% of Ukrainians believe that the current government has performed better than their predecessors, although overall confidence in both the ruling party and the opposition remains low. Nonetheless, falling support for the president and the Cabinet does not seem to have translated into greater popularity for the country’s opposition parties; these currently enjoy the confidence of only a quarter of the electorate. The clear lack of credibility for politicians on either side of the political spectrum, coupled with an almost universal preoccupation with the bare necessities of life, has shifted the political processes in Ukraine further down the agenda for the majority of Ukrainians. Ukraine’s poor economic performance, which over the last two years has been addressed through a series of highly unpopular economic reforms, has resulted in a growing mood of discontent and increased civil activity, with the Ukrainian people reporting a greater willingness than ever to join protests on social issues. Most of them, however, have shown much less interest in political rallies. This is likely to stem from low levels of trust in the opposition and the general belief that opposition politicians are not a viable alternative to the current government. One may therefore assume that there will be little public scrutiny of the parliamentary election scheduled for 28 October, and that the likelihood of mass demonstrations during it is low. However, in the event of large-scale vote rigging and a dismissive response from the government, spontaneous unsanctioned rallies cannot be ruled out. What is more likely, however, is a series of protests after the elections, when the already difficult economic situation is further exacerbated by a predicted rise in the price of gas for Ukrainian households and a possible move to devalue the Ukrainian hryvnia.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Ukraine
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2014 10:22
    Number of Pages: 7
    Last Modified: 12 Dec 2014 10:22

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