Ukraine Liveblog Day 250: Ukraine Prepares For Tomorrow’s Elections

October 25, 2014
"Mariupol is getting ready for tomorrow's elections." | Nataliya Vasilyeva/AP

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Ukraine’s Parliamentary Elections — Explained In Plain English

Hromadske TV has an excellent, straight forward, yet comprehensive guide to tomorrow’s elections in Ukraine:
Ukraine Prepares For Elections

A check of the headlines today reveals that most international observers think a lot depends on tomorrow’s parliamentary elections. While the election of the new president, Petro Poroshenko, was obviously important, it is the parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, which will largely be responsible for creating the legislation which will combat Ukraine’s corruption, fund its military, and revitalize the economy.

Skeptics believe that Ukraine will fail at these missions. Even analysts who are optimistic, however, usually accept that accomplishing all three goals at once will be extremely difficult.

First, however, the elections have to happen, as as with every election in a crisis area, the possibility for disaster is ever-present.

The Ukrainian government says it is ready. Today the Ukrainian Security Services (SBU)  chief Valentyn Nalyvaychenko said that plans to derail the elections have been “destroyed.” RFE/RL reports

“Today we can state that the anti-Ukrainian plan on derailing elections and destabilization of situation in Ukraine is destroyed”, – stressed the Head of the SSU. According to him, for today “all tools of the backstairs politics, prepared and used by the RF special services and terrorists of LPR’s and DPR’s illegal paramilitary formations are neutralized”. “The debris of the army, who are hiding from us with explosives and weapons, will be detained and neutralized”, – assured the Head of the SSU.

Nalyvaichenko informed that within the frame of the preparation for the elections the Security Service carries out protection of the Central Electoral Commission’ s electronic recourses, Vybory (election) system and its regional divisions: “Functioning of servers and communication equipment for the election are under our protection at the moment – by all available state-of-the-art capabilities.”

Ukraine’s president has given an address today on the importance of tomorrow’s vote. Poroshenko stressed that tomorrow’s elections are the fulfillment of his campaign promises and the most important event in the transformation from the corrupt government of the Yanukovych era and the future — a modern European state:

October 26 is the date of the elections to the Verkhovna Rada.

They are held exactly five months after the presidential elections.

As candidate for the post of the President, I promised the Association Agreement with the EU. We’ve achieved its signing, ratified and started implementing it. Though it was hard. Even on the day of signing, June 27, when I landed in Brussels, several European leaders hesitated whether to give the green light to the Agreement or not.

I promised purification of authorities – the law on lustration was signed and it has already begun.

I promised early elections to the Parliament – and they will be held tomorrow.

I dissolved former Verkhovna Rada not only because it has been an obedient tool in the hands of the dictator, not only because there were dozens of MPs who were the fifth column of Russia, not only because the re-elections were one of the key demands of the Revolution of Dignity, but also because I was convinced of its low reformist potential. Friends, wet doesn’t burn. It is difficult to drive fast with reforms when hundreds of MPs synchronously press on breaks!

It’s time to complete a full reset of power. I believe in a deep upgrade and rejuvenation of the Parliament. You’ll see, it will be a radically new Parliament.

Poroshenko closed by addressing the war in the east, and the ceasefire which stopped Russian-backed militants from capturing more territory.

The most important our goal is peace. Our valiant soldiers liberated the majority of the Donbas from terrorists and the elections will also be held there tomorrow.

We can return territories where there is no military settlement only through political solution. It is impossible to storm Donetsk without destroying it. This city is not native for occupants. But it is native for us and our compatriots live there. Critics will not stop me from searching for peaceful solution to the situation.

At the same time, we do not forget about reinforcement of the army. We keep the powder dry and act under the principle “everything for the front, everything for the victory”.

Decision on ceasefire was beneficial first of all for the defense capacity. We healed wounds, summoned human resources, delivered weapons and equipment, built fortifications. All armored tank plants work under the three-shift schedule. Now we are much stronger than 1.5 month ago. God forbid, but they will regret if they attack.

We are building our new Ukrainian home on reliable basis of European values and patriotic enthusiasm of the people of Ukraine.

Vote for Ukraine – united, single, indivisible and European!

Glory to Ukraine!

His full statement can be read here