With the election already in flight Ukraine’s beleaguered president, Viktor Yushchenko, has proposed to change the Presidential election law to refund the 2.5 million hryina deposit which is currently only going to be refunded to the two highest polling candidates.
Yushchenko, who is currently on 3.5% support, wants a second slice of the pie, he wants the thresholdfor deposit refunds reduced back down to 7%.
Yushchenko first tried to veto the law and when that failed he then applied to the Constitutional Court who refused to remove the 2.5 million deposit conditions.The other problem is the election is already in full swing and changing the rules of the game in the midst of play might leave Ukraine open to allegations of corruption, favoritism – legislation designed to meet the requirements of those in power. How many people have decided not to nominate because they do not have a chance of winning the first round of voting?
If Yushchenko is of the belief that he can not win the election then he should not have nominated.
By running Yushchenko, under Ukraine’s ‘s two round “first-past-the-post” voting system, will take votes away from other more serious candidates. The high nomination deposit was designed to try and limit frivolous candidates from standing in order to mitigate the flaws in the first-past-the-post voting system. The more candidates that run the more people who support minor candidates votes are wasted. Sure they will get a second chance to vote but they will not count towards the decision as to who will be in the final contest. This leaves the show wide open to only two highest polling candidates, not necessarily the two most supported candidates.
“Every vote Yushchenko gets one less vote for Yatseniuk and/or Hrytsenko they are competing against each other“.
The parliament will rightly reject this proposal and if any candidate is not happy or prepared to take the risk then they should withdraw now before the ballot papers are finalized.