Policy Memos

The 2002 Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine: A Prelude to Change or Just Routine Business

Policy Memo:


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On January 1, 2002, Ukraine officially enters a campaign to elect the country’s new legislature, the Verkhovna Rada. The elections that will take place on March 31 are widely viewed as being especially important because in 2004, during the term of the next Rada, Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma is expected to yield power . For all likely presidential contenders, much will depend on whether they will be able to use the Rada as their power base. Pro-Kuchma oligarchs in the Rada have to prove that their access to the so-called “administrative resource” does yield results beneficial for the president. Their failure to do so may not only cost them seats in the Rada, but political influence altogether. Finally, some radical non-Communist opposition representatives, if left outside the parliament and deprived of immunity against prosecution, may face criminal charges as well as political marginalization. [...]

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About the author

Director,The EU Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia Programme
Finnish Institute of International Affairs