Zelensky taking control of Verkhovna Rada

Zelensky taking control of Verkhovna Rada

Servant of the People, the party of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, could win a majority in the new parliament with 248 seats.

The Servant of the People party garnered 42.47% of votes at the snap parliamentary election in the country after 52.7% of ballots were counted, Ukraine’s Central Election Commission (CEC) reported.

Under Ukraine’s mixed election system, half of the seats in the 450-member parliament are chosen on the basis of party lists and the rest in first-past-the-post constituency races.

Zelensky won an estimated 126 seats with his share of the list system elections, as well as Servant of the People could win 122 seats in the party list voting. Thus, the party may have 248 in the parliament.

Opposition Platform - For Life received 12.92% of votes, former President Pyotr Poroshenko’s European Solidarity - 8.6%, former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko's Batkivschina - 8.02% and singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s Golos (Voice) - 6.36%.

A snap parliamentary election was held in Ukraine on July 21. A total of 225 candidates will get seats in parliament by party lists, while candidates elected in single-seat constituencies are expected to secure 199 seats. The parties need to pass the 5% threshold to enter parliament.

Deputy director of the Institute of the CIS Vladimir Zharikhin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that even if the parliamentary majority is fully replaced with the Servant of the People party deputies, it won't make any difference for Ukraine. "Judging by the statements made by Zelensky and his team, in general, nothing changes. That is, the Rada staff will be changed, but the policy, both external and internal, will remain the same. One should expect the continuation of Poroshenko’s policy, but on behalf of other people," he pointed out.

In this connection, one should not expect significant changes in the Russian-Ukrainian relations. "Any partial changes improving the situation somehow are possible. Let's hope that at least the Donbass ceasefire will be preserved. A fundamental change would be Ukraine’s actual implementation of the Minsk agreements, but one cannot predict such things," Vladimir Zharikhin emphasized.

The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, agreed with Zharikhin. "We see that the main structures and institutions of power remain under the control of the party of war', the nationalists who are not going to allow Zelensky to approach them. The problems have not yet been solved, especially since Ukraine decided to reformat itself into a parliamentary-presidential republic and much will depend on who will be prime minister," he warned.

The issue of relations with Russia, according to the expert, will be used by Zelensky for domestic political purposes. "Zelensky has already taken advantage of the fact that Ukraine is very sensitive to the Donbass conflict, and his statements about the beginning of dialogue provided the Servant of the People with a good result in the elections. It seems that there will be further attempts to use Russia for internal political purposes," Andrei Suzdaltsev noted.

"Now there is no such strict need to enter into negotiations with the new Ukrainian authorities, especially since Zelensky is using the Russian topic to artificially raise his rating. Russia's requirements have not changed: Kiev’s dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk is a condition for entering into dialogue with Moscow, but it hasn't been done yet," the  deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University concluded.