Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Yanukovych takes poll position to become Ukraine's next head of State

Recent public opinion polls indicate that there is three main contenders for election as Ukraine's head of state.

Under Ukraine's flawed two round Presidential voting system the two highest polling candidates face off in a second round of voting.

Party of Regions, Viktor Yanukovych (23%) is assured to progress to the second round. The only other two contenders are Yulia Tysmochenko (14.6%) and Arseny Yatseniuk (12.7%).

Ukraine's President, Viktor Yushchenko with 2% support is not considered a serious contender. His nomination will however play a negative role on the outcome of the election. In nominating Yushchenko and other minor candidates will become what of known as Spoiler Candidates, Minor Candidates take away votes from other more serious contenders. With Yatseniuk and Yulia Tymochenko fighting it out to decide who will face off against Yanukovych in the final ballot every vote each of the three main contenders will count. Votes for other minor candidates including Yushchenko will be wasted.

The two round voting system should be reviewed and Ukraine should consider adopting a single round preferential voting system.

Viktor Yushchenko will be visiting Australia next week (June 15) to open Ukraine's Australian Embassy. Yushchenko whilst visiting down under should take time to look more closely at Australia's preferential voting system. a system that would be well suited to Ukraine's presidential elections.

Yushchenko will have the opportunity to meet with Australian officials such as Michael Danby, Chairman of Australia's Foreign Affairs Committee. Michael Danby had the visited Ukraine whilst participating in the at World Democracy forum last year. During his visit Mr Danby raised the issue of Ukraine adopting the Australian Preferential voting system for it's Presidential elections commenting on the significant benefit that preferential voting has to offer over the existing two round voting system.

At a cost of over 100 Million dollars in direct costs per round, the introduction of preferential voting would save Ukraine over 100 million dollars and even more when you take into consideration the indirect costs of the presidential election. One round voting means that the results of the election will be known within days as opposed to months providing greater stability and certainty of outcome. The preferential voting system also limits chances and opportunity for electoral fraud as the vote can be better monitored for any irregularities.

Under a Preferential voting system voters rank in order of preference (1,2,3 etc) candidates of their choice. Primary votes are distributed to each candidate according to the voters first nominated preference. If no single candidate has 50% or more votes then the candidates with the lowest votes are excluded from the count and their votes are then redistributed according to the voters nominated order of preference. This process continues until one candidate receives 50% or more votes and they are declared elected. Then election is decided after only one round of voting

Twenty-three percent of pollees ready to back Yanukovych at presidential elections

Source: Kyivpost

23% of pollees questioned by the international sociology institute are ready to back leader of the Party of Regions Viktor Yanukovych at the forthcoming presidential elections.

At the same time, 14.6% of respondents are ready to back the candidacy of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko; 12.7% Verkhovna Rada deputy of the Our Ukraine People's Self-Defense Bloc faction Arseni Yatseniuk; 4% Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko; 2.5% Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn; 2% President Viktor Yuschenko; 1.4% former president Leonid Kuchma; 1.1% leader of the Svoboda party Oleh Tiahnybok.

Besides, 0.5% is ready to back Verkhovna Rada deputy of the Our Ukraine People's Self-Defense Bloc Anatolii Hrytsenko; 0.4% a representative of the Socialist Party Valentyna Semeniuk-Samsonenko; 0.3% to each leader of the Labour Ukraine party Serhii Tihipko and Kyiv city mayor Leonid Chernovetskyi; 0.1% leader of the Ukrainian People's Party Yurii Kostenko.

1.6% of the pollees would back any other candidate; 9.6% against all, 12.5% won't take part in the elections; 13.5% found it difficult to answer.

The poll was held on May 21-31.

A total of 2,008 respondents were questioned in all regions of Ukraine.

The sampling error does not exceed 3.3%.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Yanukovych calls for nationwide presidential elections.