19:40 16.10.2020

Conflict between center, regional elites in future may lead to Ukraine's federalization – opinion

3 min read

KYIV. Oct 16 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The conflict between the center and the regional elites, which manifested during the election campaign, may lead to federalization in the future, Head of the Third Sector analytical center, political strategist Andriy Zolotariov said.

"One of the conflicts of these elections is the conflict between the center and the regional elites. This is an alarming moment. If on Bankova [street in the center of Kyiv, where the President's Office is located], someone more serious and powerful was engaged in regional politics, he would have already caught tough. It [the conflict] is obvious and these processes, I think, will reach their apogee in the case of early parliamentary elections," Zolotariov said during a roundtable conference titled "Final Lap of Local Elections – Which Parties Are Leaders, Which Are Outsiders of the Race and For What Reasons" at the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Friday.

He said that the privatization of power structures is actually taking place, and in the conditions of the unfinished process of decentralization there is a risk that "decentralization may turn into federalization of the entire country."

According to Director of the Institute of Global Strategies Vadym Karasiov it is necessary that "parties actually take on the functions of governing the country, and then there will be less incentives and all sorts of temptations to regionalize their party politics [...] and work more for national politics."

Speaking about the political forces participating in the local elections, expert at the Hardarika Strategic Consulting Corporation Kostiantyn Matviyenko suggested that the Batkivschyna party, which nominated the largest number of candidates for local council deputies, will receive the largest number of mandates.

He also expects that Batkivschyna will become the party of local government in the future.

The expert said that during the current election campaign, the Servant of the People party, apart from hype, populism and rather primitive slogans that often appeal to instincts and the simplest things, does not offer voters a strategy for the development of territorial communities and local government.

European Solidarity was somehow encapsulated in the national and patriotic and even nationalist niche, eating away the rating, first of all, from the Svoboda party and even the Holos party," Matviyenko said.

According to him, European Solidarity has correct and patriotic slogans, but they have nothing to do with utility rates, worn out housing stock.

According to the expert, the Opposition Platform - For Life party is a mirror of European Solidarity only in other areas of Ukraine.

There are no serious ideas about the development

According to political scientist, co-founder of the Dialogue for Peace and Safe Reintegration national platform Oleh Sahakyan, Batkivschyna has the opportunity to take on the scale and presence in different regions of the country. He also believes that after the elections, the Opposition Platform - For Life party will strengthen its presence in the regional government in eastern Ukraine.

Zolotariov noted the strong side of Batkivschyna due to its political structure.

He also drew attention to the fact that the election campaigns of the Opposition Platform – For Life and European Solidarity are more reminiscent of the parliamentary election campaigns.

"It seems that they are already conducting parliamentary campaigns: general political topics that are more suitable for elections to the Verkhovna Rada," Zolotariov said.