As results of Sunday’s election are confirmed (deadline: 30 October), it appears that – with over 90% of the votes counted – the parties of the president and prime minister, respectively, will need to enter a coalition with only one other party to form an absolute majority of 226 seats or more in the new parliament. The Petro Poroshenko Bloc and Popular Front evidently have 214 seats between them, and in coalition with Self-Help (another pro-European party that did much better than expected), that majority increases to 248 – more than enough to withstand opposition votes if the parties vote as parties. The issue of the veto-proof or “constitutional” majority of 300 is now moot for the current authorities, since the situation whereby the parliamentary majority opposes the president (as witnessed during the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko, for example) is not relevant today.
This is good news for those who feared a scenario in which the deeply mistrusted Oleh Lyashko (leader of the Radical Party) would emerge as a “kingmaker” in the new legislature. Lyashko’s actual source of support and patronage are still unclear. It also means that the two leading parties are not compelled to ally with Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party, which is also seen as unpredictable due to the prominence of its high-profile leader. However, for votes on constitutional amendments, the ruling coalition will be forced to obtain the support of other MPs, and the still-unclear affiliation of 97 majoritarian candidates who won election to the new Verkhovna Rada may prove crucial.
(BPP) Petro Poroshenko Bloc – 131
Popular Front – 83
Samopomіch (Self-Help) – 34
Opposition Bloc – 29
Radical Party – 20
Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) – 18
Svoboda (Freedom) – 6
Right Sector – 3
Strong Ukraine – 1
Spade – 1
Self-Nominated (mostly of uncertain affiliation) – 97