Supporting democratic progress in Ukraine.

IFES Ukraine

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems

IFES Ukraine Election Bulletin #84 (April 25 – May 10, 2019)

Central Election Commission Announces Presidential Election Result. On April 30, the Central Election Commission (CEC) announced the final result of the 2019 presidential election and declared Volodymyr Zelenskyi of the Servant of the People party the winner with 73.22 percent of the vote cast in the second round on April 21. Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko received 24.45 percent and 2.32 percent of votes were declared invalid. Zelenskyi received 74.96 percent of the valid votes against Poroshenko’s 25.04 percent.

The CEC exhausted the ten-day period allowed by law to process the official vote results. During this period, the CEC received and approved District Election Commission hard copy vote tabulation protocols, reviewed complaints and decisions and prepared the final official vote tabulation.

Final CEC vote protocols were published on May 3 in the Holos Ukrainy and Ur’adovyi Couriernewspapers in line with Ukraine’s legal requirements. Inauguration of the President-elect must occur within 30 days from May 3, according to Article 87.1 of the Presidential Election Law and no later than June 2. The Verkhovna Rada sets the date for the inauguration based on notification from its Speaker. President-elect Zelenskyi stated the date for his inauguration will be decided at a Rada meeting on May 14; earlier, he indicated the inaugural would be scheduled for May 19, but most recently also May 20 and June 1 have been mentioned as likely dates for the inauguration.

The inauguration takes place at a ceremonial session of the Verkhovna Rada. The Speaker must consult on the timing, the invitees and other organizational details with the president-elect and the Chair of the Constitutional Court.

The President will formally assume office and presidential powers when he takes an oath before a public session of the Verkhovna Rada. The CEC will issue a certificate to the new President of Ukraine after he is sworn in. The inauguration ceremony will be broadcast live on nationwide television and radio channels, including Ukraine’s public broadcaster.

Demographic Breakout of 2019 Presidential Election Results. On May 6, the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF) presented a demographic study of voter data gathered during the 2019 presidential election’s second round. One of the primary results is that Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s main electorate was strong in the Eastern and Southern regions where he received 87 and 85 percent of the votes cast, respectively, and higher (70 percent) in the Central region. Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko’s support was highest in the western region (41 percent), but much lower in the rest of the country (28 per cent in the Center, and just above 12 percent in the Central and East). The gender breakdown was virtually the same for each candidate. Among Zelenskyi’s supporters, 44 percent are men and 56 percent are women; in Poroshenko’s case, 45 percent are men and 55 percent are women.

The data originates from the National Exit Poll 2019 conducted by DIF, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and the Razumkov Center. The survey interviewed 14,551 respondents outside 300 polling stations using the “secret ballot” method, with a 1.3 per margin of error.

The exit poll shows Zelenskyi was popular among young voters. Eighty percent of voters between the ages of 18 to 29 supported him. Poroshenko’s support was highest among voters who are 60 years of age or older – 29 percent of those voters preferred the incumbent. While Zelenskyi received support from voters with all levels of education, it was highest among those with an incomplete secondary education (82 percent) and somewhat lower (67 percent) among voters who completed higher education. Poroshenko scored best with voters who completed higher education (31 percent); but, earned just 16 percent of voters with an incomplete secondary education. In terms of geographical distribution, Poroshenko’s relative share of the vote was slightly higher than his average support in major cities/oblast centers.

UNDP Ukraine conducts “Analysis of the Integrity and Inclusiveness of the Democratic Process in Ukraine”. From November 2018 to January 2019, the United Nations Development Program in Ukraine researched the integrity and inclusiveness of the democratic process in all 24 of the country’s regions. The research was conducted within the UNDP’s overall democratic governance program by a team of 24 regional analysts with a core team based in Kyiv. They gathered information and data on how state institutions, political parties, media, business and civil society integrated and affected the legitimacy of democratic processes in the regions.

The analysis reveals that progress in implementing democratic reforms after 2014 has been uneven. There is no evidence that the nexus between business interests and politics is being seriously challenged, or that political life is becoming more inclusive. Cronyism and corruption continue to be defining features of Ukrainian politics in the eyes of many citizens which seriously hinders the emergence of democratic processes based on integrity and inclusiveness. Taken together, however, the various reform efforts may change the rules of the game over time so that corrupt practices diminish and a more level playing field for genuine democratic processes emerges. Many Ukrainian citizens feel excluded from genuine participation and are frustrated that the political elite’s interest in them occurs only at election time.

Women are ill-served in a system dominated by men. While women’s representation increased somewhat in local councils, their numbers are not sufficient to fundamentally change the traditional male-dominated political culture. Women are rarely in positions that determine overall policy directions and allocation of resources. And, young people and vulnerable groups such as internally displaced persons, the LGBTI community, Roma and people with disabilities are not fully included in public and political life.

IFES’ Collection of Photos From the 2019 Presidential Election. Understanding the challenge to find images to accompany research, opinions and thoughts on elections, IFES offers access to our collection of high-resolution photographs taken during both rounds of the recent presidential election in Ukraine. All photos are free for personal and commercial use if you make the following attributions: “Photo: IFES Ukraine / Roman Shalamov” for photos taken during the first round and “Photo: IFES Ukraine / Valeriia Landar” for photos from the second round. You can access the full collection through this link.