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Korolevska welcomes Andrey Shevchenko to her party

July 30, 2012

Following up on the political aspirations of Ukraine’s most famous footballer, Andrey Shevchenko, I mentioned two days ago, he has joined the party of Natalia Korolevska, “Ukraine Forward”, and quit football with immediate effect.

We now have two of Ukraine’s most famous sportsmen in the shape of Klischko (UDAR) and Shevchenko (Ukraine Forward) in parties that are outside the United Opposition, but are in opposition parties.   It seems Mr Shevchenko sees “Ukraine Forward” as “one of Ukrainian parties of the future.”

One wonders just how much they may effect the voting for the United Opposition, particularly with the United Opposition having allowed the polarising ultra-right Svoboda into their ranks only last week.

Prima facie, a nice boost for Korolevska who has only a 2.8% popularity rating prior to Mr Shevchenko’s announcement, meaning Ukraine Forward would currently fall short of the 5% threshhold necessary for any proportional representation in the RADA.  (Apparently Andrey Shevchenko will be the second name on the party list after Ms Korolevska.)

Certainly not bad news for the ruling PoR who are currently sitting on about 22% of the national vote, but possibly not good news for the United Opposition on about 20% as it is their voting base that seems most likely to be affected by Mr Shevchenko’s choice (if it is affected at all).

Add any voter drift because of Shevchenko’s hero-like status in Ukraine to that of Klitschko, whose party is on about 8.5% and growing, again the majority of those voters are also likely to come from the United Opposition ranks.

As for Mr Shevchenko’s belief that Ukraine Forward is one of the political parties of the future, well maybe, but  not very likely looking at Ms Korolevska, his party leader’s political past I’m afraid.  Well, unless Ukraine’s political future is just as bad as its political present and political past – or she genuinely turns over a new leaf (which is possible even if incredibly unlikely).

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