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The new RADA – “good enough” but not “good”

October 14, 2014

Regular readers will have noted the daily entry was absent yesterday.  This was due to an afternoon with OSCE election observers ruminating over Ukrainian and more specifically Odessa politics.

Following on from the last entry relating to the forthcoming elections and some of the candidates standing in Odessa, perhaps a little more expansion of the local situation is in order, without going into too much detail discussed with the OSCE observers.

To be blunt, as far as Odessa is concerned, and this is likely to be repeated around the country to some degree, new faces in the RADA that will take the oath post 26th October will mostly come from the party lists and the proportional representation part of the vote.  All those civil society, journalists, civic activists, volunteer and regular battalion commanders placed highly enough across the lists of all parties will form the “new blood” – if at the expense of a hollowed out civil society,  loss to journalism and the removal of loyal commanders from the field.

As explained in the last entry, it is very likely that many of the old faces standing in single mandate (first past the post) seats will be returned due to there being too many new faces standing against them that will dilute the vote against the old faces.  The old faces have taken great care to insure they all run in different seats so as not to stand against each other and will gain votes through blind partisan loyalty, name recognition and more nefarious deeds.

Thus far there are 3 (possibly 4) cases of election “irregularities” (mostly investigations into voter bribery) already pending at the Odessa Primorsky Court.  That number will surely grow, notwithstanding guaranteed allegations of buying off the local election commissions soon enough.

All pending cases relate to the single mandate candidates and seats.  The good old- bad old days remain to be entirely vanquished, even if the parties themselves are trying to remain within the rules (or at the very least not be as obvious in breaking them per previous elections).   As such, any changes to the political landscape of Odessa is likely to come about via the success or failure of political parties within the confines of the proportional representation part of the ballot.

Part of the problem is that the old and malleable elections laws remain in force.  The new election laws currently pending were unable to get through the current malevolent RADA.

Indeed, one of the first laws that should probably be passed by a new RADA are the currently pending new election laws.  It would give those laws 5 years, via numerous minor elections a chance to bed in, being amended to fine tune if necessary – in the best case scenario.  In the worst case scenario, the new laws would be in force for any early RADA elections should a full 5 year term not be the fate of the RADA sworn in post 26th October.

The elections of 26th October will put new, untainted, patriotic and ethical people in the RADA in a fairly significant number.  How great an impact upon the majority of old, tired and corrupt faces they will have, remains to be seen.

The forthcoming elections are not going to return a “good” RADA – but they may return one that is “good enough”.  The question is then, for how long will it be “good enough”?  New elections laws, the removal of MPs immunity and other big ticket laws need be the priority for a newly invested legislature.  It’s first 100 days will be key as to whether it will see out a full term – or not.

There is then the question of effective implementation of those big ticket issues.

 

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