The preliminary results of the local elections show that local elites easily and drastically outdistance Zelenskyy’s party Servant of the People. Even the party-list voting (the so-called proportional electoral system, – Ed.), introduced at the last moment before the campaigning for small municipalities, barely helped the presidential party to win more than a modest 5-15% at most councils, while at the last year’s parliamentary elections the Servants had 43% of votes. . . .
Poroshenko’s European Solidarity demonstrated a rather high level of support ranging from 7% in the country’s east to 32% in the west – a major increase compared to the 2019 parliamentary elections, where it landed in fourth place with only 8.1% of the votes. . . .
As for the pro-Russian parties, Opposition Platform, the successor to fugitive president Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, and the novel Shariy’s Party run by popular pro-Russian blogger Anatoliy Shariy, they jointly have up to 20% of votes in the East-Ukrainian cities and almost no votes in the west of the country. This level of support for pro-Russian elites has remained rather stable over the last years. . . .
Kyiv – Incumbent mayor Vitaliy Klitschko is close to a landslide victory with 47% of votes (according to Interfax-Ukraine’s source close to the ongoing process of counting the votes, Klitschko may even win in the first round with 50+%). His closest rival Oleksandr Popov has only 9% of the votes.
Kharkiv – In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, incumbent since 2010 Hennadiy Kernes was re-elected as mayor by 58% of votes (despite scandalous levels of corruption).
However, despite widespread fears, the pro-Russian Opposition Platform obtains a rather moderate 17% of votes in Kharkiv, coming second after Kernes’ party (40%). Another pro-Russian party of Anatoliy Shariy got 6%. Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People won just 12%. At the same time, Poroshenko’s European Solidarity obtains 9% of votes, which is a relatively high number for this party in Kharkiv.
Odesa – In Odesa, Ukraine’s largest port city, the incumbent mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov secured 34% of votes and is likely to gain the upper hand over his closest rival (17%) in the runoff.
Lviv – In Lviv, the biggest city of western Ukraine, incumbent mayor Andriy Sadovyi (41%) is also likely to overcome his closest rival (27%) in the second round. Yet, Lviv is the only city where the mayor’s local party finished second (21%) after Poroshenko’s European Solidarity (28%). No pro-Russian party is going to win seats in the Lviv city council as liberal Voice and nationalist Svoboda got 12% and 6% respectively.