Ukraine’s opposition plans to unite forces

Ukraine’s "Opposition Platform - For Life" and "Opposition Bloc" parties plan to unite after a six-month split, seeking to seize the initiative in the country’s southeast and gain more votes at the upcoming parliamentary election, Izvestia notes.

Sources close to the negotiation process told the paper that the Opposition Bloc’s rating currently stands at 2-4%, while the Opposition Platform enjoys a rating of 10-15%. According to one of the sources, if the two parties unite, they will be capable of receiving over five percent of the vote, which will allow them to enter the Verkhovna Rada "as a serious political force capable of influencing the agenda."

Verkhovna Rada MP Yevgeny Balitsky confirmed to the paper that small formalities needed to be addressed before a union was finally formed. He said the two political parties had been prompted to take this step because people living in southeastern Ukraine wanted to see a single political force that would represent their interests in parliament. In addition, the move will allow the opposition to rival against Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s Servant of the People party in the regions where he received strong voter support.

Opposition members will be able to gain more votes if they pool their efforts, leading researcher at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies Oleg Nemensky said. According to him, if the parliamentary election was held in the fall as it had been planned, both opposition parties would make it to the parliament each on its own, but a snap election upset their plans.

"This is a rather reasonable decision because it will allow both parties to enter the Verkhovna Rada. If the election took place in October, the new president’s policies could have disappointed some of Zelensky’s supporters, making them cast their ballots in favor of an opposition force. But there will be no mass voter frustration under the current situation," the expert pointed out.

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