ELECTORAL REFORMS AND CONSOLIDATION OF THE PARTY SYSTEM IN UKRAINE

Davor Boban ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Fulltext: pdf (368 KB), Croatian, Pages 29 – 51

Abstracts
What are the reasons for change of electoral system in a country in transition?
Who are the actors involved and how they do that? What consequences it has
for parliament and the party system? This paper attempts to provide answers
to these questions in the case of Ukraine. In that country, in less than two decades
three types of electoral systems have been implemented: majority system
in 1994, mixed system in 1998, 2002 and 2012, and proportional system
in 2006 and 2007. Such frequent changes occurred due to elite-manipulation
which aimed at satisfying self-interests of political elites. Both parliamentary
and non-parliamentary elites have been involved in that process, and the most
important actors among them have been oligarchs and the President. When the
Ukrainian oligarchs as veto-players began to intensively participate in parties’
activities, parties began to play a more important role than they did before.
We conclude that the type of electoral system and oligarchic influence on parties
and elections impacted the way how the party system has been shaped.
We show that this system has been instrumentalised to achieve particular objectives
of the dominant segments of political and business elites in Ukraine.

Keywords
Ukraine; Electoral System; Party System; Oligarchs; Non-democratic Regime