Poll predicts Petro Porsohenko to win Ukraine presidential elections

New elections in the Ukraine are set for October 26. The bloc that supports President Petro Poroshenko appears to be heading for a big win according to a new poll by the GfK research group on Friday.

Poroshenko a billionaire oligarch, the chocolate king, was easily elected last May after the overthrow of his predecessor Viktor Yanukovych. His re-election will provide even more legitimacy to his plans to link more closely with the West but also his signing of the peace agreement in Minsk to give more autonomy to eastern regions held now by pro-Russian rebels.
 The poll predicts that Poroshenko's bloc would win 29.9 percent of the vote with the nearest rival being the party of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko at just 8.7 percent. Third place was the Radical Party led by the populist Oleh Lyashko with 7.6 percent. The poll shows that those associated with the party of former President Yanukovich will lose their seats even though they had held on to them during the previous election. His Regions Party appears to be a spent force in Ukrainian politics. The poll was only about the 225 of 450 seats which are elected through party lists. There are another 225 seats elected through a first-past-the post system. Many of these "single-mandate deputies" waged campaigns funded by business interests and in the past often supported Yanukovich but with the situation radically altered it is difficult to predict which if any bloc they will support this time around.
The poll showed that about five political groups were likely to receive enough votes to enter parliament. The government has been attempting to ban the Ukrainian Communist party. The Ukrainian Justice Ministry argued in court that the party should be banned because it has supported pro-Russian rebels fighting government forces in the east Ukraine. Poroshenko said that parties should be banned "by means of elections" rather than a straightforward ban through laws or court decisions.The Communist Party came in fifth at the 2012 parliamentary election receiving about 13 percent of the vote. There have been some violations of the Minsk agreement including casualties in Donetsk but on the whole so far the agreement has been observed for the most part.


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