Results of the 2015 Ukrainian local elections by oblast.
On 25 October 2015 local elections took place in Ukraine. The elections were conducted a little over a year since the 2014 snap local elections, which were only held throughout parts of the country. A second round of voting for the election of mayors in cities with more than 90,000 residents where no candidate gained more than 50% of the votes were held on 15 November 2015.
A total of 132 political parties took part in the elections. The political parties contested for the 1,600 regional council seats in 22 regional parliaments, more than 10,700 local councils and mayoral seats. The voter turnout was 46.62% of the population. During the second round, the voter turnout dropped to 34.08%.
Late January 2014 the Constitutional Court of Ukraine made a decision declaring that regardless of under which conditions the previous elections were conducted, regularly scheduled local elections must occur in October 2015.
The campaign for the elections started on 5 September 2015. But since the start of the summer political advertising had begun to increase rapidly. This was marred with a sharp rise of handouts by potential candidates. Local issues were ignored by parties, who focused on national issues. According to Depo.ua and the Committee of Voters of Ukraine political parties spend at least $82 million on campaigning. They claim that during the last two months of the campaign political parties rented 75 percent of Ukraine's 20,000 billboards.
The War in Donbass (between Ukraine and the Russian government backed separatist Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic) left large parts of south-east Ukraine not under Ukrainian control. On 2 July 2015, Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko ordered local DPR elections to be held on 18 October 2015 "in accordance with the Minsk II agreements". According to Zakharchenko this move meant that the DNR had "independently start to implement the Minsk agreements". Zakharchenko assured "the elections will take place 'on the basis of Ukraine's Law on temporary self-rule status of individual districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions' in so far as they are not at variance with the constitution and laws of the DPR". Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko responded (also on 2 July 2015) that if this Zakharchenko initiative to local DPR elections would be upheld this would be "extremely irresponsible and will have devastating consequences for the process of deescalation of tension in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions". On 6 July 2015, the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) leader Igor Plotnitsky set elections for "mayors and regional heads" for 1 November 2015 in territory under his control.
Mariupol entry sign written in Ukrainian
On 6 October 2015, the DNR and LPR leadership postponed their planned elections to 21 February 2016. This happened 4 days after a Normandy four meeting in which it was agreed that the October 2015 Ukrainian local elections in LPR and DPR controlled territories would be held in accordance to the February 2015 Minsk II agreement. At the meeting President of FranceFrançois Hollande stated that in order to hold these elections (in LPR and DPR controlled territories) it was necessary "since we need three months to organize elections" to held these elections in 2016. Also during the meeting it is believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to use his influence to not allow the DPR and Luhansk People's Republic election to take place on 18 October 2015 and 1 November 2015.
On 25 October 2015, the elections were not be held in certain government-held towns (in south-east Ukraine) close to the frontline because (it was believed in August 2015) there "voting may be dangerous to people's lives". These towns include Avdiivka, Marinka, Artemivsk and Kostiantynivka. While in other towns near the frontline, like Mariupol, the elections were decided to be held.
Changes in the law
Parties registered 365 days before the election and who did not changed their name 180 days before the election were allowed to participate in the elections. On 14 July 2015, the Ukrainian parliament passed a new law regarding the local elections in the country. This law uprated the election threshold from 3% to 5% (in order to get any seats in the council a party has to score 5% of the total vote of the election). It also introduced three electoral systems for (these) local elections:
The number of deputies elected to regional councils varies by population; the lowest is 64, while the highest is 120.
In cities with fewer than 90,000 voters Mayors are elected under a majoritarian system; in a first-past-the-post system. Region, district, city, and city district councils are elected in multi-memberconstituencies meaning that for the elections for the city council or district council their territory is split into constituencies. In these constituencies the parties nominated their candidates in closed party lists.Independent candidates can not take part in the elections in places bigger than a village or settlement. If a party passed the 5% election threshold the number of candidates from that party represented in a council will be established in accordance with the number of votes for a deputy in a certain constituency. Ballots have a check box for each party, rather than for individual candidates.Political parties in Ukraine can only register with the Ministry of Justice if they can "demonstrate a base of support in two-thirds of Ukraine's Oblasts" (Ukraine's 24 primary administrative units).
If in a city with more than 90,000 voters (at the time of the elections this was 35 cities) the highest scoring mayoral candidate does not score over 50% of the votes + 1 vote a second round of the election will be held no later than 3 weeks after the election (in these elections that meant all second round elections on 15 November 2015).
A proposition of the minimum number of deputies in a local council was to be 10 in places were the number of voters does not go above 500. The maximum number of Deputies in a council is 80 in places with more than 1.5 million voters. However, the proposition was not passed and the composition of local councils was preserved according to the law originally adopted on 14 July 2015. According to the article 16 the composition of local council is defined by the number of voters which is set at a minimum 12 deputies for up to 1,000 voters and a maximum 120 deputies for over 2 million voters. The composition of the Supreme Council of Autonomous Republic of Crimea is defined by the Constitution of Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
A year after election voters can achieve a recall election if the collect as many signatures as voters.
On the party list at least 30% have to be of the opposite sex as the other candidates. However, there are no legal sanctions if a party does not comply.
The new law also implemented election of starosta post which was introduced with the 2015 administrative reform. With the creation of new communities (territorial hromadas), which started in the summer of 2015, voters are able to elect new leadership.
Results of the 2015 local election by raions (districts).
Petro Poroshenko Bloc did well in West and central Ukraine and Kherson Oblast. Fellow coalition partners in the second Yatsenyuk GovernmentSelf Reliance performed unconvincingly, with about 10 percent of the votes nationwide. (Coalition member People's Front did not take part in the elections, at the time Fatherland was also a member of the coalition.) Former coalition member Radical Party trailed behind Petro Poroshenko Bloc and Fatherland.
Only Petro Poroshenko Bloc, Fatherland, Self Reliance and Radical Party won votes throughout the country.
In Kiev incumbent MayorVitali Klitschko and Boryslav Bereza competed in a second round of the mayoral election after Klitschko scored 40.5% of the vote and Bereza 8.8% in the first round. Klitschko won this second round with 66.5%; Bereza gained 33.51% of the votes.
Also in Dnipropetrovsk a second round of the mayoral election was held after Borys Filatov scored 37.94% and Oleksandr Vilkul 35.78% in the first round of the election. Zahid Krasnov finished third with 12.42%. In the second round Filatov was elected Mayor with 53.76% of the votes.
Turnout of the elections was 46.62% nationwide. The highest participation was in Western Ukraine (around 50%), lowest was in the Donbass region (slightly above 30%). The turnout was typical of rates across Europe.
In the second round of the mayoral election the turnout was 34.08%.
Chairperson of a local electoral commission in Chernihiv on 15 November 2015.
No elections took place on 25 October 2015 in Mariupol, Krasnoarmiisk and Svatove because there the majority of elections commission's members refused to accept the election ballots because of faulty ballots. In Mariupol allegations were made by pro-Euromaidan parties that the printing house owned by Rinat Akhmetov had manipulated the ballots to help Opposition Bloc (whose mayoral candidate Vadym Boychenko worked in a company owned by Akhmetov).
On 6 November 2015 the local election committee set the date for local elections in Svatove for the next 27 December.
On 10 November (2015) the Ukrainian parliament set the date for local elections in Krasnoarmiisk and Mariupol for the following 29 November. In Mariupol Vadym Boychenko won this (mayoral) election (with a 36.49% voter turnout). The ENEMO-mission in Krasnoarmiisk and Mariupol was mildly positive about the elections.
^Repeat elections in 82 locations throughout Ukraine have been scheduled for 29 November 20 December, 27 December 3 January, 10 January, and 17 January. And early mayoral elections in Kryvyi Rih on 27 March 2016.