At stake in this election:
- 450 seats in the Supreme Council (Verkhovna Rada)
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Viktor YANUKOVYCH
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Mykola AZAROV
- Assembly: Ukraine has a unicameral Supreme Council (Verkhovna Rada) with 450 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by absolute majority vote through a two-round system to serve a 5-year term.
- Prime Minister is appointed by the president with the approval of the parliament.
- In the Supreme Council (Verkhovna Rada), 225 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 5-year terms and 225 members are elected by majority vote in single-member constituencies to serve 5-year terms.***
*** There is a 5% threshold for the nationwide, proportional representation contest. Before 2011, Ukraine elected all 450 members through closed list proportional representation in a single nationwide constituency.
Main parties in the electoral race:
- Alliance: Party of Regions (PRU) / Партія регіонів
Leader: Viktor YANUKOVYCH
Seats won in last election: 175
- Coalition: United Opposition/Batkivschyna / Всеукраїнське об'єднання**
Leader: Arseniy YATSENYUK
Seats won in last election: 228
- Alliance: Ukranian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) / Український демократичний альянс за реформи Віталія Кличка***
Leader: Vitaliy KLITSCHKO
Seats won in last election: N/A
- Party: Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU)
Leader: Petro SYMONENKO
Seats won in last election: 27
- Party: All Ukranian Union / Svoboda*****
Leader: Oleh TYAHNYBOK
Seats won in last election: 0
** The United Opposition/Batkivschyna is a coalition of opposition groups led by Batkivschyna /Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, the party of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and Front of Change, led by Arseny Yatsenyuk. In the 2007 parliamentary elections, opposition parties of broadly similar background captured 228 seats, winning a slim majority in parliament.
*** The party did not participate in the 2007 elections. However, the party is steadily increasing in popularity. A recent survey suggests that Ukrainians have low confidence in political leadership. Yet KLITSCHKO is the only political leader in whom more Ukrainians have confidence (42 percent) than lack confidence.
***** Svoboda is a far-right wing Ukrainian ethnic nationalist party that has recently enjoyed an upsurge in support, especially in western Ukraine. Svoboda won no seats in the 2007 elections. However, opinion polls for the upcoming elections suggest that Svoboda has a good chance of exceeding the 5% threshold required for representation in parliament.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 44,854,065 (July 2012 est.)
- Registered Voters: 36,687,114 (August 2012 est.)