Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 62

Contrary to a widespread first impression, yesterday’s parliamentary elections in Ukraine brought the Communist party only a limited success. According to projections, the Communists obtained some 30 percent of the vote on party slates, where 225 parliamentary seats are at stake. The Communists must have done less well in the single-mandate constituencies, where another 225 seats are at stake, and where entrepreneurs and state officials are favored to win many seats. The Communists did, however, sweep Crimea.

The national-democratic camp suffered a setback, though perhaps not one as severe as Rukh leader Vyacheslav Chornovil described yesterday. Chornovil cited clear evidence that parties to the Rukh’s right had taken national-democratic votes in western Ukraine. He pointed out that President Leonid Kuchma’s ultimate refusal to enfranchise the non-citizens among Crimean Tatars had increased the Communists’ margin there. The Rukh and the Crimean Tatars are political allies.

The strength of the presidential camp in the new parliament can only be assessed after the final returns from the single-mandate constituencies. The People’s Democratic party and other "parties of power" in the presidential camp performed poorly in the contest on party slates. Former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko’s Hromada Union, widely considered a by-word for official corruption, has managed to enter the new parliament and seems bent on joining the antipresidential forces. A good showing by the environmentalist Green party is one of the most surprising results of these elections.

On balance, the new parliament will probably be somewhat more leftist than the outgoing one, and the pro-presidential forces somewhat weaker. (UNIAN and other Ukrainian agencies, Ukrainian TV and radio, March 30)

Belarus to Supply More Military Equipment to China.