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Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine holds local elections

Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine holds local elections

Local elections

On 25 October, Ukraine held local elections in which citizens elected mayors and 1,577 local councils, 22 regional councils, 119 district councils and 370 city councils.

According to Central Electoral Commission head Oleh Didenko, these were among the most complicated elections in Ukraine due to the change of electoral law, administrative reform and the coronavirus pandemic.

As of 10 p.m., the turnout was 36.98%, according to the Central Electoral Commission.

According to exit poll results announced by presenter Savik Shuster on Ukrayina 24 TV, incumbent Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko with 45.93% will face Oleksandr Popov from the pro-Russian Opposition Platform-For Life party (9.62%) in the runoff.

An exit poll conducted by Klitschko's own party UDAR put him in the absolute lead with 50.2%.

According to other exit polls, Zaporizhzhya mayor Volodymyr Buryak, Vinnytsya's Serhiy Morhunov and Kharkiv's Hennadiy Kernes are set to retain their seats.

In Dnipro, current mayor Borys Filatov is likely to face contender Zahid Krasnov in the runoff. In Lviv, mayor Andriy Sadovyy and European Solidarity's Oleh Synyutka are likely to proceed to the runoff. In Odesa, mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov may face Opposition Platform-For Life's Mykola Skoryk in the runoff.

President's reaction

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy commented on election day: "Unlike some of our neighbours, we do have a great luxury of free elections. Yes, I understand perfectly well that our electoral system is far from perfec: dirty money and dishonest media resources, unfortunately, still affect the results. But we are moving in the right direction. Every next free election is yet another proof that Ukraine is free for good."

A Femen activist flashed her nether parts as Zelenskyy and his wife were approaching their polling station in Kyiv. She was promptly apprehended by security guards.


According to early findings of today's nationwide poll initiated by President Volodymyr Zelensky and allegedly funded by his Servant of the People party, 81% of interviewees support life imprisonment for especially large-scale corruption, 45% approve of the idea to have a free economic zone in Donbas, 95% want the number of MPs cut from 450 to 300, 70% support the legalization of cannabis for medical needs, and 78% support Ukraine's right to exercise security guarantees under the Budapest Memorandum, the Rating pollster has said.

The poll was allegedly held near 69% of polling stations in Ukraine.

Artem Haharin, a showman from Zelenskyy's Kvartal 95 comic company, turned out to be the spokesman for the president's poll. He was allegedly involved in "training and coordinating the interviewers".


The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has reprimanded Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó for campaigning in favour of one of the Ukrainian parties on election day, which constitutes a "blatant confirmation of direct interference in Ukraine's internal affairs and a treacherous blow to its efforts to constructively settle the existing problems in Ukrainian-Hungarian relations".


The Ukrainian president's representative office for Crimea has said about a critical humanitarian situation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic in the occupied peninsula as hospitals ran out of beds, it takes long hours for ambulance to get to patients and there is nowhere to get tested for Covid-19 voluntarily.


Russian mercenary Aleksey Markov who commanded the Pryzrak (Ghost) battalion in the separatist Luhansk People's Republic allegedly died in a car accident in Donbas, journalist Denys Kazanskyy has said on Telegram.


By the morning of 24 October, Ukraine has registered a daily increment of 6,088 Covid-19 cases, as well as 1,753 recoveries. Most new cases were registered in Kharkiv Region (660), Zhytomyr Region (440), Khmelnytskyy Region (437), Lviv Region (405).

Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko tested positive for Covid-19.


On 24 October, Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II, presiding during the Divine Liturgy at the ordination of new Bishop Arsinois Pagrati, mentioned Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine Epifaniy, thus de facto recognizing the new Ukrainian Church, according to the Nyxthimeron website.

Winter time

In the early hours of 25 October, Ukraine changed clocks to winter time.

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