Ukrainians started to vote in a snap parliamentary election on Sunday that could consolidate the power of new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and hand the novice politician a stronger mandate for driving change in the war-scarred nation.
The voting will last from till 20:00, while at the overseas polling stations the elections will start and end according to local time.
Ukraine will be electing a parliament of 424 lawmakers.
Parliamentary elections were originally scheduled to take place in October, when the current parliament’s five-year term runs out. Instead, they will take place nearly four months earlier.
When comedian-turned-politician Volodymyr Zelensky was sworn in as president of Ukraine on May 20, he ordered the parliament to dissolve and set the date for snap election two months later.
The parliament, however, has continued working: the law allows it to work through the snap elections, until the new parliament replaces it. But with the start of the campaign, many lawmakers have stopped showing up for sessions and little work has been done.
The citizens who vote at their registration address will receive two ballots: a list of parties and a list of candidates in single-member constituencies.
The voters who temporarily changed the place of voting would receive only a ballot paper to vote for parties.
280,922 Ukrainians temporary changed the place of voting.
To hold the elections, 199 territorial electoral districts and one overseas electoral district were formed, as well as about 30,000 precinct election commissions. A total of 102 polling stations will operate abroad.
At the same time, according to the decision of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine, the snap parliamentary elections are not held in a number of districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as in the annexed Crimea.
In total, the Central Election Commission registered more than 2,700 candidates running for the Parliament on the lists of 22 parties in the nationwide multi-member constituency and more than 3,200 candidates running in single-member constituencies.
163 Ukrainian non-governmental organizations were permitted to have official observers during the elections.
In addition, the CEC registered 1,719 official observers from 22 international organizations and 12 foreign countries.
More than 130,000 law enforcement officers are expected to safeguard security of voters.
The CEC is to establish and announce the voting results of the snap parliamentary elections in the nationwide multi-member constituency and single-member constituencies no later than on the fifteenth day from the election day.
Via Reuters / Kyiv Post