Who’s in and who’s out?

“Who’s in and who’s out” is a conversation many embassy staff have in embassies around the world from time to time relating to the nations to which they are posted and the political personalities of that nation. It may sound a little childish to play such games, and indeed it may not always turn out […]

Commission for Strengthening Democracy and the Rule of Law - Venice Commission

The Venice Commission, when looking at the proposed new law on the Public Prosecutors Office of Ukraine, has in summary, made it clear that whilst the new law goes a long way to improving matters and generally brings Ukraine into EU norms (with the need for some clarifications in the text - although not that […]

Regardless of election winner - no hope for change in Ukrainian domestic politics

Sometimes I despair! Two days ago saw the major Ukrainian political parties selecting the MPs who will sit on the party lists for the seats allocated via the proportional representation part of the electoral system. Ergo, these MPs are not in a head-to-head election for a particular seat against another specific candidate but are simply […]

Language again - Aleksey Gonsharenko, Odessa City Council

I have written about the issue of language in Ukraine many times, most recently regarding the less than smooth passage, and in fact brawling, as the latest attempt to address the issue eventually got past the first hurdle in the RADA at the beginning of last month. Yesterday evening, amongst some possibly dubious RADA procedural […]

An attempt to end vote buying?

Ever since I have been in Ukraine, and undoubtedly before that, the buying of votes in local, regional and national elections has been the norm. The same can be said for “protesters” at political rallies.  A large proportion are paid to be there to swell the numbers for the on-looking media more often than not. […]

Odessa City Hall – Still a cesspit

Turning my attention to local politics, way back in May 2010, the UK Ambassador, British Council regional director etc. visited Odessa just prior to the Mayoral elections. Being invited to attend and exchange views with Her Majesty’s representative in Ukraine (and others), I duly did so. Inevitably the subject of the forthcoming Mayoral election arose […]