Who’s to blame and what to do? How parties are agitating before the parliamentary elections

What unreal promises politicians have in their programs and what of their promises is already done

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Before the parliamentary elections, information noise peaks. There are a lot of people on the streets of Ukrainian cities in branded party clothes with tents and newspapers; with outdoor advertising is generally difficult to determine what the candidate offers.

The VoxCheck team read the party’s printed agitation newspapers and their programs to find out what they are proposing, what they are manipulating and where the 5 popular political forces are luying “Servant of the People”, “Opposition Platform – For Life”, “European Solidarity” ” Batkyvschyna (Fatherland) and “Golos” (Voice). ” And we  found that some are promising to do what is already working in Ukraine.

«The Servant of the People» 

“The Servant of the People” Party, the leader of this year’s parliamentary race, calls parliamentary elections the “third round of presidential elections” in its “newsletters”. Like, all the presidential promises of Zelensky – peace in Ukraine, the fight against corruption, political responsibility for the perpetrators – are not up to the president alone. So he needs “his people” in parliament.

Also, “Servant of the People” calls for “to vote twice” – both for the party and for the party member and the single-mandate districts. Therefore, party newspapers also distribute information about each candidate in the single-mandate district in each district.

More plans of the party are already written in its program. But there we found an ambiguous proposition.

“We will create a clear and understandable guaranteed package of medical services.”

The current medical reform is already introducing a guaranteed package of medical services guaranteed package of medical services. It will include most medical services and the state will guarantee their payment:

  • emergency medical care;
  • primary care;
  • secondary (specialized) medical care;
  • tertiary (highly specialized) medical care;
  • palliative care;
  • medical rehabilitation;
  • medical care for children under 16;
  • pregnancy and childbirth medical assistance.

In particular, primary care provides a clear list of services list of services you can get from your family doctor.

The “Free Diagnostics” program will start operating this year. It includes 54 free examination and treatment services.

A pilot project in the Poltava region will also be  working by the end of 2019, where at the secondary level (specialized assistance) hospitals will be funded under a tariff grid for specific services. What the party calls the “clear and understandable” package of services is already gradually being implemented in Ukraine.

“Opposition Platform – “For Life” (Za Zhyittia)

The Boyko-Rabinovich-Medvedchuk Party, as well as the Servant of the People, urges voters to support them both in a single and multi-mandate district. Other political forces in their agitations do not emphasize this. 

The OPFL’s main election promise is to reduce tariffs. The “Opposition Platform” wants to resume direct gas supplies from the Russian Federation, which, in their opinion, will reduce the cost of gas to the population to 3800-4000 UAH per thousand cubic meters. As of July 2019, Naftogaz has set a price for gas at UAH 4,905.67 per thousand cubic meters, excluding VAT and transportation costs. Now Naftogaz buys gas in Europe, and the price is tied to the market price. The OPFL proposal means a return to the gas procurement system that was before 2014, in which case the lower price is likely to be politically motivated.

On the first page, OPFL’s newspapers  is promise to introduce the exit capital tax instead of a corporate income tax. However, in the spring of 2018, then-President Poroshenko had already planned to submit a bill on ECT to parliament. He was stopped in particular by the fact that foreign partners of Ukraine oppose this tax. For example, the World Bank has the  opinion that the country cannot afford to implement this tax initiative, as ECT can cut the revenue side of the budget by 1.5% of GDP. The IMF is also beware of losses in the Ukrainian budget.

In addition, the “Opposition Platform” promises to end “policies of discrimination, xenophobia and radicalism” without explaining what they mean. We also found inaccuracies in the party program

“Gradual transition to compulsory specialization in secondary school” 

The current education reform involves moving to a 12-year school – children who went to school in September 2018 will study for 12 years. It will introduce a 3-year profile education (Article 12). Therefore, this proposal of the Opposition Platform is already being implemented.

European Solidarity 

Petro Poroshenko’s The European Solidarity Party in his newsletter decided to focus on all the successes of Ukraine in 2014-2019. Thus, on a large infographic it tells about the growth of gold and foreign exchange reserves, the benefits of visa-free travel regime  and even the arrival of low-cost airlines in Ukraine. The party published stories about the top ten candidates. For example, in an essay on the leader of Poroshenko’s party, a third of the text – quotes from bloggers about the success of the former president.

The newspaper ends with a caricature of Igor Kolomoisky and his proposal to declare a default in Ukraine. And there is  also a compilation of quotes from and about the team of current President Zelensky. For example, they quote Andrew Gerus, a representative of the president in government, that Zelensky did not promise to cut tariffs.

European Solidarity does not propose major changes, instead it promises to “protect Ukraine’s value achievements” and continue the previous course. For example, to apply for membership in the European Union by 2023.

In its program, as in the newspaper, the party also first of all emphasizes the previous achievements of Petro Poroshenko.

“In five years, we have laid the foundations for joining NATO and the EU from a far-reaching perspective.”

“We have created a powerful international coalition that has applied a wide range of sanctions against the Russian aggressor. This unity must be maintained and the sanction pressure strengthened. We will work to ensure that the attention of the world is drawn to Crimea and the Donbass, and that Russia bears responsibility for its crimes. ”

The party also insists on continuing the reforms already underway – decentralization, judicial, medical – and strengthening the country’s defense capability.

“The development of missile technology, the air defense shield of Ukraine, aviation and navy should be promoted, as well as providing the army with everything necessary for modern combat. The basis for this is the development of our millitary-industrial complex.”

In fact, such work is more a task for the government than for the deputies. But it is logical to assume that the party going to parliament plans to have their representatives in the cabinet.

“Batkivshchyna” (Fatherland)

Finding an election newspaper of Batkivshchyna turned out to be a difficult task. Previously, Batkivshchyna was launching its Kyiv Newsletter at least in the capital. Last year, even the Ministry of Health denied the statement from their newsletter, calling the Batkivshchyna  vaccination statement “anti-scientific.” The VoxCheck team did not find any party volunteers with newspapers in any district of Kyiv, they did not answer phone calls during the preparation of this material, and the district cell numbers did not work at all. But we still managed to find another newspaper, the client of which is Homeland – Evening News. The newspaper looks like a regular news publication and is distributed on the streets for free. But on every page, the newspapers emphasize the importance of the Batkivshchyna  for the future coalition in parliament. The Batkivshchyna newspaper again raises questions about tariffs and says that Andriy Kobolev himself wrote out a premium for 2018 in the amount of UAH 286 million. This is a manipulation, since the salary of the head of the NJSC is also taken into account at UAH 286.5 million in the previous year’s remuneration. Of this amount, the premium for winning the Stockholm Arbitration is UAH 261 million, as stated in the Naftogaz report. And the decision to pay the premium to the management was made by an independent Supervisory Board of Naftogaz, not by Kobolev himself.

The last page of the edition was filled with political anecdotes, cartoons and voter memo – go to the polling station from 8 am to 8 pm, do not forget your passport, vote for “Batkivshchyna”.

In this year’s  program, we found a number of manipulations.

“We will  return the right for people   to have a doctor home visit.”

Obviously, this is about calling a family doctor home.  Nobody took that right from the people. Patients will be able  have their doctor home visit. And he will determine whether a visit to the patient is necessary, depending on medical records. If necessary, the doctor may also call for emergency medical assistance for the patient.

“The minimum pension will be raised to the level of UAH 3094. No pensioner will receive  pension less than the statutory retirement minimum living wage.”

Batkyvschyna proposes to raise the minimum pension to the level of the actual subsistence minimum for disabled people as of April 2019. This figure is calculated monthly by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine in accordance with Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On the subsistence minimum”. The party indicated in the program the specific value of the actual subsistence minimum, but every month, this figure changes and tends to increase. That is, the thesis that “will be raised to the level of UAH 3094” and “No pensioner will receive a pension less than the real subsistence minimum” contradict each other.

The party also confuses “actual subsistence” and “statutory subsistence”. These two definitions should be distinguished. Only the latter is approved in the law (the Law  On the state budget of Ukraine the) and for pensioners now makes 1564 UAH. This is the indicator used to set the minimum pension.

“An order that deprives pensions of working retirees will be abolished.”

None of the laws regarding the payment of pensions refers to the deprivation of pensions of working pensioners. There is only a rule that pension supplements and allowances are terminated when a non-working retiree gets a job.

“Golos” (The Voice)

The Voice party is the youngest among the participants of the parliamentary races. In their newsletter, they call for “bringing friends to the elections.” But they are betting on their leader Svyatoslav Vakarchuk and showman Serhiy Pritula, who also goes to parliament on the party list.

Among the promises, it is preferable to continue the current reforms: complete medical reform, improve e-governance in the country.

To analyze the Voice program, we have taken an extended version of it from the party’s website, since references to it are provided in the program on CEC website and in the newsletter itself. And found that some of the promises of the voice have already been partially fulfilled.

“We will insure free legal aid to all Ukrainians who need it”

Legal aid is already exists in Ukraine under the Law on Free Legal Aid . In particular, according to Ministry of Jusitce, there are 551 institutions in the country providing access to these legal services. There you can get advice, make statements and more. Ukrainians also have the opportunity to get a free lawyer for the trial.

“We will support Ukrainians in the occupied territories. <…> For those wishing to study in Ukrainian educational institutions access to education and obtaining documents of the Ukrainian model will be simplified.”

This already exists: applicants from Crimea and Donbass can enter universities under the simplified procedure. In addition, in June 2019, 35 centers were opened where applicants  from the occupied territories could enter universities without an EIE (External Independent Evaluation), a passport and a certificate. Upon graduation, they receive the same diplomas as the rest of the students.

Conclusion

On the eve of elections, political parties seek as much support voters support  as they can. And that is logical. However, by chasing votes, they can promise to do what already works, to try something that has not worked before, or to return what no one has ever taken from the Ukrainians.

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Disclaimer

The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations