Would Kyiv mayor Klitschko retain power after elections?
“It is quite difficult to retain power without holding the capital’s authorities,” Andriy Zolotariov, head of the Third Sector center, comments. And his colleague, political scientist Ruslan Bortnik, adds: “Zelensky’s team might want to consolidate the effect of victory in the presidential and parliamentary elections,” and therefore will also proclaim mayoral elections. Thus, the “election year” in Ukraine will continue, and Kyiv residents will again go to polling stations in late autumn to elect the capital's mayor and the new composition of the Kyiv city council.
There might be no legal obstacles on the way to the mayoral elections, but contradictions in the Zelensky’s team might be the reason. "On July 21, Servant of the People party might get a Pyrrhic victory. But if everything is ok, then early local elections will be proclaimed," Zolotariov assures.
In other words, if the mixed faction formed by the presidential party does not begin to quarrel and break up into groups in the first weeks of work, the probability of announcing early mayoral elections will increase by several times. What will happen to mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko? And will he be able to defend his seat and influence the course of parliamentary elections?
This year, Vitali Klitschko was one of the few politicians who decided to ignore the parliamentary elections. Klitschko’s Udarparty has delegated its people to compete in some single-mandate districts, but did not form a list. For some of the reviewers, this was a sign of pride and dignity, which the mayor unexpectedly discovered.
The mayor simply frankly abandoned the party work, and after his party was separated from Poroshenko’s Bloc, Udar quietly but surely slid to the side of the road. And yesterday's stars of political forces Klitschko fled away: Iryna Geraschenko - to Poroshenko's European Strategy, Olga Belkova became Batkivschina party member, and Pavlo Rizanenko hid under the wing of Vakarchuk’s Golos party.
Difficult times have come for Vitali Klitschko. He lost all his levers of influence as a politician. Klitschko left Poroshenko’s team but failed to ally another one. He is still able to agitate for certain participants in parliamentary races, but it is unlikely to do so. Although according to some other sources, Klitschko might still try to keep the mayor's chair.
When asked about whether Klitschko might somehow interest Zelensky, Bortnyk answers: “Klitschko’s fate will depend on two things: agreements with Zelensky’s team and his own ratings. Klitschko’s ratings are quite high, he is a key candidate for reelection, but Kyiv is the capital therefore, the events are directly dependent on the all-Ukrainian agenda. Therefore, if Zelensky’s team nominates its candidate for the elections, he can defeat Klitschko, although it will be very difficult because the capital is set to vote for Zelensky’s enemies - Poroshenko, Timoshenko and others like that. Therefore, it might be better to negotiate with Klitschko."
Ze!Team does not have its own “strong candidate capable of winning,” so it might suddenly choose Klitschko. At least, Kost Bondarenko is sure about that. Although Vadym Karasiov the director of the Institute of Global Strategies, says the opposite: Servant of the People has a candidate for the mayor’s seat, and this is Oleksandr Tkachenko. Although Karasiov argues that Tkachenko is already involved in a new job and performs well the tasks assigned to him.
So, it remains to win the parliamentary elections, and then the new Verkhovna Rada will proclaim the reset of the city council and the re-election of its head. At the same time, the mayoral chair and the post of head of the Kyiv city administration will most likely be occupied by the same person.
In short, the results are as follows: if Ze!Team persistently promotes its own candidate, Klitschko’s career will end. At least for the nearest future. What will he do after completing the cadence? “Who knows,” replies Karasiov. “Perhaps he would do some party-building activities.”
That is, soon the window of opportunity might open again. And not only for the Kyiv mayor. As for Klitschko, he recalls that he has another profession, he is a guide. Visiting Kyiv places of "glory" would be quite an interesting attraction.