MOSCOW, October 24 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainians will vote in early parliamentary elections on Sunday, October 26.
Under the Ukrainian Constitution, the parliament, called the Verkhovna Rada, is the one chamber, sole legislative authority in Ukraine.
The Verkhovna Rada is composed of 450 members of parliament, who are elected in universal, equal and direct elections by secret ballot for a term of five years.
Only Ukrainian citizens older than 21 who have lived in Ukraine for the previous five years are eligible to be elected to the Verkhovna Rada.
Elections are held every five years on the last Sunday of October. Members of parliament (also called people's deputies) are elected under a mixed voting system with a five percent threshold: 225 deputies are elected under a proportional representation system in a nationwide multi-mandate constituency from lists of candidates drawn up by the political parties; and 225 deputies are elected under a majority system in single-seat constituencies. The parliament starts its work only if at least 300 members are elected.
The nomination of candidates by political parties starts 90 days before Election Day and closes 79 days before Election Day. A candidate may only be included in the list of candidates from the parties or be nominated in a single-mandate constituency. The latter could be via a party or by way of self-nomination.
Candidates included in party election lists, which receive five percent or more of the popular vote, are entitled to participate in the distribution of deputies' mandates.
The winning candidate in a single-mandate constituency is the one who has received the most votes out of all the candidates.
The results of elections in both the nationwide and single-mandate constituencies need to be approved by the Central Election Commission a maximum of 15 days after the Election.
The last election took place in October 2012. On August 26 Poroshenko dissolved the Verkhovna Rada and declared an early parliamentary vote, saying that the composition of the parliament, elected under the presidency of ousted Viktor Yanukovych, was no longer relevant to the existing political situation.
A total of 29 political parties are expected to take part in the Verkhovna Rada election. Petro Poroshenko Bloc, backed by the incumbent president, is considered to be the undisputed leader, with an approval rating of about 25 percent.
Ukrainians will vote for the parliament's 424 members: 225 of them are to be elected by party lists, and 199 by single-seat constituencies.
Crimea, a former Ukrainian republic that refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new authorities in Kiev after the February coup and signed a reunification deal with Russia on March 18, will not take part in the elections.
Moreover, authorities in Ukraine’s breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk have stated they would not go to polls on October 26 or on December 7, which is a separate election day stipulated by President Poroshenko’s law that also granted them a special status.