Paul D'Anieri, Understanding Ukrainian Politics: Power, Politics, and Institutional Design, 2007.


Societal Divisions and the Challenge of Liberal Democracy in Ukraine

A great deal has been written about Ukraine's ethnic, linguistic, and national cleavages, and much of it has raised the question of whether these cleavages are an obstacle not only to democracy in Ukraine, but to the continued existence of the state. Especially in the early 1990s, a variety of well-informed authors warned of the danger that ethnic violence could rip Ukraine asunder much as it had Yugoslavia.1 The prospect of the Ukrainian state fragmenting territorially was raised again in late 2004 during the Orange Revolution. While the threat of secession quickly subsided, the sharp regional polarization of the vote reinforced the notion that Ukraine has a deeply divided society (see Map 5.1 on next page). The effects of Ukraine's domestic cleavages on its efforts to build democracy remain poorly understood, in large part because discussions of societal cleavages and institutional design have been carried out in isolation from one another. In this chapter and the next, we show how societal cleavages and institutional design influence each other in Ukraine.

Why Are Societal Cleavages Important?

The issue of societal cleavages is important to this book with respect to four specific questions, each of which is considered in this chapter. First, what effect do societal cleavages have on the political party system? While most theories of electoral laws find that the number of "effective parties" depends primarily on election laws, a considerable minority finds that social cleavages are also important factors. In this view, a greater number of societal cleavages increases the minimum number of parties possible in a system.2 Therefore, before discussing electoral systems in the next chapter, we need to explore the degree of societal fragmentation. Second, to the extent that cleavages exist in society, how easily are they bridged by political parties? An analysis of voting patterns in the Verkhovna Rada will examine this question. Third, to what extent do the cleavages influence the efforts of the executive branch to consolidate power? Finally, what conclusions can we draw about the debate over institutional reform? Do Ukraine's societal cleavages make certain institutional arrangements more or less likely to succeed?

To summarize the chapter's findings, Ukraine's societal cleavages present significant challenges for the political system, but they do not make liberal democracy impossible or even unlikely. However, these cleavages have significant implications for what kind of institutional rules are likely to work best. Ukraine's regional differences make it unlikely that a two-party system will emerge even under the most clever institutional design. It is likely that even ideologically similar political attitudes will be represented by different parties in different regions. There is no reason why cross-regional alliances between ideologically similar parties cannot be forged by elites in parliament, and, indeed, this appears to happen more often than is commonly believed. This has important implications for institutional design. The left-right cleavage has actually been more difficult to bridge. Kuchma shrewdly exploited this left-right cleavage, relying on the fact that both left and right feared each other more than they feared him.

For institutional reform, two clear conclusions emerge from a discussion of societal cleavages. First, since a two-party system is unlikely to emerge even under very restrictive electoral laws (single-member district plurality system), it makes sense to accept that a multiparty system is inevitable and to tailor the electoral laws accordingly. Second, if Ukraine is bound to have a multiparty system, it ought to have a parliamentary form of government: numerous authors have shown that multiparty systems are ill-suited to presidential rule.3 If this is true (and the finding is not controversial), then Ukraine's efforts to build a presidential democracy appear doomed. Thus, Ukraine's domestic cleavages do not make liberal democracy impossible, but they probably constrain the institutional forms that it might take.

Characterizing Ukraine's Cleavages

Ukraine's ethnic, linguistic, regional, and political cleavages have probably received more attention than any other aspect of contemporary Ukraine.4 Among the key questions asked in the literature are: (1) What is the nature of Ukraine's societal cleavage structure? and (2) What implications do these cleavages have for nation- and state-building? There is a fair degree of consensus on the nature of Ukraine's cleavage structure, but very little consensus on its prospects for the future or implications.

To simplify, we can view Ukraine as having partly overlapping regional, linguistic, and ethnic cleavages.5 We say "partly overlapping" because there tends to be a strong, but not complete, correlation between region, ethnic identification, and language use. In western Ukraine, people are more likely to speak Ukrainian and to identify themselves as ethnic Ukrainians than are people in eastern or southern Ukraine, who are more likely to identify themselves as ethnic Russians and as Russian speakers. However, there are significant qualifications to this generalization, the most important of which is the large number of people, especially in central and eastern Ukraine, who identify themselves as ethnic Ukrainians but tend to speak Russian.

In the literature that has emerged on this topic, a considerably more nu-anced view has developed. For example, various authors have developed multiregional categorizations to supplant the standard "east-west" dichotomy, which may obscure as much as it reveals.6 The western region of Galicia, comprising Lviv, Ternopil, and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts, is quite distinct from the rest of western Ukraine, and is not representative of that much larger part of the country, as is often assumed. Similarly, research has shown that mixed ethnic identification and mixed language use are rather common in Ukraine, complicating our views of those phenomena and of their influence on politics.7

Cleavages in the Ukrainian Parliament

While there clearly are significant cleavages in Ukraine, their effect on organized politics remains insufficiently explored, outside of the question of regional voting patterns. The most important question here is the extent to which Ukraine's societal cleavages explain the fragmentation and weakness of the parliament.8 For governing, the results of elections only partly determine outcomes; the ability of elites to forge compromises across groups is essential even in homogeneous societies. Extending that question, we must ask whether societal cleavages are so deep that forming a functional parliamentary majority will necessarily be difficult or even impossible. While there has been an extraordinary amount of survey research on Ukrainian public opinion, there has been little attempt to examine how it is manifested in parliament. This is odd, since there is wide consensus that parliamentarians in Ukraine are not tightly bound by their constituents' opinions.

Two partially competing hypotheses are examined here, representing different understandings of what drives politics in Ukraine's parliament. The first hypothesis is that politics is driven by regional, ethnic, and linguistic issues. The second is that politics is driven by left-right differences. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. It is possible that they overlap: that people of one region or one ethnic group tend to support one end of the political spectrum. It is also possible that both are salient, but that one is more salient than the other. Is linguistic/ethnic identity stronger or weaker than left/right identity? How much?

To answer these questions, this section of the chapter examines the voting records of various political factions during the spring of 2000. We choose this period to examine because, in the parliament elected in 2002, presidential pressure on the parliament may have overwhelmed any tendency toward regional or ethnic fragmentation. If mat fragmentation is not present in this earlier period, we can be more confident in the conclusion that it can be overcome. The goal is to examine the extent to Which factional voting overlaps with the regional bases for the factions' support. Do factions that base their support primarily in the east vote the same way? Do those from different regions tend to vote differently? To what extent do factions with similar left/right orientations vote similarly? Which of these two cleavages seems to dominate?

Conceptual and Methodological Issues

In studying cleavages in Ukrainian society, scholars have run into a tangle of conceptual and methodological problems around the definition of different aspects of identity and the distinction of one aspect from others. These problems create substantial difficulties for the interpretation of empirical information.

First, surveys on linguistic identity and ethnic identity tend to work with exclusive categories, while the reality in Ukraine is one of blending and mixing.9 It is possible, for example, to use a survey to discover what language a person speaks "at home" and hence to categorize that person as a speaker of that language. In reality, the majority of Ukrainians have some facility in both languages, and in practice there is a fair amount of mixing of the two languages. This mixing of identities creates a dilemma for the researcher. Either one forces people into categories that exaggerate differences (e.g., defining people as "Ukrainian speakers" or "Russian speakers" when they are both, or defining people as ethnically "Ukrainian" or "Russian" when they define themselves as mixed), or one ends up with huge numbers of people in "mixed" categories that do not allow distinctions to be made.

Second, as noted above, there is a significant but not complete overlap between three cleavages in Ukraine: ethnic, linguistic, and regional. There is even some overlap between these divisions and left-right cleavages: the most prominent leftist party (the communists) derives its support disproportionately from Russian speakers in eastern and southern Ukraine, while rightist parties are weakest in those regions and strongest in the west, where use of the Ukrainian language and self-identification as Ukrainian are highest. The overlap in cleavages makes it difficult to say in any given case which cleavage or cleavages is causing a particular effect, although statistical techniques such as multiple regression can help in this regard. Lowell Barrington, for example, relies on multiple regression to show that there is a regional dimension to Ukrainian politics distinct from ethnic or linguistic issues.10 Paul Kubicek characterizes this gap in attitudes between eastern and western Ukraine as "enormous."11 Rather than try to sort out all these issues, the analysis that follows concentrates on regional identification. Region has been found to be a powerful correlate of voting in Ukrainian elections.12 The question is how directly that cleavage is transmitted into parliament, or to what extent parliamentary politics cut across the regional divide.

The regional distinction can be seen in proportional list voting in the 2002 parliamentary elections (see Table 5.1). All of the major parties gained a disproportionate share of their vote in one region, and were largely ineffective in at least one region. Most notably Kuchma's United Ukraine, despite its incredible resources (see Chapter Nine) was even more heavily dependent upon the eastern region than was the Communist Party.

This regional difference was even more pronounced in the 1999 presidential elections, in which Leonid Kuchma's margin of victory came almost entirely in the west of the country, where, despite widespread dissatisfaction with Kuchma, most voters considered the communists a greater evil (see Table 5.2 page 109). This "lesser evil" explanation is confirmed in the 2002 parliamentary elections, in which Kuchma's United Ukraine bloc received only 4.4 percent of the vote in the west.13

These cleavages were unchanged by the Orange Revolution. As Map 5.1 on page 104 shows, voting in the rerun of the second round of the 2004 presidential elections was highly polarized regionally. By 2006, little had changed. The parties that had supported Yushchenko in 2004 (Our Ukraine, Socialist Party, Tymoshenko Bloc) won the same regions and combined to win the same overall proportion of the vote as Yushchenko had in 2004. Similarly, those forces that had supported Yanukovych in 2004 (Party of Regions, Communist Party) won the same proportion of the overall vote and the same regions as Yanukovych had in 2004.14

Table 5.1

Regional Distribution of Parties' Support, 2002 Parliamentary Elections

Percentage of party's overall proportional representation vote received in:

Party/blocEast          South          Central          West          

Our Ukraine





United Ukraine




















Social-Democratic Party

of Ukraine (United)





Source: Ukrainian Central Election Commission data; author's calculations.

Note: Rows may not total to 100 percent due to rounding. In this and the other tables in this chapter, the regions are divided up as follows: east—Chernihiv, Dnipropetrovs'k, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Sumy oblasts; south—Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odesa, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts as well as Sevastopol City and the Crimean Autonomous Republic; central—Cherkasy, Kirovohrad, Kyiv, Poltava, and Vinnytsa oblasts and Kyiv City; west— Chernivtsi, Ivano-Frankivs'k, Khmel'nyts'ki, Lviv, Rivne, Ternopil, and Volyn oblasts. The regions are not equal in the number of voters; hence, the tendency by all parties for high reliance on the east and low reliance on the south. Numbers of voters in the 1998 parliamentary elections were: east—8.7 million; south—4.7 million; center—6.6 million; west—5.5 million.

There can be little doubt that there are serious regional differences in Ukraine. The question remains, however, whether this societal cleavage is transmitted directly into the parliament, or whether electoral laws and parliamentary politics help to bridge the gaps in society.

Even determining the regional origin of members of parliament is difficult. For 225 members (half of the parliament elected in 1998 and 2002) the matter seems straightforward: they were elected in territorially defined districts. However, a candidate could run in any constituency where he or she could collect sufficient signatures to be nominated. So knowing where a candidate was elected tells us something about the electoral pressures that candidate might have catered to, but it does not necessarily tell us where that candidate was from (in fact, few candidates ran in districts where they did not live or had not lived previously).

Table 5.2

Regional Breakdown of Vote, 1999 Presidential Election, Second Round
Kuchma 52.4 49.3 50.5 85.5
Symonenko 47.6 50.7 49.5 14.5

Source: Ukrainian Central Election Commission data; author's calculations.

For the other half, elected on party lists, the task is even more difficult. All of these candidates had residence information listed with the Central Electoral Commission. But a disproportionate number of them listed residences in Kyiv because they were party elites or governmental officials and residing in Kyiv. So to use this measure would wipe out any possibility of finding an east/west divide in parliament, because many politicians from every region would be defined as from Kyiv.

However, there is a partial if not fully satisfactory solution, which is adopted here. Rather than focusing on individual legislators, we focus on parliamentary factions. In the party list section of the ballot, voting is highly regionalized: parties that did well in the west did poorly in the east, and so on (see Tables 5.3 and 5.4). So parties can be identified in terms of region, even if individual members cannot. Since, as will be discussed below, voting in parliament (at least in the period in question) was largely along party lines, we can achieve a reasonable assessment of the situation by examining it in terms of parties rather than individuals.

There are some problems here as well, because parties and "factions" in parliament come into and out of existence frequently. This analysis uses data from the 1998-2002 parliament, but because of shifting faction composition, we do not have election data on all the factions present in the sample of parliamentary votes (see Table 5.4). For the others, we must rely on data from single-member districts (see Table 5.3): by looking at members in the faction elected in single-member districts, we can see where they were elected. Together, these two indicators give us a good idea of where different factions' support was based. In the cases where both indicators are available for the same faction (Communist, Socialist, Greens, National Democratic Party, Rukh), they tend to give consistent results, increasing our confidence about the factions for which only single-member district data are available.

Data: Regional Cleavages in the Verkhovna Rada

Tables 5.3 and 5.4 show the regional bases for different factions' support. The differences are substantial. Most important for our purposes, we can identify four factions (Communist Party, National Democratic Party, Batkivshchina [forerunner of the Tymoshenko Bloc], and Trudova) as deriving at least 40-percent of their support from the eastern region of Ukraine, which has the highest concentrations (outside Crimea) of ethnic Russians and Russian speakers. If one focuses primarily on the ethnicity/language question, rather than on the region, one could focus on a group including Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Luhansk, where Russian-speaking populations are most numerous. The results do not differ substantially, but they would indicate slightly greater dependence of the Communist Party on this bloc of regions, and slightly less dependence of the other three parties.

Table 5.3

Party Support Across Regions: Single-Member Districts, 1998 Parliamentary Election
Party of Ukraine
(Kostenko) (Udovenko) Rukh
Green       National
of Ukraine
Reforms Regions Batkivshchina Trudova Solid.
% from East51200003347131128504829

Source: Rada Web site, accessed June 20-25, 2000, author's calculations.

Note: Regional origins and parliamentary faction affiliation of the single-member district deputies on April 6, 2000. Independent deputies and vacant seats not included.

Table 5.4

Support Across Regions (Selected Parties1): 1998 Proportional Representation (PR) Voting
(% of each party's PR vote gained in various regions)

East       South      Center       West      
Communist Party of Ukraine 46.2 24.4 22.1 7.3
Rukh2 18.1 7.0 22.0 53.0
Socialist Party of Ukraine/Peasants3 22.8 12.5 49.9 14.8


43.5 14.5 25.7 16.3
National Democratic Party 46 17.6 37.7 27.8

Source: Ukrainian Central Election Commission data; author's calculations.


  1. Only the five parties that passed the 4 percent threshold in the 1998 parliamentary elections and were still active in the parliament in June 2000 are included here.
  2. The Rukh faction divided into two factions in 1999.
  3. The Socialist/Peasants faction was disbanded in early 2000. Many of its members continued to serve in the Socialist faction.

Does Region Drive Parliamentary Voting?

Clearly, voting for parties is strongly affected by region. The question is whether these differences continue to manifest themselves in parliament. If parliamentary politics in Ukraine are driven by regional differences, we should see those parties dependent on votes from eastern Ukraine voting similarly. This is examined by looking at controversial roll-call votes in the Ukrainian parliament from the months of March, April, and May of 2000 (after the Communist/ Socialist coalition had lost the leadership of the Rada). The figures in Table 5.5 indicate how often various parties voted together on sixty-eight roll-call votes, representing every roll-call vote in the months of March, April, and May 2000 in which at least 100 deputies voted for and against the measure. The point of selecting cases this way was to eliminate cases that were not controversial15 and to maximize variation in the sample: when every faction votes the same way, we gain no insight into the differences across them.

Table 5.5

Frequency with Which Ukrainian Political Parties Vote Together, Sixty-eight Roll-Call Votes, March-May 2000 (%)

CPURukh-KSPUGreenNDPSDPUReformRegions Rukh-U Batkiv.Trudova
Socialist Party of Ukraine92.617.6
National Democratic Party 1.473.58.895.6
Social-Democratic Party
of Ukraine (United)
4.470.6 4.492.792.6
Reform 22.164.725 77.969.167.6
Rukh-Udovenko10.369.113.2 80.175 7563.275
Trudova2.972.110.395.697. 83.8
Solidamist11.758.85.880.179.41461.879.466.273.5 83.8

Source: Rada,; accessed June 20-25, 2000, author's calculations.

Regional Voting Patterns Do Not Dominate in Parliament

The results are somewhat surprising. They show that the parties that were strongest in eastern Ukraine did not vote as a bloc: Batkivshchina (Yulia Tymoshenko's faction) voted with the Communists only 14.7 percent of the time, and the National Democratic Party (NDP) and Trudova factions were almost always opposed to the Communists, voting with them only 1.4 and 2.9 percent of the time, respectively. Even more surprising, the two factions of Rukh, with heavy support in the west and strongly identified with Ukrainian nationalism, voted with the Communists somewhat more often than did the other "eastern" parties (Rukh-Kostenko 19.1 percent of the time and Rukh-Udovenko 10.3 percent of the time). Only the Socialist faction consistently voted with the Communists (92.6 percent of the time). The Socialists, however, had only moderate support in eastern Ukraine (22.8 percent of their proportional representation [PR] vote,16 and only one member from a single-member district [SMD] constituency there), and instead depended heavily on central Ukraine (49.9 percent of their PR vote, and two of their five SMD members).

Batkivshchina, Trudova, and NDP, the other three parties that relied heavily on support from eastern Ukraine, voted with each other over 80 percent of the time, often in conjunction with parties based in other regions. For example, the NDP voted with Rukh-Kostenko, based almost exclusively in the west, 73.5 percent of the time.

In sum, there were two opposing forces among parties that were elected primarily in the east, and they rarely worked in concert. These two forces were roughly equal in size: at the time studied here, April 2000, the Communist faction had 115 members, while Batkivshchina, Trudova, and NDP combined had 96, indicating a somewhat even divide in strength among "eastern" forces in parliament.17 Both of those forces found their most frequent allies in other regions, including the western region of Ukraine. Alliances between west and east are particularly significant because those are the two regions most often seen to be in opposition.

The Salience of Traditional Left-Right Cleavages

A focus on left-right cleavages works better to explain voting patterns. If we interpret the left-right hypothesis to mean that parties at opposite ends of the spectrum will vote together least often, it is only partly confirmed. Categorization of parties as left, center, and right, is presented in Table 5.6. As indicated in Table 5.5, the most strongly rightist parties (the two Rukh factions and Reforms Congress) consistently voted together, as did the two leftist parties (the Communist and Socialist Parties).18 These left and right parties rarely vote together. It is interesting to note that the rightist parties each vote more often with the centrist coalition than with each other.

Table 5.6

Left-Right Orientations of Factions in Ukrainian Parliament, 2000

Left               Center                    Right     
Communist National Democratic Party Reforms Congress
Socialist Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (United) Rukh-Kostenko
Greens Rukh-Udovenko
Revival of the Regions

Sources: Paul D'Anieri, Robert Kravchuk, and Taras Kuzio, Politics and Society in Ukraine (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1999), 158; Alexander Ott, Parteien undMachtstrukturen in der Ukraine von 1991 bis 1998 (Cologne: Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, 1999), 137; and analysis of faction/party programs.

This pattern is explained by a third cleavage that will be discussed below: support or opposition to President Kuchma, which became an increasingly salient factor over time, and which by 2003 was the defining factor in Ukrainian political alignments. This will also explain why the far right parties voted with the far left more often than ideology would predict: they shared an antipathy to Kuchma and had a common interest in blocking some of his measures.

To summarize, there is relatively little evidence that language, ethnic, or regional issues are driving forces in the Ukrainian parliament, or that they prevent tactical alliances between ideologically compatible groups. Most of the voting behavior occurred along left-right, rather than regional, cleavages. This does not mean that there are no regional and linguistic identities in the parliament. On the contrary, the fact that parties tend to be identified largely with particular regions means that there is a strong regional flavor to much of what is going on. But on difficult issues, parties from the same regions do not vote together. So despite the strong regional flavor of Ukraine's party system, parties in parliament are driven primarily by left-right rather than by linguistic or ethnic issues. The conclusion will address the reasons for this state of affairs and their implications.

Leonid Kuchma Between Left and Right

The ability of Kuchma to prevent his enemies from uniting went far beyond normal parliamentary politics. The content of the 1996 constitution, which will be detailed in the next chapter, provides a central example. The rightist forces were willing to transfer power from the parliament to the executive not because of any principle or belief about good constitutional design, but because the left controlled parliament at that time. The right was more concerned with weakening the left than with building strong institutions. Kuchma shrewdly facilitated this decision by granting nationalist parties some of their key goals on language and symbolic issues. By splitting the left from the right, Kuchma triumphed.

Kuchma used the same tactics, but switched allies, when faced with the growing popularity of rightist Prime Minister Yushchenko in 2001. Kuchma's centrist allies in parliament allied with the communists against Yushchenko, abandoning the center-right alliance that previously existed. The communists opposed Yushchenko more than Kuchma, so they went along, even though this strengthened Kuchma's hand even further.

The pattern continued in protests in early 2002 following revelations concerning the Gongadze case. The Gongadze case had little effect on left-right differences in "the parliament, but divided center and rightist parties along their support or opposition to Kuchma.19 Despite growing opposition to Kuchma from all sides, the left and right were never able to form a "popular front" to get rid of him. The socialists, led by Moroz, were willing to work with the rightists, but the communists continued to refuse. Expressing his contempt for Viktor Yushchenko, Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) leader Petro Symonenko stated that Yushchenko's team and that of the president were "one and the same."20 This continued a dynamic in which, if it looked as if Kuchma might fall and the right come to power, the communists would back Kuchma.

The 2002 Parliament

The data presented above help to explain why Leonid Kuchma was so successful in fending off challenges from parliament. They show a distinct left-right division in parliament. By placing himself between the left and right on key issues, Kuchma was consistently able to forge an alliance with one against the other. From the perspective of the right, Kuchma, however problematic, was preferable to the left, and vice versa. At the same time, even the right itself found it difficult to maintain a unified position, prompting one observer to state: "Kuchma seems securely in power today, as other Soviet holdovers have been throughout Ukraine's 10 years of independence, for a simple reason: Liberal democrats here fight more among themselves than against their foes."21

Table 5.7

Orientations of Ukrainian Political Parties, 2003-2004

Pro-KuchmaUnited Ukraine, Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (United), Party of Regions (plus smaller oligarchic parties)
AmbivalentCommunist PartyOur Ukraine
Anti-Kuchma Socialist PartyBloc of Yulia Tymoshenko

However, the occasional alliances between left and right became increasingly frequent after 2000, finally being cemented in the 2004 presidential election and the ensuing protests. Kuchma's self-aggrandizement increased the salience of a second dimension of political preferences: whether one is pro- or anti-Kuchma. This created a two-dimensional policy space. The first dimension was the left-right one, discussed above, which entails positions on economic issues as well as positions on national identity and foreign policy orientations. The second dimension was the orientation toward Kuchma himself and his rule of the country. As Table 5.7 indicates, these two cleavages cross-cut one another. Only the centrist (oligarchic) factions consistently supported Kuchma. Oddly, the farthest left and right groups, the communists and Yushchenko's Our Ukraine, were most ambivalent about Kuchma, perhaps because both feared that the other would strike an alliance with him.22 The Socialist Party and the Tymoshenko Bloc, which lay between the communists and Our Ukraine on the left-right spectrum, lay outside them on the pro/anti-Kuchma spectrum. These two groups announced after the 2002 elections an unwillingness to align with the pro-presidential factions, and later were most dedicated to forcing Kuchma from office.23

Previously, the distance between left and right had exceeded the distance between either of those groups and Kuchma. However, as the confrontation between branches increased, Kuchma's distance from both left and right increased, while he held on to a considerable group in the center. As the "Kuchma" dimension continued to increase in salience, it made more sense for left and right to ally against him. Early signs of this alliance were visible in the 2002 parliamentary elections and in the policies of the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU) and the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko. In the 1998 parliament, Tymoshenko's Batkivshchina voted consistently with the pro-presidential parties, and was generally thought of as leftist. The SPU was unabashedly leftist, voting over 90 percent of die time with the CPU. In other words, the left-right cleavage dominated the 1998 parliament, as indicated by the data presented above. Following the 2002 parliamentary elections, Yushchenko strongly considered joining die pro-presidential factions to form a majority. By late 2002, however, both the Socialists and Tymoshenko's Bloc had reached an informal alliance with the right opposition bloc Our Ukraine. Indeed, a more formal alliance may have been formed at this time had not Viktor Yushchenko hesitated to ally formally with Tymoshenko and Moroz.24

Following the 2002 parliamentary elections, the pro/anti-Kuchma axis increasingly dominated. Even the CPU considered joining the anti-Kuchma alliance, though it backed out as it became apparent that Yushchenko would be the alliance's candidate in the 2004 presidential election. In late 2002, for example, Moroz, Tymoshenko, Symonenko, and Yushchenko issued a joint declaration concerning the "beginning of a state revolution in Ukraine."25 A lasting alliance, however, did not materialize. Symonenko ruled out the idea that the four might put forward a single presidential candidate, saying "One needs to take a realistic look at things: It's impossible to propose a single candidate from such different forces."26 In sum, at key junctures both the left and the right put their ideological antipathy toward one another ahead of their mutual opposition to Kuchma and to the abuse of power that characterized his regime. Both were willing to ally with Kuchma at the expense of their adversary, and Kuchma deftly exploited this tendency.

Assessing the prospects for the 2004 presidential election, Yuri Kostenko, leader of the Ukrainian People's Party (one of the splinters of Rukh), expressed considerable confidence that, in contrast to the past, rightist and moderate leftist forces (including the Socialist Party and the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko) could unite behind a single candidate, but he remained skeptical mat the Communists could be brought on board, despite the fact that the latter's chances of winning appeared even lower in 2004 man in 1999. The Communists continued to prefer Kuchma to the right.27 Symonenko acknowledged the Communists' dilemma in 2002. The Communists, he said, hope to collaborate with other opposition groups while opposing Yushchenko's presidential candidacy, and simultaneously warning the opposition against allowing "the ruling regime to use ideological differences between opposition groups [to pursue] its dirty and greedy interests."28 He preferred an alliance of leftist groups that would oppose both Yushchenko and Kuchma.29 Ultimately, he ran in the 2004 election, coming in a distant third to Yanukovych and Yushchenko in the first round, and playing almost no role in the events that followed. The Communist Party won only 3.7 percent of the vote in the 2006 parliamentary election, indicating that it may at last be a spent force in Ukraine.

Table 5.8

Shifting Alliances in Ukrainian Politics, 2000-2006

Communists allied withKuchma/Party of Regions Rightists allied with Kuchma/Party of Regions Rightists allied with Communists
Dismissal of Yushchenko as prime minister, 2001 Formation of parliamentary majority, 2000 Support for proportional election law, 2000-2001, 2004
Approval of constitutional change, 2004 Vote forYekhanurov as prime minister, 2005 Distribution of committee chairs in Rada, 2002*
Nomination of Yanukovych as prime minister, 2006

*Our Ukraine, the Socialist Party of Ukraine, the Communist Party of Ukraine, and the Tymoshenko Bloc agreed on a distribution of chairs among them and sought to get it passed, but failed. See Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Newsline 6, no. 100, Part II, May 30, 2002.

By the end of 2003, the Yushchenko-Tymoshenko-Moroz alliance had consolidated, with Yushchenko claiming: "The effectiveness of the opposition Three, its unity, and respect for the mutual commitments of its participants— all of these strengthen our confidence in victory."30 At the same time, the chances that the Communist Party would ally itself with this group seemed as distant as ever when the CPU provided the crucial votes supporting the first reading of Kuchma's May 2004 constitutional provisions.31

Shifting Alliances

We have seen that, depending on the interests at stake, all of the major forces in Ukrainian politics have been able to align with almost any of the others. To demonstrate this, we can list the crucial issues since 2000 on which tactical alliances have been struck between various groups (see Table 5.8).

These political maneuverings indicate that a categorical statement about the effects of cleavages on party coalitions is not possible. Clearly, it was very difficult to form an alliance against Kuchma. For several years, left and right could not come together. But when the stakes were high enough, as Kuchma became more authoritarian and the 2004 election approached, various parties made the necessary compromises. Thus, while coalition-building in Ukraine is difficult, it is not impossible. This was made even more clear in early 2005 after the Orange Revolution, when Yushchenko was able to win over many of the formerly pro-Kuchma deputies in his efforts to get his cabinet approved. In September 2005, alliances had shifted again, with Tymoshenko opposing Yushchenko, and Yushchenko allying with his former nemesis, Viktor Yanukovych. The negotiations over a parliamentary majority coalition and a government following the 2006 parliamentary elections saw several combinations put forth as realistic possibilities:

1. Tymoshenko Bloc, Our Ukraine, Socialist Party (the "Orange Coalition")

2. Party of Regions, Socialist Party, Communist Party (the "Anti-Crisis Coalition," which elected Oleksandr Moroz speaker of parliament)

3. Party of Regions, Our Ukraine, Socialist Party, the coalition that finally formed a government with Yanukovych as prime minister..

That Yushchenko and Yanukovych could join forces is powerful evidence that the regional cleavages that so sharply define voting in Ukraine do not define postelection bargaining. In the 2006 bargaining, only two combinations were considered impossible: An "East-East" coalition of the Party of Regions and Tymoshenko Bloc and a "grand coalition" that would include either the Tymoshenko Bloc or Our Ukraine and the Communists.

Implications of Parliamentary Voting Patterns

Two important conclusions emerge from this analysis of left-right divisions in the parliament. First, Ukraine is a more "normal" country than has typically been appreciated, in that it is dominated primarily by a left-right cleavage. The regional differences have exactly the effects predicted by theorists of comparative electoral systems such as Duverger and Neto and Cox: political parties are defined both by region and ideology, such that common ideological positions will be represented by different parties in different regions.32

Second, nothing in Ukraine's societal cleavages makes a majority coalition impossible. This point is echoed by Roman Solchanyk, who states: "it is fairly clear that regionalism and, in particular, ethnicity and language, although important, do not amount to the 'great divide' that some had detected."33 This is the crucial point, for the contrary argument was used by Kuchma, and accepted by many in the West, to justify continuing expansion of presidential power. Two tenuous pro-presidential majorities were formed, one in 2000 and one in 2002-3. Barring active measures by Kuchma to prevent it, a more stable, opposition-led majority could have been formed following the 2002 parliamentary elections. Equally important, parties from across the political spectrum have shown the ability to form alliances when it serves their interests. In 2006, a much more robust coalition was formed, even though it took a great deal of negotiation. Moreover, as we will see in subsequent chapters, other measures could substantially increase the likelihood of forming and maintaining a stable majority.

Societal Cleavages and the Design of Ukraine's Institutions

While Ukraine's societal cleavages do not form an insurmountable barrier to creating either a liberal democracy in general or a working parliamentary majority in particular, they do have important implications for the design of Ukraine's institutions. While these points will be explored in greater detail in the following chapters, we summarize the implications here, as a way of concluding this discussion. Three points in particular result from the finding that regional divisions tend to lead toward a greater number of parties than would occur in a homogenous society. First, there is little chance of creating a two-party system in Ukraine, so design of electoral laws should focus more on creating the most effective multiparty system possible. Second, it follows that there will almost certainly be post-election coalition-building in order to create a majority in parliament. Therefore, the rules within the parliament that govern coalition building and party control over deputies should be carefully constructed. Finally, and perhaps most controversially, if Ukraine cannot have a two-party system, it should not have a presidential form of government.

If we assume that Ukraine's regional differences are not easily surmountable and will not simply evaporate in the short term, then no election law will lead to a two-party system. As Duverger and others point out, a single-member district plurality system will lead to a two-party alignment within each distinguishable region. Only when a country consists of a single homogeneous space will this create two parties at the national level. "A two party format is impossible—under whatever electoral system—if racial, linguistic, ideologically alienated single-issue, or otherwise incoercible minorities (which cannot be represented by two major mass parties) are concentrated in above-plurality proportions in particular constituencies or geographical pockets."34 Therefore, even if Ukraine were to adopt the strongest election law possible to reduce the number of parties, a multiparty system would still result, and postelection coalition-building would be needed.

However, this finding does not mean that Ukraine should simply adopt a full PR system and move on. As Neto and Cox show, both the number of cleavages and the electoral law have an effect on the number of parties, and their interaction tends to have a multiplicative effect.35 In other words, Ukraine's regional divisions are likely to increase the number of parties under any electoral rule. "A polity will have many parties only if it both has many cleavages and has a permissive enough electoral system to allow political entrepreneurs to base separate parties on these cleavages."36 Thus, a copy of the German electoral law would likely lead to a higher number of parties in Ukraine than in Germany. The implication for electoral law design is that even under a full PR system, a relatively restrictive version might be needed to keep the number of parties reasonable. It is worth noting, however, that in both the 1998 and 2002 parliamentary elections, a relatively small number of blocs was elected to parliament under the PR portion of the ballot (eight in 1998; six in 2002). The number of parties elected did not by itself present a serious obstacle to the construction of a majority coalition. In 2006, even the very low 3 percent threshold was high enough to eliminate many parties, leaving only five parties to negotiate a coalition.

Second, if a two-party system is impossible or nearly so, building and maintaining coalitions after elections will remain a crucial part of the process. In this, Ukraine has been rather deficient. Following the 1998 parliamentary election, haggling over the speakership went on for months, and once a speaker was elected, the coalition that had elected him collapsed. In 2000, under heavy pressure from Kuchma, a new majority was formed that ousted the leadership chosen in 1998, but the new coalition was ephemeral, and simply crumbled once its main task—ousting the leftist parliamentary leadership—had been accomplished. A second coalition was built, again with great difficulty and with significant pressure and inducements from the president, following parliamentary elections in 2002. This coalition was hardly a stable majority, for it held together only in some situations. In 2006, the process of building a coalition was characterized by intense bargaining, defection from existing agreements, and the threat of new elections. While this process and it results were widely criticized, it did eventually produce a coalition through democratic means.

Electoral laws will not remedy the difficulties in post-election coalition-building, though they might help. Only in two-party systems, of which there are few in the world, is coalition-building unnecessary. In all other systems, including most of the prospering liberal democracies of Western Europe, coalitions are formed and maintained by bargaining after elections. As we will see in Chapter Eight, the rules of the parliament will determine whether this will occur more successfully in Ukraine. For example, greater control by party leaders over party list seats should help prevent members from abandoning their party and undermining their coalition. The amendments that went into effect in 2006 appeared to improve the situation on this score, but it remains uncertain how they will function in the long run.

Third, if it is correct that, due to its societal cleavages, Ukraine is very unlikely to develop a two-party system, then there is serious reason to doubt that it can build a functioning democracy under a presidential system. This startling conclusion stems from applying to Ukraine a finding that has pertained across the world. The point will be explored in greater detail in the following chapter, and is only summarized here.

The bulk of opinion in political science, citing what Juan Linz called the "perils of presidentialism," finds that in new democracies, presidential systems are likely to lead to an aggrandizement of presidential power that undermines democracy.37 There remains debate on that question, however, and increasingly, scholars are offering less categorical answers, saying instead that "it depends." Especially when democratization must be accompanied by rapid economic reform, many have advocated the concentrated power of presidentialism as a means of overcoming entrenched interests that often can hamper reform in parliament.38 Ukraine demonstrates the validity of both arguments. Many reformers, both within Ukraine and in the West, welcomed the strengthening of Kuchma's powers as a means of overcoming the leftist parliament (as they welcomed Yeltsin's defeat of Russia's leftist parliament). Kuchma's abuse of power, however, convinced many of those same people that the presidency must be reined in.

What that discussion has missed, however, is another much less controversial finding: for presidential systems to avoid conflict and breakdown, the country in question must have a two-party system. For a variety of reasons, scholars argue, coalition-building among multiple parties is nearly impossible when the right to choose the government is not present as an incentive for parties to compromise. And while Brazil may be establishing a counterexample, all stable presidential systems in the world have two-party systems. Moreover, faced with a fragmented parliament, presidents are more likely to circumvent the parliament than to build a majority coalition. This has certainly been true in Ukraine. Therefore, whatever one thinks of presidentialism in general, it seems clear that it is unsuited to Ukraine, where the societal cleavage structure makes a two-party system unlikely even with the strongest of electoral laws.

These arguments imply that unless the bargain struck in late 2004 effectively moves the country toward a parliamentary system, the problems Ukraine experienced under Kuchma are likely to recur. This conclusion goes against the standard American practice of categorizing leaders as "good" or "bad" and seeking simply to have the "good" ones in power. The United States supported Kuchma over the communists, and then supported Yushchenko over Kuchma. However, as Americans should know better than anyone, the institutional context matters. Global experience indicates that, sooner or later, an unchecked presidency and a fragmented parliament will lead Ukraine back into a situation similar to that under Kuchma. If multiparty presidentialism is to be preserved in Ukraine, serious thought will have to be given to the problem of how this model, which has failed nearly everywhere else it has been tried, can be made to succeed in Ukraine.


This chapter has made no attempt to answer in the abstract the question of whether Ukraine is "ready" for democracy. Instead, that question has been answered by inquiring about the identifiable effects of societal cleavages on politics. Unless we can identify some essential part of liberal democracy that is made impossible by societal divisions, we cannot conclude that those cleavages are an insurmountable obstacle to democracy. There are, of course, examples of countries with strong linguistic, religious, or ethnic cleavages that function well as democracies, including Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, and Spain. Closer to Ukraine, the Baltic states, with divisions between titular nationality groups and ethnic Russians or Russian speakers, have surmounted the problem. Even Ukraine itself provides ample evidence: in the post-Soviet period the issue of linguistic and ethnic conflict has receded in importance, and while concerns remain, there are fewer chances of violence or secession than is the case in several of the liberal democracies mentioned above (e.g., Spain). Supporting this argument is much broader research on societal attitudes in Ukraine, which demonstrates that Ukrainian attitudes toward government support the building of democracy.39

However, Ukraine's differences, most notably considerable ideological differences between left and right and the continued salience of regional identities, have important effects on politics in the country and on what type of institutional arrangements are likely to succeed. Again, Ukraine is not unusual in this respect. Every country in the world has institutions tailored to its particular challenges. In the case of the divided societies mentioned above, federalism and consociationalism have been the remedies of choice. Ukraine has shown that it does not need these to cohere as a state.40

This chapter has shown two important effects of Ukraine's divisions. First, different cleavages seem predominant at different levels. At the level of elections, regional effects have a strong influence. This holds for both presidential and parliamentary elections. Within the parliament, however, left-right cleavages outweighed regional factors (and then were themselves overshadowed by conflict over Kuchma himself). It seems likely that in the post-Kuchma era, ideological cleavages will continue to dominate politics between elections, while region will continue to influence voting behavior. However, there will be a powerful incentive for all political parties to try to overcome their regional boundaries, because those that do will have the potential to increase their support considerably.

Second, the cleavage structure has an important intervening influence on the effects of different institutional arrangements. Electoral laws have different effects in divided societies as compared with homogeneous ones. Ukraine is almost certainly destined to have a multiparty system because there is no known electoral system that leads to a two-party system in a regionally divided state. Ukraine therefore should adopt appropriate rules to make the best of this reality. This might include not only electoral laws, but rules for forming and breaking coalitions within the parliament. More important, given the widely held view that the combination of multipartism and presidentialism is unlikely to yield stable democracy, Ukraine should adopt a parliamentary system. It remains unclear whether the partial shift toward parliamentarism following the Orange Revolution will suffice to avoid the dangers of multiparty presidentialism.

The task for the following chapters, therefore, is to further explore the formal institutional context in which Ukrainian politics operates. This chapter has allowed us to understand the societal constraints within which Ukraine's institutions must operate because it is crucial to discuss formal institutions not in the abstract, but with regard to the realistic limitations that are present. Two vital questions that emerge from this chapter will motivate the next two chapters. First, how do Ukraine's constitutional arrangements—most important, the distribution of power between the president and parliament—influence politics in the country? Second, how do lower-level institutional arrangements, including electoral laws and rules concerning parliament's function, mesh with the societal realities outlined here? There is no reason, as this chapter has shown, why bridging Ukraine's societal divisions requires a substantial impairment of liberal democracy. We must continue to dig, therefore, to identify the sources of electoral authoritarianism in Ukraine and to begin to suggest how its resurgence might be prevented.


1. Roman Solchanyk, Ukraine and Russia: The Post-Soviet Transition (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001), 135-36. For predictions of Ukraine's collapse, see among others: "Ukraine: The Birth and Possible Death of a Country," Economist, May 7, 1994; Eugene B. Rumer, "Letter from Eurasia: Will Ukraine Return to Russia?" Foreign Policy, no. 96 (Fall 1994): 129^4; P. Klebnikov, "Tinderbox," Forbes, September 9, 1996; and F. Stephen Larabee, "Ukraine: Europe's Next Crisis?" Arms Control Today, 24, no. 6 (July/August 1994): 14-19.

2. Studies deriving the number of parties primarily from cleavage structures are listed in Octavio Amorim Neto and Gary Cox, "Electoral Institutions, Cleavage Structures, and the Number of Parties," American Journal of Political Science 41, no. 1 (January 1999): 149, especially note 2.

3. Scott Mainwaring, "Presidentialism, Multiparty Systems, and Democracy: The Difficult Equation," Comparative Political Studies 26, no. 2 (1993): 198-230.

4. Some of the more notable studies are: Domnique Arel, "Ukraine: The Temptation of the Nationalizing State," in Political Culture and Civil Society in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, ed. Vladimir Tismaneanu (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1995), pp. 157-188; Dominique Arel, "Language Politics in Independent Ukraine: Towards One or Two State Languages?" Nationalities Papers 23, no. 3 (September 1995): 597-622; Dominique Arel and Valery Khmelko, "The Russian Factor and Territorial Polarization in Ukraine," Harriman Review 9, nos. 1-2 (Spring 1996): 81—91; Lowell W. Barrington, "The Geographic Component of Mass Attitudes in Ukraine," Post-Soviet Geography and Economics 38, no. 10 (December 1997): 601-14; Sarah Birch, "Interpreting the Regional Effect in Ukrainian Politics," Europe-Asia Studies 52, no. 6 (2000): 1017^1; Peter R. Craumer and James I. Clem, "Ukraine's Emerging Electoral Geography: A Regional Analysis of the 1998 Parliamentary Elections," Post-Soviet Geography and Economics 40, no. 1 (January 1999): 1-26; Vicki L. Hesli, "Public Support for the Devolution of Power in Ukraine: Regional Patterns," Europe- Asia Studies 47, no. 1 (1995): 91-121; Paul Kubicek, "Post-Soviet Ukraine: In Search of a Constituency for Reform," Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics 13, no. 3 (September 1997): 103-26; Taras Kuzio, Ukraine: State and Nation Building (London: Routledge, 1998); Taras Kuzio and Paul D'Anieri, eds., Dilemmas of State-Led Nation Building in Ukraine (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003); George Liber, "Imagined Ukraine: Regional Differences and the Emergence of an Integrated State Identity," Nations and Nationalism 4, no. 2 (April 1998): 187-206; David Saunders, "What Makes a Nation a Nation? Ukrainians since 1600," Ethnic Groups 10 (1993): 101-24; Zenovia A. Sochor, "No Middle Ground? On the Difficulties of Crafting a Consensus in Ukraine," Harriman Review 9, nos. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 1996): 57-61; Roman Solchanyk, "The Politics of State Building: Center-Periphery Relations in Post-Soviet Ukraine," Europe-Asia Studies 46, no. 1 (January-February 1994): 47-68; Stephen Shulman, "International and National Integration in Multiethnic States: The Sources of Ukrainian (Dis)Unity," Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1996; Catherine Wanner, Burden of Dreams. History and Identity in Post-Soviet Ukraine (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998); Andrew Wilson, Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990s, A Minority Faith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); Andrew Wilson and Valeri Khmelko, "Regionalism and Ethnic and Linguistic Cleavages in Ukraine," in Contemporary Ukraine: Dynamics of Post-Soviet Transformation, ed. Taras Kuzio (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1998), pp. 60-80; Sharon L. Wolchik and Volodymyr Zviglyanich, Ukraine: The Search for National Identity (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001); and William Zimmerman, "Is Ukraine a Political Community?" Communist and Post-Communist Studies 31, no. 1 (1998): 43-55.

5. For a general treatment of Ukrainians' "political mentality," see V.I. Chyhrynov and I.O. Polishchuk, Politychna mentalnist ukrainskoho suspilstva: Istoriya i modern (Kharkiv: KhIBM, 2001).

6. Sarah Birch, for example, points to five distinct regions in Ukraine, based on different patterns of historical rule in those regions. See "Interpreting the Regional Effect," 1019, especially Table5.1. See also Lowell Barrington and Erik Herron, "One Ukraine Or Many? Regionalism in Ukraine and Its Political Consequences," Nationalities Papers 32, no. 1 (March 2004): 53-86; and Barrington, "The Geographic Component of Mass Attitudes in Ukraine," 601-14.

7. On the overlapping of Ukrainian and Russian identity, see Orest Subtelny, "Russocentrism, Regionalism, and the Political Culture of Ukraine," in Political Culture and Civil Society in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, ed. Vladimir Tismaneanu (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe) 1995, pp. 189-208.

8. Various aspects of this question have been investigated: See Andrew Wilson and Sarah Birch, "Voting Stability, Political Gridlock: Ukraine's 1998 Parliamentary Elections," Europe-Asia Studies 51, no. 6 (1999): 1039-68; Sarah Birch, "Party System Formation and Voting Behavior in the Ukrainian Parliamentary Elections of 1994," in Contemporary Ukraine: Dynamics of Post-Soviet Transformation, ed. Taras Kuzio (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1998), 138-60; and Paul Kubicek, "Regional Polarisation in Ukraine: Public Opinion, Voting and Legislative Behavior," Europe-Asia Studies 52, no. 2 (2000): 273-94.

9. Paul Pirie, "National Identity and Politics in Southern and Eastern Ukraine," Europe-Asia Studies 47, no. 7 (November 1996): 1079-104.

10. Lowell W. Barrington, "Region, Language, and Nationality: Rethinking Support in Ukraine for Maintaining Distance From Russia," in Dilemmas of State-Led Nation Building in Ukraine, ed. Taras Kuzio and Paul D'Anieri (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003), pp. 131-6.

11. Kubicek, "Post-Soviet Ukraine," 109.

12. See Sarah Birch, Elections and Democratization in Ukraine (London: Macmillan, 2000); Birch, "Interpreting the Regional Effect"; Andrew Wilson and Sarah Birch, "Voting Stability, Political Gridlock: Ukraine's 1998 Parliamentary Elections," Europe-Asia Studies 51, no. 6 (1999): 1039-68; and Steven D. Roper and Florin Fesnic, "Historical Legacies and Their Impact on Post-Communist Voting Behavior," Europe-Asia Studies 55, no. 1 (2003): 119-31.

13. Ukrainian Central Election Commission data; author's calculations.

14. Based on Ukrainian Central Election Commission data; author's calculations. For summary data, see "Vidomosti pro pidrakhunok holosiv vybortsiv v mezhakh rehioniv Ukrainy," Accessed April 20,2006.

15. The vast majority of votes were not on substantive issues or even on the agenda, but on questions to be put to various ministers.

16. The Socialist Party ran jointly with the Peasants Party in the 1998 elections.

17. Rada Web site,, accessed June 20-25, 2000; author's calculations.

18. Relationships among Ukraine's leftist parties are analyzed by Andrew Wilson, "The Ukrainian Left: In Transition to Social Democracy or Still in Thrall to the USSR?" Europe-Asia Studies 49, no. 7 (1997): 1293-316.

19. This claim is demonstrated by spatial analysis of Rada voting conducted by the Kyiv NGO Laboratory F-4. Their analysis of all of the parliamentary votes in the sixth session of the Rada (September 2000-January 2001) shows a fairly normal left/ right split. Analysis of a subset of votes that occurred after the release of tapes implicating Kuchma in Gongadze's death showed two dimensions of conflict, with those on the right divided both from the CPU and from each other. See Verkhovna Rada Week, no. 12 (29), February 7, 2001.

20. "Symonenko ne bachit riznitsi mizh 'komandamy' Kychmy ta Yushchenka," UNIAN, as cited in, February 2,2003. Accessed March 10,2003.

21. Sharon LaFraniere, "Split Opposition Falters in Ukraine; Divisions Help Kuchma Retain Power," Washington Post, April 21, 2001.

22. On Yushchenko's dilemma, see Roman Olearchyk, "In Search of a Rada Majority,", April 4, 2002. Accessed April 6, 2002.

23. On the Socialists' position toward working with the pro-presidential parties in parliament, see the interview with Yuriy Lutsenko of the Socialist Party in Den, April 11,2002.

24. See Serhii Rakhmanin, Yulia Mostovaya, and Olga Dmitricheva, "The End of the Dead Season," Dzerkalo nedeli, July 27-August 3, 2002.

25. "Zayava fraktsiy bloku 'Nasha Ukraina,' KPU, SPU ta Bloku Yulii Tymoshenko: Pro fakt pochatku derzhavnoho perevorotu v Ukraini," Press Service of Our Ukraine, December 12, 2002. The declaration protested the means used by the parliamentary leadership to install Serhiy Tyhypko as director of the National Bank of Ukraine. The four groups continued to work together on the issue, with Yushchenko speaking for all of them, in proposing a compromise on December 19. See Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Newsline 6, no. 238, Part II, December 20, 2002.

26. RFE/RL, Newsline 7, no. 32, Part II, February 19, 2003.

27. Kostenko's views are elaborated in an interview in Den, June 3, 2003.

28. RFE/RL, Newsline 6, no. 146, Part II, August 6, 2002.

29. RFE/RL, Newsline 6, no. 82, Part II, May 2, 2002.

30. Viktor Yushchenko, "There Will Be a Presidential Election, Come What May," Zerkalo tyzhdnia, December 26,2003-January 9, 2004.

31. See "Symonenko Khochet Referendum po Politreforme," Ukrainskaya pravda,, December 26, 2003. Accessed January 4, 2004.

32. Maurice Duverger, "Duverger's Law: Forty Years Later, in Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences, ed. Bernard Grofman and Arend Lijphart (New York: Agathon Press, 1986), 19^2; See also Maurice Duverger, Political Parties: Their Organization and Activity in the Modern State, 2nd ed., translated by Barbara and Robert North (New York: Wiley, 1966), Neto and Cox, "Electoral Institutions," 149.

33. Solchanyk, Ukraine and Russia, 139. Taras Kuzio is more equivocal, stating that there is nothing to prevent such a situation arising in the future. See Ukraine: State and Nation Building, 46.

34. Giovanni Sartori, 'The Influence of Electoral Systems: Faulty Laws or Faulty Method?" in Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences, ed. Bernard Grofman and Arend Lijphart (New York: Agathon Press, 1986), 59.

35. Neto and Cox, "Electoral Institutions," 149. See also Peter C. Ordeshook and Olga Shvetsova, "Ethnic Heterogeneity, District Magnitude, and the Number of Parties," American Journal of Political Science 38 (1994): 100-123.

36. Neto and Cox, "Electoral Institutions," 155.

37. Juan Linz, "The Perils of Presidentialism," Journal of Democracy 1 (Winter 1990): 51-71.

38. Roman Solchanyk advocated this for Ukraine. See Ukraine and Russia, 119.

39. A prominent example of this line of research is James L. Gibson, "A Mile Wide But an Inch Deep(?): The Structure of Democratic Commitments in the Former USSR," American Journal of Political Science 40, no. 2 (May 1996): 396-420.

40. This question is addressed in Paul D'Anieri 'The Mitigation of Ethnic Conflict in Ukraine: The Mysterious Case of the State that Didn't Collapse," paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, August 31-September3,1998.