Ukraine / 29-10-2012
An antisemitic party expected to join the Ukrainian Parliament
The members of an antisemitic party which, according to the latest polls, is expected to attain the 4th place in the elections which are taking place today, set synagogues on fire and violated Jewish cemeteries. According to a formal election forecast, the ruling party won the elections.
The governing party in Ukraine ("The Party of Regions", "Партія регіонів"), headed by Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, won the parlamientary elections that took place today (Sunday) and achieved 28.1% percent of the votes - so says the recent national poll. According to the forecast, only five parties are expected to join the parliament, out of 22 parties that initially participated in the elections. The formal results are expected to be announced within the next few days.
According to the forecast, the United Opposition Party ("Motherland", "Батьківщина"), headed by Arseniy Jazeniuk, the very same party led in the past by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko), won 24.7 percent of the vote and reached second place. The Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform of Vitaliy Klychko ("УДАР", in English - "STRIKE"), a former world heavyweight boxing champion attained the 3rd place with 15.1% of the vote. The "Svoboda" party ("Свобода") ranks below, with 12.3% of the vote and the Communist party ranks last among said 4 parties (11.8%).
If the final results are similar to the poll results, the radical and nationalist "Svoboda" party, which attained great support in the western regions of Ukraine, will be represented in the Ukrainian Parliament. The party has a clear and pronounced antisemitic stance, in addition to its opposition to cooperation with Russia. A plethora of police complaints were filed against the leader of the "Svoboda" party, Oleh Tyahnybok, for incitement to violence and racist and antisemitic comments, after he read the antisemitic hate pamphlet "Stop the Jewish expansion".
Party members - mainly youngsters, are responsible for antisemitic incidents, including the arson attack of synagogues and Jewish cultural centers, as well as the violation of Jewish cemeteries across the country, especially in the western parts of Ukraine. The "Svoboda" party, whose name in English is "Freedom", also opposes the mass visits paid by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov's followers in the rebbe's grave in the Ukrainian city of Uman, and it even tried in the past to "to protect the rights of Ukrainians" there - before its representatives were forcibly sent away from the site of Rebbe Nachman's grave.