The timing of the government’s dissolution suggests that president Poroshenko and likeminded political parties think that conditions in the country will be suitable for an election a few months from now—that is, the recent offensive against the separatists in the east will be successful. Or, it could be that even if the fighting continues, making a vote in places like the self-proclaimed “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk impossible, it doesn’t matter to the parties ahead in the polls.

After all, Poroshenko was elected in May amid fierce fighting in the east, with polling booths in Donetsk and elsewhere in the region non-existent, blocked, or very sparsely attended (link in Ukrainian). Election monitors described the vote in the east as featuring “forced evictions and closures of District Election Commissions by armed groups, abductions, death threats, forced entry into private homes and the seizure of equipment and election materials.”

Former president Yanukovych’s pro-Russian Party of Regions, which won 30% of the vote in the 2012 parliamentary election, is currently polling in the low single digits (link in Ukrainian). The parties at the top of the opinion polls overwhelmingly favor closer ties with the West. It seems assured that any election in the near future would cement these parties’ grip on the parliament. It would also give the Ukrainian people another outlet to express the deep divisions that are tearing the country apart.

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