On 27 November, President Viktor Yanukovych signed a bill on national referendums, which allows laws to be made without any involvement by parliament. There is no provision for the parliament to take part in either the preparation of the referendum or the implementation of its results.
In the third quarter of 2012, Ukraine’s economy recorded negative growth (-1.3%) for the first time since its 2009 economic crisis. Q4 GDP is projected to suffer a further decline, bringing Ukraine into formal recession. In addition to the worsening macroeconomic indicators, Ukraine is also facing a series of concomitant economic problems: a growing trade deficit, industrial decline, shrinking foreign exchange reserves, and the weakening of the hryvnia.
The Ukrainian oligarchic system, which developed into its ultimate shape during Leonid Kuchma’s second presidency, turned out to be very durable. The nature of close relations between the government and the oligarchs has not undergone any major changes either as a consequence of the Orange Revolution or following Victor Yanukovych’s victory in the presidential election of 2010.
18 August saw the end of the process of registering candidates for election to the parliament of Ukraine. In the proportional elections (for 225 seats) 22 parties will compete, while in the majority seats (also 225 places) 3100 candidates will stand representing 89 parties; this means that in most districts 25-30% of the vote will be enough to win (elections are decided by a plurality of votes).