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Europe

Ukrainians' trust in politicians hits new low

Less than 20 percent of Ukrainians expect a fair election in October, according to a new survey by DW. The latest results reflect a skepticism that has been growing over recent months.

Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of Ukrainians said they think that the upcoming parliamentary elections on October 28 will not be free or fair, according to the latest DW Trend survey for Ukraine. The poll, which was a representative survey of 1000 Ukrainians from August 20 to September 3, was commissioned by Deutsche Welle and conducted by the Ukrainian Marketing and Opinion Research Institute IFAK.

The survey's outcome reconfirms Ukrainians' skepticism of domestic politics that had become clear in DW Trend surveys over the past few months. Only 14 percent of survey participants said they expected free and fair elections. More than half of Ukrainians (57 percent) said they don't trust any of the parties' leading candidates.

The credibility of politicians has hit an all time low in Ukraine. Moreover, the survey showed that people consider honesty the most important characteristic a politician should have. Some 55 percent of those surveyed said they preferred politicians who keep their word, while other characteristics trailed far behind, such as competence which earned 19 percent. Only 10 percent of those surveyed said they preferred politicians who weren't corrupt. Those surveyed could only choose which one characteristic they valued most in a politician.

The survey also showed a correlation between the lack of faith in honest elections and honest politicians and uncertainty about who to vote for in the October elections. Only 30 percent of those surveyed indicated that they would vote for the same party as they had in the last election. By contrast, 42 percent do not intend to vote for the same party under any circumstances. Some 18 percent were still uncertain who would get their vote. The remaining 10 percent - many of which didn't vote in the last election - were unsure whether they would go to the polls.

If the parliamentary elections are free and fair, they could - in light of these results - still deliver a few political surprises, the study found. Ukraine has not only a considerable number of voters uncertain about whether they will vote, but also has a high percentage of swing voters who could change their minds at the last minute.

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