Monitoring Desk: As many as 34,544,993 registered voters of Ukraine will elect their new President on March 31, 2019.
Sitting President Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are among 39 candidates running for elections on March 31, 2019 for getting absolute majority of the votes to avoid second round of voting which will be held on 21 April if no candidate secures absolute majority of votes. Around three million Ukrainian who are doing jobs in Russia will not allowed to vote because overseas Ukrainians living in Russia are not allowed to vote under a Presidential decree approved by President Poroshenko. The apparent cause for this arrangement is to keep Ukrainian Elections away from any possible influence of Russia. If overseas Ukrainians living in Russia wish to vote, then they have to come back to their country of origin. However, voting for Presidential Elections for overseas Ukrainians living abroad will be held at through Ukrainian embassies and missions abroad.
Around 742 international observers have been officially registered to monitor the elections.
March 31, 2019 Presidential Elections would be first in the history of Ukrainian elections which will not be participated by the Communist Party of Ukraine (the successor to the Soviet-era Communist Party of Ukraine) because the Party was banned to participate in elections under “Ukrainian decommunization law”.
In April 2015, a formal decommunization process started in Ukraine after laws were approved which, among other acts, outlawed communist symbols.
On 15 May 2015, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a set of laws for the removal of communist monuments and renaming of public places named after communist-related themes including renaming of cities, villages, streets and areas to delete former Soviet Union or Russian Federation related names from Ukrainian society. According to available data, more than 51,493 streets and 987 cities and villages were renamed, and 1,320 Lenin monuments and 1,069 monuments to other communist figures removed.