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This objective of this background paper is to conduct primary research on the cost of parliamentary politics in Ukraine; the financial implications of running for a seat in the national parliament (Rada), and the cost incurred by an MP once in office.

The fair and meaningful contest of the competing parties and individual candidates for votes is a crucial element of the democractic regime. One widespread mechanism that threatens this contest is the abuse of state resources that are diverted to fund incumbent candidates, their electoral campaigns and personalised networks, at the same time minimising the electoral chances of new candidates. In many countries such mechanisms create a vicious circle of corruption. Power holders abuse state resources to fund their electoral campaigns making the cost of electoral campaigning prohibitive for their opponents, who do not possess sufficient funds to run a successful campaign. After achieving electoral victory, incumbents maintain access to state resources which they use for personal gain. Until the 2014 events of the Euromaidan and the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine was a prime example of this vicious cycle of corruption.

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