According to OPORA's data received in June – beginning of September 2016 there were 422 pre-trial investigations initiated under Articles 157-160 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine during 2016 regular local elections. Most of pre-trial investigations concerned voter bribery – 159 investigations, Article 160 of the CrCU; impeding the free exercise of voting rights, activities of election commissions and official observers – 97 investigations, Article 157.
Another two thirds of pre-trial investigations related to 2015 local elections are closed as of 11 September 2016. However, the number of bills of indictment is quite low compared to the number of closed criminal proceedings. Only one sixth of them were sent to trial.
Civil Network OPORA calls on the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to urgently consider President's submission of new CEC members and pass a decision in accordance with the Law of Ukraine on the Central Election Commission and the Rules of Parliamentary Procedure.
According to the OPORA's observation results of 17 July 2016 parliamentary by-elections in Ukraine, there were significant issues with proper organization and conduct of elections in seven single-member districts.
Civil Network OPORA has been monitoring the investigation of criminal proceedings, which concern 2015 regular local elections including 2015 local elections in Mariupol and Kramatorsk (Donetsk oblast) and 2016 early mayoral election in Kryvyi Rih.
Parliamentary by-election campaign in Ukraine is quite competitive, and offers a range of political alternatives for the voters to choose from. At the same time, the correlation of active and inactive candidates shows that so-called technical candidates prevail in number over the real ones. These technical candidates played an important role in formation of PECs and, therefore, mutual oversight of election participants in this commissions is hazarded.
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