One of the most important factors of efficient management of the first local elections in the united territorial communities is the proper operation of the territorial election commissions, which are authorized to create single-mandate election districts or territorial election districts in order to held the elections of the people’s deputies for the relevant village, township and city councils, to register candidates and their agents, authorized representatives, representatives of local party organizations or to take the decisions about the cancellation of their registration; to approve the text and ensure the production of voting papers, to register the official observers; to make the voting results reports.
Representatives of civil society, expert community, media and members of Ukrainian Parliament have learned about opinions of candidates for members of the Central Election Commission concerning important election administration issues, as well as reforming of the CEC and electoral system as a whole.
The Parliament should immediately consider termination of office of the twelve commissioners with the expired terms and, subsequently, consider the President’s slate of nominees. Once the new CEC composition is approved by Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada should consider the amendments to the Constitution and to the Law on the Central Election Commission that seek to strengthen the independence of the Commission and enforce Commissioners to hold their posts and observe the legally established terms of office.
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.
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