The Central Election Commission recommended territorial election commissions, which administer local elections in Vinnytsia, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson and Chernihiv oblasts to guarantee a mandatory requirement of the Law of Ukraine on Legal Regime under Martial Law and stop organization and conduct of the first, additional and by-elections.


The Central Election Commission drew attention of electoral subjects in 10 oblasts, where the President imposed martial law, that the election process is prohibited according to the Law on Legal Regime under Martial Law.


Civil Network OPORA is not planning to conduct long-term and short-term observation of the first local elections, scheduled for 23 December, as well we of by-elections in united territorial communities, on sites. Nevertheless, local elections are important and will demonstrate the quality of election administration by the CEC.


On 6 November 2018, a decision of Kyiv District Administrative Court concerning an administrative claim from MP of Ukraine Artem Vitko against the Ministry of Regional Construction and 34 city councils was published on the Register of Court Decisions. Thus, the Court has decided on 2 November to satisfy the administrative claim from the MP, and terminated decisions of city councils concerning voluntary uniting until the end of controversy. This court measure directly concerns 34 UTCs, where the first local elections were appointed for 23 December and the election process has already started.


On November, 1, 2018, the Central Election Commission adopted a decision on excluding the two amalgamated hromadas from the Resolution No 156 “On the First Election of the Deputies of Village, Township, and City Councils of Amalgamated Hromadas and the Respective Village, Township, and City Heads on December, 23, 2018” and the two hromadas from the Resolution dated October, 12, 2018, No 157 “On Additional Election of the Deputies of Village and Township Councils on December, 23, 2018.”


Political parties took a great interest in the first local elections held in 252 united territorial communities on October, 29 and December, 24, 2017. These elections also show that the government faces significant challenges on the way to establishing adequate electoral standards. On October, 29, 2017, mayors of UTCs and deputies to local councils were elected in 201 territorial communities, while on December, 24 – in 51 territorial communities.


The Central Election Commission has scheduled the first local elections in 40 united territorial communities in 17 oblasts of Ukraine for 29 April 2018. The corresponding decision was taken on February 16 meeting.


OPORA's long-term observers are providing an independent non-partisan observation of the first local elections in united territorial communities on 24 December 2017, except for electoral processes in Kyiv and Khmelnytsk oblasts. OPORA observed key stages of the election process, including the election day on 24 December 2017. OPORA didn't deploy a network of short-term observers at election precincts, providing a narrow observation.


Observers of Civil Network OPORA haven't noticed any violations during the 24 December election day in united territorial communities, which could have affected the voting process or the election results with the scale or consequences. Most of the detected issues and incidents were caused by unprofessionalism or low competence of PEC members.


OPORA's observers will provide an independent non-partisan observation of the first local elections in united territorial communities. The organization has deployed 69 long-term observers to the territorial communities, and short-term observers joined them right before the voting begins. The first local elections in 202 united territorial communities were held on 29 October 2017. The election process has officially started on 9 September in all Ukrainian oblasts without exception. Dnipropetrovsk and Volyn oblasts have the largest number of united communities participating in the election – 19 communities each. Zakarpattia and Mykolaiv oblasts, on the contrary, have only one community each.


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