Selection of electoral rights ombudsmen
Open until:
15 June 2018
Registration begins:
15 May 2018
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Bribery, fraud, compulsion of election commission members, violence, damaging the property of candidates, illegal campaign financing etc.. These crimes against electoral rights of citizens are committed deliberately and violators clearly understand their actions are illegal and wrong. However, they hope to escape the punishment through gaps in the legislation.
Only the understanding of unavoidable responsibility and sanctions may stop the violators from wrongdoing. On the other hand, each violation has other consequences. We are electing political managers, who represent our interests in government bodies for years. We also expect that they will fulfill their election promises. However, the life and development of a settlement or the state directly depends upon the fairness and transparency of election. When a voter "sells" his vote, he should understand that it's not only a crime, but also an influence upon the life of community.
The state doesn't aim to keep its citizens in fear.
But everyone must understand that each crime will be punished. Adherence to the certainty of punishment principle means not only application of sanctions against wrongdoers, but also prevention of electoral crimes.
Around 70-80% of opened criminal proceedings are not transferred to the court.
The main reasons why violators are not punished:
Gaps and imperfections in the legislation
Law-enforcement bodies do not always understand the peculiarities of electoral legislation
Law-enforcement bodies do not put investigation of electoral crimes as a priority
Investigation officers have poor personal motivation and professional training for complicated investigations of electoral crimes
Judicial bodies have low capacity for unbiased consideration of materials, provided by investigative bodies
The influence of political groups, politicians and government officials on the investigation
Not every citizen or candidate, whose rights are violated, is ready to report it to law-enforcement bodies
Civic organizations do observe the elections, but only some of them monitor the investigation of resonant violations after elections
Corruption
Who are they?
25 ombudsmen will work in 24 oblasts of Ukraine and in Kyiv city
Civic ombudsman
Is an unbiased, competent, motivated person, which systematically analyses the application of legislation and investigation of electoral crimes, is a mediator between voters and candidates, as well as the media and law-enforcement bodies in the introduction of practices counteracting electoral violations.
An ombudsman shall be:
A citizen of Ukraine

over 18 years old
Independent from political parties and government
unbiased and equally remote from each electoral subject
Competent
participated in an election as an observer, is legally savvy, and understands the peculiarities of electoral legislation
Motivated
desires to work, learn and grow
Sociable
find approach to the voters, representatives of parties, state authorities, law-enforcement bodies and the media
Opinion leader
has influence in the region where he/she works
Enlightener
has an opportunity to raise awareness about elections
Selection
There will be a public competition, conducted by an independent commission
Members of the selection commission will be choosing candidates for civic ombudsmen until 15 July 2018, based on their motivation, political impartiality and professional qualities.

50 participants will be selected for the training. Once selected, the candidates will be trained on specially designed courses in Ukrainian Catholic University.
Training
50 selected participants will be randomly divided into two groups for the training.
The training program will consist of five modules, dedicated to the general characteristic of electoral rights and violations, procedure of the collection and recording evidence, court practices and media communications etc.

Upon finishing the training, the participants will receive an official certificate of civic ombudsmen for electoral rights, and will be officially introduced in oblasts.
When they will work:
Ombudsmen will be actively involved in 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections and 2020 local elections. Their activities will be based on the Code of Conduct, jointly developed by OPORA and the Ukrainian Catholic University. This Code will include, first of all, the guarantees of independence and political impartiality of ombudsmen, and enlist major functions and procedures.
25 candidates with the highest testing grades will become civic ombudsmen in each of 24 Ukrainian oblasts and the city of Kyiv since January 2019.

The other certified candidates will be selected as reserves.
What ombudsmen will do in the regions?
Monitor and analyze activities of the law-enforcement, the prosecution, and courts, which concern the investigation of electoral crimes.
Develop and disseminate informational and analytical materials about the efficiency of investigations into electoral crimes in their regions.
Prepare and disseminate methodical, training and awareness-raising materials for various target groups (law-enforcement officers, voters, candidates).
Communicate with law-enforcement bodes, electoral subjects, citizens, journalists and NGOs concerning the prevention of and counteraction to electoral crimes and their investigation.
Develop recommendations for improvement of electoral legislation.
Introduce new mechanisms for cooperation between law-enforcement officers, observers, political parties and candidates.
Consult, provide legal aid and informational support to the citizens concerning their electoral rights.
Info:
info@opora.org.ua
The project is implemented with the financial support of the European Union. The content of this project is the sole responsibility of the OPORA Civil Network and under no circumstances can be considered as reflecting the position of the European Union
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