Opora

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.

 

Besides delaying the rotation of CEC members, there are other risks – politicization of the appointment process and making it populist, OPORA's experts say.

 

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.

 
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