Newly-appointed members of the Central Election Commission didn't allow the journalists and representatives of Civil Network OPORA to attend its first meeting on 5 October. The election administration body elected its members for senior positions on the meeting.

Thus, representatives of OPORA and journalists were banned from entering the meeting hall, referring to the Commission's decision.

“This issue was considered on a meeting, and the Head will inform you about the decision,” – stated member of the CEC Andrii Yevstihnieiev in a comment to journalists.

Thus, Tetiana Slipachuk was elected as Head of the CEC, Oleh Konopolskyi and Yevhen Radchenko as Deputy Heads, and Nataliia Bernatska as the Secretary.

Seniors gave a briefing concerning the restrictions for journalists once the meeting was over:

“There was no information concerning the media or any applications or anyone waiting for a permit when we came here on the beginning of the meeting. Thus, we started the CEC's meeting immediately to set it up as soon as possible and shift to the agenda in accordance with the rules of procedure. All these topics, according to the law and the rules of procedure, will be considered on meetings with participation of all representatives, both accredited and not,” – Ms. Slipachuk said.

“When we entered the hall, there were no representatives of mass media, we didn't see them,” – Mr. Radchenko added.

“We worked without a break, the Commission has just finished its work. We had to decide on the personnel issues to start our job. If you are speaking to the people and demand the corresponding standards from us, you should study them yourself first, and them appeal to the people. According to the rules of procedure, mass media shall enter the meeting before it begins. It was unreasonable to interrupt the meeting for this purpose,” – Mr. Konopolskyi emphasized.

According to the Analyst of Civil Network OPORA Oleksandr Kliuzhev, the law says that each meeting of the Central Election Commission shall be open.

“Unfortunately, regardless of high expectations, the CEC didn't manage to demonstrate the adherence to the law on its first meeting. They will definitely try to justify their position with pseudo-legal statements, but in fact, if the CEC is ready to be open, it guarantees this openness under the legislation. Thus, we hope it will become a lesson for everyone, and the CEC will have no chance to hide from the people after such an unpleasant situation,” – Mr. Kliuzhev said.

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