The working group, which elaborates the draft law on political parties, wants to simplify the process of registering political parties. However, activities of a party must demonstrate that it is functioning and can actively participate in elections.
MP Viktoriia Podhorna, who specialises on the development of party ideologies, programs and development strategies, spoke on the air of program "MP Day", produced by OPORA.
The adopted in 2000 law has regulated many problems of political parties by separating them from NGOs, she said, but it is not really effective, according to researches. In particular, it is necessary to guarantee key principles, such as open party statutes and internal party ethics.
"We need a bloc that ensures all these must-have functions of political parties. For example, we are talking about organizational principles of political parties. That is, they must perform a representative function, their statutes must establish bodies responsible for ongoing communication with the voters. To ensure representation, someone must work on it. Secondly, there are issues that concern not only ethics but also internal party rules. We believe that parties need such a code of ethics. Not every party has it, but many parties in the world do introduce ethic codes. Regulate relations between party members, party leadership, and communications that take place within a party at different cells. Besides that, intra-party democracy is always an interaction between central bodies and cells, because we know from the experience of Ukrainian parties that most issues are resolved at the central level. Regular party members, and even party cells do not have a big influence on key decisions. For example, a formation of party lists for elections. The very central party level decides who goes to oblast or local council. This is a completely abnormal situation for European countries, for example. Therefore, all these issues need to be addressed," - Pidhorna said.
She also added that another important question is intra-party democracy. I.e. how decisions are made and how party leaders are elected, and whether these decisions are non-discriminatory in terms of age and gender.
"Besides that, we want to liberalize the creation of political parties. We want to settle many unsettled issues, but the registration itself should be simplified. Imagine that it's necessary to collect 10 thousand signatures from 2/3 of territorial and administrative units of Ukraine. That is a lot, considering that there is still Crimea, which we do not control, and it is impossible to collect signatures there. Therefore, we need to simplify that. However, activities of a party must demonstrate that it is functioning and can actively participate in elections. This is so-called active party list. Thus, we suggest to make two types of parties. We cannot close them forcibly, we cannot restrict a voluntary choice of citizens who want to create a party. But parties must show that they are parties, but not interest clubs or one-leader clubs. That is, they must constantly communicate with their members, and those members must communicate with the people. There should be two types of parties - active ones, which participate in elections, and passive, so to say, club-level, i.e. having under 2 thousand members. We want that citizens create a party of 200 persons, who will actually be registered as members of this party. And a year later the party is required to have 2,000 members and party cells in 1/5 of territorial units. This would mean that the party has built muscle and really wants to run in elections at local, regional or national levels. No one can ban a party. If it does not want to develop at this stage, it may remain at the level of 200-300 people, but it has no right to participate in elections. The reason is, it does not represent a sufficient number of voters. Thus, we are replacing the procedure that demands to collect 10 thousand signatures. We all know how these signatures were collected, as we have too many parties. Before the Ministry of Justice started party "clean up", and 40 parties are now being deregistered, Ukraine had 385 parties. That is, we understand how these signatures were collected. There was a procedure for repurchasing of parties. We do not want this procedure to continue. In order to make parties real, we should develop is and motivate,"- the MP said.
Victoria Podhorna also noted that the law on political parties is one of the most important bills of constitutional rank, as the policy of governments or coalitions depends on how political parties work.