Parliamentary by-election campaign in Ukraine is quite competitive, and offers a range of political alternatives for the voters to choose from. At the same time, the correlation of active and inactive candidates shows that so-called technical candidates prevail in number over the real ones. These technical candidates played an important role in formation of PECs and, therefore, mutual oversight of election participants in this commissions is hazarded. For example, only 18% of candidates in SMD #206 (Chernihiv), 23% in SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.) and 25% in SMD #27 were actually involved in campaigning. The correlation of technical and active candidates is the most balanced in districts #23 (Volyn obl.) and #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.) – 61% and 43% respectively.
OPORA would like to mention that excessive number of so-called technical candidates not only hinders realization of equal opportunities principle, but also aggravates the problem of campaign shadow financing. In fact, official registration of technical candidates and material incentives they receive are paid nontransparently and cannot be controlled by the state. The candidates also don't adhere to legislative requirements concerning interim financial reporting on the expenses made from electoral fund accounts. According to the OPORA's data, only around a third part of all registered candidates in seven districts submitted the corresponding reports, and 60% of candidates received a warning from the CEC because they had failed to open campaign fund accounts on time.
Candidates for MPs of Ukraine use various forms of campaigning, allowed by the law. At the same time, there are also incidents when candidates use illegal technologies and campaigning methods, including voter bribery, misuse of administrative resources, and shadowed campaign financing. We are especially concerned about information that we received from observers about candidates and/or unidentified persons preparing monetary bribery schemes in the certain districts. The information was provided to law-enforcement bodies and requires prompt response.
The election administration process is organized quite well, except for some incidents or election commissions. For example, so-called technical candidates prevailed in number over the real candidates on the stage of PEC creation and, as a result, there were complications in activities of the corresponding commissions due to the numerous rotations. Besides that, almost a half of primary membership of DECs was substituted by electoral subjects, and affected the stability of their functioning.
Questionable from the legal perspective decisions and actions of district election commissions in SMDs #114 (Luhansk obl.) and #206 (Chernihiv city) resulted in court challenges against resolutions on formation of PECs and, therefore, undermined the trust to the electoral process. OPORA would like to mention that observers in SMDs #151 (Poltava obl.) and #206 (Chernihiv city) faced the certain obstacles related to activities of district election commissions.
The major challenges of parliamentary by-elections in seven districts were the following: indirect voter bribery, misuse of administrative resources, and substantiated information about illegal technologies of monetary bribery of voters. OPORA confirms that law-enforcement bodies worked to prevent electoral violations and crimes. However, their activeness and response was insufficient and should be increased on the eve of election day.
Some use-of-force incidents, particularly an attack on former head of district election commission in SMD #114, must be comprehensively investigated, and the guilty must be brought to responsibility.
Activities of candidates for MPs of Ukraine that have features of voter bribery
Candidates are actively providing goods, services, works or other material assets in their campaigning efforts to engage or attract attention of the voters. Charitable funds are functioning in the number of electoral districts. Their activities are often directly or indirectly related to candidates and aimed to provide them competitive benefits in election. We received information from some districts that the certain candidates are preparing voter bribery. However, observers can't specify the information for investigation purposes. Infrastructural or social projects financed from the state budget is a popular form of indirect bribery used by the candidates (especially those holding public offices). Representatives of the certain candidates collect personal data of voters. We don't know the purpose of data collection, but according to law-enforcement bodies and OPORA's observers, some voters said they were offered material incentives. Another example is a public poll, organized by a non-governmental organization in SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.). Thus, the respondents received 200 UAH and campaign materials in support of the certain candidate. The National Police and OPORA's observers detected in SMD #206 (Chernihiv city) a so-called network of campaigners, with QR codes given to each of them and personal data collected, while the whole network is divided into specific subgroups (senior campaigners etc.). Law-enforcement bodies are now being studying all the circumstances.
According to the Article 74(14) of the Law of Ukraine on Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine, it shall be prohibited to hand out money or distribute for free or on a preferential basis commodities as a part of campaigning efforts (except items bearing the visual images of the name, symbol, or flag of a party, provided that the value of such items does not exceed three percent of the minimum salary), services, works, securities, loans, lottery tickets, other tangible assets to voters, establishments, institutions, or organizations. Such election campaigning or handing out money or distribution for free or on a preferential basis of commodities, services, works, securities, loans, lottery tickets, other tangible assets to voters, establishments, institutions, or organizations along with appeals or proposals to vote or not to vote for a particular party or MP candidate or along with mentioning the name of a party or an MP candidate shall be deemed to be indirect bribing of voters.
Article 160 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine establishes responsibility for proposing, promising, or giving a voter illegal incentive for any actions or inaction directly related to realization of voting right. This very article establishes responsibility for providing the illegal incentive or free commodities, services, works as a part of campaigning efforts to institutions, establishments or organizations. The law also establishes liability for the voters receiving propositions or promises of illegal incentive or the illegal incentive itself. According to the Criminal Code of Ukraine, illegal incentive is any funds or assets, benefits, privileges, services or intangible assets, which cost exceed three percent of the minimum salary, and which are proposed, promised or provided without any legal grounds.
Monetary voter bribery
We haven't noticed any facts or information proving the realization or preparation of illegal voter bribery schemes in SMDs #23 (Volyn obl.), #27 (Dnipro city), #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.), and #151 (Poltava obl.).
However, observers from districts #114, 183, and 206 reported the information about the certain candidates preparing illegal schemes aimed to influence the election by the means of voter bribery. We have sent these data to law-enforcement bodies and expect their prompt response, particularly prevention of these bribery schemes or verification of facts.
Observers in the settlement of Markivka (SMD #114 Luhansk obl.) noticed that representatives of the Open Society Institute NGO offer 200 UAH reward to every voter who agrees to participate in a public poll. It should be mentioned, that campaign materials of MP candidate Taras Kostanchuk were disseminated during the poll. Thus, OPORA's observers reported about probable voter bribery to the Markivka Police Department of the Main National Police Headquarters in Luhansk oblast. Besides that representatives of the Open Society Institute NGO have affirmed that they conducted awareness event to inform the voters about election program of candidates, and 200 UAH is a compensation for the time they spend on answering the poll questions. However, observers noticed that the disseminated campaign materials belong only to one candidate.
Another incident was when representatives of the Nash Krai political party, which has nominated Serhii Shakhov in SMD #114, collected personal data of the voters during the reporting period. Thus, on 7/8/2016, OPORA's observer noticed on the territory of a private house in the settlement of Bilovodsk that some individuals were busy compiling the voter list containing personal data of citizens and disseminating campaign materials in support of candidate Serhii Shakhov. Organizers of the event tried to obstruct the observer taking photo or video evidence of the personal data collection. After the police arrived to the site, a citizen, whose personal data were included in the abovementioned list, informed the law-enforcement that organizers promised to give him 250 UAH. It should be mentioned that according to the Main National Police Headquarters in Luhansk oblast, they received from electoral subjects information about similar incidents.
In SMD #206 (Chernihiv city), the National Police responds to the information received from various sources and verifies the information about voter bribery. Besides that, there are mobile groups in the district, which work to prevent the bribery of voters.
Indirect voter bribery and activities of charitable funds during the election process
Charitable funds, which activities were often directly or indirectly related to candidates for MPs, are quite active in these parliamentary by-elections in Ukraine. Candidates are either participate themselves in their activities, or the funds only demonstrate the connection.
|Election District||Name of a charitable fund||Candidate, with whom the fund is probably associated|
|SMD #23 (Volyn obl.)||Ihor Palytsia's “Only Together” charitable fund||Candidate Iryna Konstankevych (Ukrainian Union of Patriots – UKROP). Holds an office of the Deputy Head of the Fund|
|SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.)||Valerii Moshynskyi's Charitable Fund||Candidate Valerii Moshynskyi (independent candidate)|
|SMD #151 (Poltava obl.)||“Volia” Charitable Fund||Candidate Valentyn Manko (independent candidate)|
|SMD #206 (city of Chernihiv)||“Poliskyi Oberih” Charitable Fund||Candidate Maksym Mykytas (independent candidate)|
|SMD #206 (city of Chernihiv)||“Europe” Charitable Fund||Candidate Yurii Vlasenko (AUU Batkivshchyna).|
Campaign activities of MP candidates, nominated in these parliamentary by-elections in Ukraine, often includes distribution of free commodities or services, or other material incentives, to the voters.
For example, candidate Iryna Konstakevych presented sports equipment to a local school on 10 July 2016 Kolky Village Day (village Kolky in Manevychi raion) on behalf of Ihor Palytsia's “Only Together” charitable fund.
In SMD #27 (Dnipro city), Hromadska Syla non-governmental organization implements a campaign “Social buses”. Thus, the voters are able to get a reduced fare in public transport (1 UAH instead of regular 5 UAH fare). It should be mentioned that independent MP candidate Zahid Krasnov represents local office of the Hromadska Syla political party in Dnipro City Council.
Candidate for MP of Ukraine Viktor Shevchenko, nominated in SMD #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.), or his representatives organize free trips to the Tourist complex "Bukovel" including free excursions, catering, lift rides etc. Thus, OPORA's observers appealed to law-enforcement bodies concerning a probable violation of the law.
In SMD #151 (Chornukhy raion in Poltava oblast), where 100 households had suffered from a storm, candidates Ruslan Bohdan (AUU Batkivshchyna), Oleksandr Berezianskyi (Opposition Bloc), Ruslan Liashko (Radical Party of Oleh Liashko) and Oleksii Riabokon (independent) presented the citizens slate.
Candidates registered in SMD #183 (Kherson obl.) also conduct campaigning events with features of indirect voter bribery. For example, candidate from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity' Andrii Putilov is actively using infrastructural projects, financed from the state budget, in his campaigning efforts. At the same time, candidate Mykhailo Opanashchenko (Vidrodzhennia party) conducts public entertainments and feasts, where campaigners disseminate small presents to the voters and treat them with free drinks and food. Candidate Olena Ukhal (Solidarity of Ukrainian Women), who is nominated in the same district, proposes free examination on mobile equipment to the voters in medical facilities of Bilozerka raion (it is promised that personal examinations are made by the candidate herself, who is a physician).
Campaign efforts of many candidates in SMD #206 (city of Chernihiv) involve infrastructural, charitable and social projects. Besides that, there are some playgrounds in the district, which construction was sponsored by Yurii Vlasenko (AUU Batkivshchyna). Independent candidate Maksym Mykytas, for his part, gives food and presents on public campaign events, opens playgrounds and organizes other social and charitable events. Candidate Yaroslav Hirich (Ukrainian Union of Patriots – UKROP) conducts an eco festival, where participants could receive “eco hryvnias” for the collected garbage (so-called bonuses), and exchange them for presents later.
OPORA's observers received information that product sets are being disseminated in district #206 by, allegedly, volunteers. This information is being verified by law-enforcement bodies.
It was mentioned in OPORA's previous report that independent candidate Volodymyr Tsvil (SMD #85) opened a new playground in the city of Kalush (Ivano-Frankivsk oblast). The candidate has publicly informed that the playground is a present from a German entrepreneur. Thus, such circumstances mean that violation of campaigning rules concerned not only presents in a form of goods, services and other tangible assets, but also participation of a foreigner in election campaign.
Abusing powers, using administrative resource in elections
According to the electoral process standards, state authorities, authorities of the Autonomous Republic Crimea, local self-government bodies, courts, establishments, enterprises, institutions, organizations, their officials, executives and employees shall be unbiased towards electoral subjects and MP candidates (Article 11 (2) of the Law of Ukraine on Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine. The Law also establishes a number of restrictions for state officials at different levels. For example, according to the Article 74 (1) of the Law, officials of executive bodies, government bodies of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and local self-government bodies, law-enforcement bodies and courts shall not participate in election campaigning while they are in office. It is prohibited to use the premises of state executive bodies, government bodies of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and local self-government bodies for election campaigning at the expense of the campaign funds of parties or MP candidates in a single-mandate. It is also prohibited to place campaign materials and political advertisement on buildings and in premises of state executive bodies, government bodies of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and local self-government bodies, as well as state-owned and municipal enterprises, institutions and organizations (Article 74 (5) of the Law). Besides that, it is prohibited to campaign during events organized by state authorities (Article 74 (5) of the Law).
These and other restrictions are aimed to prevent the misuse of administrative resources during elections, unlawful intervention of state authorities and public officials in the election process, and to create equal opportunities for the candidates etc.
Misuse of administrative resources is still a topical issue today, taking into consideration the violations of law restrictions, noticed by OPORA's observers. Misuse of administrative resources often appears not only when the certain candidates use political ties with public officials, but also because the general requirements concerning political impartiality of government bodies are not observer and there is no explicit line between duties of nominated public officials and their campaign efforts.
Thus, public service and local self-government bodies need to be depoliticized, and the sanctions against officials who violate the restrictions should be strengthened. Besides that, the public should learn to consider such activities as non-acceptable.
For example, the Head of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast State Administration Valentyn Reznychenko, chief physician of the Mechnikova Oblast Hospital and candidate Tetiana Rychkova (SMD #27, independent candidate) conducted a joint press-conference concerning the acquisition of new equipment for the hospital. The Head of Oblast State Administration had publicly and repeatedly emphasized on the press-conference that Tetiana Rychkova appealed to him concerning the acquisition of a modern tomograph for the hospital, and the appeal was satisfied. Another example is the Head of Kherson Oblast Council candidate Andrii Putilov, nominated by the Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity', whose public events are often participated by the Head of Oblast State Administration Andrii Hordieiev, employees of the Kherson OSA apparatus, oblast council, executive bodies and local self-government bodies at oblast level and of Bilozirka raion. Although these events are usually presented as official with Andrii Putilov in duty, they definitely involve some features of campaigning.
Some candidates, who hold offices in local self-government bodies during the election process, placed campaign materials in municipal mass media contrary to the legislative requirements. For example, a statement of MP candidate Borys Liebiediev from the Opposition Bloc, who is also the Head of Novopskov Raion Council, was published in municipal newspaper Peremoha (Novopskov raion in Luhansk oblast) without any indication that it's a campaign material.
Officials of local self-government and executive bodies often express their support to candidates in public, and their position is reported in campaign materials of the candidates. For example, independent candidate Tetiana Rychkova (SMD #27, Dnipro city) uses photos on her outdoor advertising, displaying that the Head of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast State Administration Valentyn Reznychenko and Dnipro City Mayor Borys Filatov support her candidacy.
Another example is the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Taras Kutovyi shows publicly his support to an independent candidate Oleksii Riabokon in SMD #151 (Poltava oblast) – pictures of the Minister and the candidate are placed on outdoor advertising boards. It should be mentioned, however, that the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Taras Kutovyi has obtained a court's prohibition on the use of information associated with his previous election campaigns or current position in the Ministry by an independent candidate Oleksandr Kutovyi in his campaign materials.
It should be mentioned that the Head of Karkhivka village in SMD #206 was brought to administrative liability for his public speech in support of independent candidate Maksym Mykytas during the Ivana Kupala Day. Ivankivka Village Head participated in a Village Day celebration, where MP of Ukraine Yuliia Tymoshenko gave a speech and campaigners worked in support of candidate form the AUU Batkivshchyna Yurii Vlasenko. Observers in this district have also noticed that the Culture Department of Chernihiv Oblast State Administration assisted the organization of berries festival, supported by independent candidate Maksym Mykytas. The assistance included attraction of folk craftsmen and free lease of tents with logo “Touristis Chernihiv oblast” and web-address of the department.
According to the Article 74 (5) of the Law of Ukraine on Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine, placing election campaigning materials and political advertisements on the buildings and in the premises of state executive bodies, state bodies of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and bodies of local self-government, state- owned and municipal enterprises, institutions and organizations shall be prohibited. However, on 8 July 2016, OPORA's observer noticed printed campaign materials belonging to MP candidate Serhii Nasalyk (Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity') in an office of the “Mineral” Palace of Culture in the city of Kalush (Ivano-Frankivsk oblast). When the operational-investigative group came, the materials were already not there, and employees objected to their involvement in the incident.
Obstruction to activities of candidates for MPs of Ukraine. Use-of-force incidents
There was a number of incidents in 5 districts when outdoor advertising means bearing political advertising of candidates were deliberately damaged. Thus, outdoor advertising of the following candidates was damaged: Svitlana Yepifantseva (SMD #27, Dnipro city), independent candidate Andrii Lesyk (SMD #114, Luhansk obl.), Serhii Mamoian (SMD # 151, Poltava obl., Serhii Kaplin's Party of Simple People), candidates Mykhailo Opanashchenko (Vidrodzhennia party) and Oleh Havrlylko (AUU Svoboda) in SMD # 183 (Khersonska obl.). In SMD #206 (Chernihiv oblast), the following candidates had their outdoor advertising damaged: Yurii Vlasenk (AUU Batkivshchyna), Ihor Andriichenk (Democratic Alliance), Dmytro Blaush (Radical Party of Oleh Liashko), and Lidiia Haievska (Opposition Bloc).
On 11 July 2016, unidentified persons had broken the window in public reception of MP of Ukraine from the Radical Party of Oleh Liashko Ihor Mosiichuk in Ivano-Frankivsk, where candidate Anzhela Yarovata from the same party has the election headquarters. According to the candidate, this incident is directly related to her participation in the election.
Independent candidate Andrii Lesyk in election district #114 (Luhansk obl.) appealed to the National Police concerning SMS he received to his personal phone, threatening to kill him.
In SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.) the former head of district election commission in SMD #114 Yevhen Bairamov (nominated by the Opposition Bloc) was attacked. As a result, he refused to fulfill the duties and a new head was appointed. This incident requires a comprehensive investigation, and the guilty should be bringing to responsibility.
Obstruction of activities of official observers and journalists
There were some incidents when observers faced obstruction in their activities or the lack of proper conditions for observation.
The most resonant incident in this category concerns activities of district election commission in electoral district #206 (Chernihiv city), which conducted “closed” meetings for its members. For example, Head of the DEC in SMD #206 Anatolii Suldin had suddenly closed a meeting on 12 July 2016 when the Commission was considering the transference of ballot papers to precinct election commissions, and ordered mass media representatives and other electoral subjects to leave the premises. Commission members, however, stayed and the meeting continued as a conference. Thus, the Commission violated the fundamental principles of the election process securing its openness and transparency and, as a result, OPORA's observer and other electoral subjects couldn't provide a proper oversight of the corresponding procedures (you are welcome to learn about details of the incident on OPORA's official web-site https://www.oporaua.org).
Members of the DEC in SMD #151 (Poltava obl.) refused to give OPORA's observers the in reports on campaign funds of candidates, and hindered a comprehensive and fast analysis of the corresponding documents.
Although the obstruction to observation efforts occurs quite rarely, OPORA calls on all electoral subjects to secure proper conditions for non-partisan independent observation.
Dissemination of fake information about candidates and black PR technologies
There were some incidents involving dissemination of false information about candidates and black PR technologies during the reporting period. In some incidents, law-enforcement bodies responded to the information about illegally produced materials containing false or provocative information about candidates.
For example, OPORA's observers detected on 10 June a campaigner on a bus station in the settlement of Manevychi, who was disseminating leaflets containing probably false information about candidate from AUU Batkivshchyna Liudmyla Kyrda. It was indicated on the leaflets that they were produced on equipment belonging to a private person, who used to be the head of oblast office of the Radical Party of Oleh Liashko. Thus, the police detained the campaigner who was disseminating the leaflets.
In SMD #27 (city of Dnipro) and #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.), observers noticed dissemination of fake statements of famous political leaders or public officials in support of the certain candidates. For example, leaflets in district #27 contained a fake appeal of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yurii Lutsenko to the voters, asking them to support independent candidate Zahid Krasnov. In SMD #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.), leaflets contained fake appeals of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in support of Serhii Nasalyk (Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity'), and an appeal from the candidate Nasalyk himself. Candidate's representatives denied their involvement in the production of these materials, and their content is not favorable for electoral interests of the candidate.
At the same time, employees of the National Police and the Security Service of Ukraine stopped a minibus in Poltava oblast on 6 July 2016, where they found illegally produced campaign materials containing negative information about independent candidate Oleksii Riabokon.
In SMD #206 (city of Chernihiv), observers noticed outdoor advertising boards saying “Drug addicts must be cured, not supported”, stylized using the branding of the Radical Party of Oleh Liashko. Newspapers Poliskyi Perets and Chetverta Vlada are also disseminated in the district, and most of their printing space is filled with negative information about candidates Maksym Mykytas (independent), Yehor Firsov (independent) and Yurii Vlasenko (AUU Batkivshchyna).
In SMD #23, executive committees of village councils allowed to place campaign materials in village schools, rural medical stations, post offices and village councils what is against the Article 74 (5) of the Law of Ukraine on Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine, prohibiting to place campaign materials and political advertisement on buildings and in premises of state executive bodies, government bodies of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and local self-government bodies, as well as state-owned and municipal enterprises, institutions and organizations.
Although the number of campaign materials without an imprint has decreased, the problem is still topical.
Observers detected a few incidents of campaign materials disseminated in public transport, what is prohibited by the law. For example, campaign materials of candidate Oleksandr Myhal were placed in intertown buses in the city of Hadiach, Poltava oblast. The bus driver informed the police that the administration of the vehicle fleet ordered to place the materials in buses. In SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.), observers noticed many incidents when campaign materials of the AUU Batkivshchyna and the candidates nominated by this party were placed in public intertown buses.
Activities of the Central Election Commission
The Central Election Commission has been registering official observers representing international organizations, canceling registration of MP candidates, issuing warnings to candidates who violated the time constraints for opening of campaign fund accounts. The Commission has also modified the Resolution #172 of 3 June 2016 on the Approval of State Budget Allocations under the Budget Program #6731020 “Expenses on Elections to the Parliament”, necessary for the preparation and conduct of 17 July 2016 parliamentary by-election in Ukraine.
Thus, as of 13 July 2016, the CEC has registered 57 observers representing international organizations (Committee for Open Democracy, International Investigation Bureau, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, and International Foundation for Better Governance). The CEC canceled registration of 7 candidates before the election day, after they had applied for withdrawal to the Commission (there were 378 candidates registered).
The CEC passed Resolution #312 of 14 July 2016 to issue warnings to 225 candidates who violated the time constraints for opening of campaign fund accounts. According to the Law, an MP candidate, who is nominated in a single-member district, shall open an electoral fund account not later than the tenth day after registration by the Central Election Commission.
The CEC has considered a number of appeals and complaints from electoral subjects. For example, the CEC has considered an appeal from the Nash Krai party concerning a possible falsification of registration documents of nominees for precinct election commission members. Thus, the party affirmed that personal data and copies of documents belonging to members of precinct election commissions, nominated by an MP candidate in district #114 for 17 July 2016 by-elections, were illegally obtained and their signatures were forged. Thus, the CEC sent the corresponding report to the Main National Police Headquarters in Luhansk oblast. Besides that, the CEC applied to the Main National Police Headquarters in Dnipropetrovsk oblast concerning the consideration results of a statement from independent candidate Zahid Krasnov (SMD #27). The candidate informed the CEC in the statement that unknown people in the district had been distributing product sets on behalf of him since the beginning of June 2016. The candidate claims this distribution of products is not a part of his election campaign. He considers it to be a voter bribery, and is convinced that the guilty must be brought to criminal liability.
12 July 2016 Ukrainian Parliament adopted amendments to the Law of Ukraine on State Budget of Ukraine for 2016 (concerning increased expenditures on the Central Election Commission), which have already been sent to the President for signing. Thus, the Law increases expenses in 12 million 500 hundred UAH for the preparation and conduct of 17 July 2016 parliamentary by-elections in Ukraine.
Activities of district election commissions
District election commissions faced heavy rotations in these elections. According to OPORA's calculations, there were 62 substitutions as of 12 July 2016, comprising a half of total membership of DECs. The most heavy rotations occurred in DEC #114 (17 substitutions from 16 nominating entities, or 88.9% of membership), DEC #151 (13 substitutions from 10 nominating entities, or 55.6% of membership) and DEC #27 (10 substitutions from 10 nominating entities, or 55.6% of membership). DEC #23 and #183 were the most stable (only 5 substitutions or 27.8% of membership and 4 substitutions or 16.7% of membership respectively). Similarly to 2014 early parliamentary elections in Ukraine, rotations in the DECs have decreased the efficiency of trainings for commission members, organized by the CEC.
OPORA's observers reported a number of problems in the functioning of DECs, which failed to observe the law. Although these violations are not widespread, they do negatively influence the election process in the certain districts.
Besides that, there were serious problems with openness and transparency of the election process in DEC #206, where unauthorized persons interfered in activities of the Commission. This Commission was also accused of inaction and questionable from the legal perspective decisions and actions. In particular, Head of the DEC Anatolii Suldin in SMD #206 has systematically (on 1 July, 12 July) interrupted commission's meetings before the consideration of agenda items was finished to make the meetings “closed”, what is against the law and violates the rights of observers and journalists. Besides that, the commission violated the requirements for the compilation of electoral documents, particularly falsification of the Resolution on Formation of Precinct Election Commissions of 7/1/2016, which was in fact passed only on 7/2/2016. Another problem is that the Commission didn't publish its resolutions regularly.
In SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.) commission's stamp disappeared from a safe in DEC premises after the unknown had attacked DEC Head Yevhen Bairamov (his authority was terminated). Thus, the Commission reported the incident to the police.
According to OPORA's observers in SMD #151 (Poltava obl.), there are some problems in activities of the corresponding commission. For example, it has violated law requirements concerning availability of draft decisions of the DEC for consideration of observers before the meetings, as well as of the decisions taken by the commission. Thus, OPORA's observers didn't receive interim financial reports of candidates, what is against the openness and transparency standards. As long as the observers didn't receive interim financial reports of candidates, the public oversight of their campaign expenses is quite limited.
Activities of the certain DECs was accompanied by numerous court challenges. For example, Luhansk District Administrative Court had considered an appeal filed by 10 candidates for MPs of Ukraine (Maryna Trunova, Nataliia Shyrkova, Kostiantyn Boklahov, Liubov Radnevych, Nataliia Hlukhova, Mykhailo Zharkov, Halyna Yaroshenko, Dmytro Klymenko and Mykola Shyrkov) and the People's Front political party concerning early withdrawal of precinct election commission members, whom they had nominated in single-member district #114. Thus, the Court ruled that DEC's Resolution #14 on Early Withdrawal of Precinct Election Commission Members in Single-Member District #114 was illegal and, therefore, shall be canceled. As a result, 152 members of the PEC representing the abovementioned candidates and the party have returned to their offices.
DEC's resolution on rejection of PEC nominees was challenged in court many times during the formation of PECs in SMD #206 (Chernihiv city) Thus, Chernihiv District Administrative Court considered claims filed by the proxy of MP candidate Vitalii Timosh (court decision of 7/3/2016), proxy of MP candidate Oleksandr Yermakov, candidate Eduard Kukhar (court decision of 7/4/2016) and proxy of MP candidate Valentyna Chernenko (court decision of 7/5/2016).
Lawsuits filed by MP candidates Vitalii Timosh and Oleksandr Yermakov were partially satisfied – the Court ruled the DEC's Resolution (SMD #206) was illegal and canceled in the part concerning nomination of precinct election commission members by the certain candidate. At the same time, the Court refused to fully satisfy the claims of candidate Eduard Kukhar and proxy of MP candidate Valentyna Chernenko. An appeal from candidate Eduard Kukhar was satisfied the Court ruled the DEC's Resolution (SMD #206) was illegal and canceled in the part concerning nomination of precinct election commission members by this candidate.
Activities of precinct election commissions
According to the Law of Ukraine on Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine, precinct election commissions shall be formed not later than 1 July 2016, and must conduct their first meeting later than on the third day after their formation by district election commissions.
According to OPORA's monitoring findings, precinct election commissions faced quite a lot of problems in organization of their first meetings. The major difficulty was to gather a quorum needed, because of heavy rotations in their membership, which have started shortly after their creation. Besides that, most of PEC members were poorly qualified, what affected the organization of their work.
In SMD #23 (Volyn obl.), none of the PECs in Manevychi, Liubeshiv, Kamin-Kashyrskyi raions conducted the first meetings as of 5 July 2016. In SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.), all the PECs have managed to conduct the first meetings only on 6 July.
Only 7 PECs in SMD #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.) conducted their first meetings on time, 123 PECs delayed the first meetings, and 36 PECs conducted their first meetings even later. According to OPORA's observers, the delay with first meetings of PECs in SMD #23 was because most of commission members lived outside the oblast. However, they were lated substituted by locals.
PECs in SMDs #27, 151, 183 and 206 conducted their first meetings on time, despite with a minimal quorum. In particular, OPORA's observers reported that not all members holding managing offices attended the first meetings of PECs.
Even after the PECs were formed, district election commissions detected simultaneous inclusion of some members into more than one commission, and members who didn't give a consent to fulfill such duties. For example, in SMD #23 (Volyn obl.), nominees for PEC members were not aware of their nomination (submitted by independent candidates Maksym Bohun, Volodymyr Demchuk, Valentyna Malkova and Oleksandr Orel). Similar problems were also noticed in SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.).
Rotations in PECs were happening in all electoral constituencies in these parliamentary by-elections in Ukraine. For example, 873 of 2,684 (32.5%) of precinct election commission members were substituted in SMD #206 as of 8 July 2016. At the same time, some candidates in SMD #85, whose campaign efforts were not noticed, have substituted almost 100% of their representatives in PECs.
The substitutions were usually made by candidates who didn't participate in active campaigning.
As long as the first meetings of PECs were delayed, preliminary voter lists were delivered outside the time constraints established by the law (preliminary voter list shall be received from the State Voter Register maintenance bodies not later than 5 July, and voters shall have access to it not later than the next day). The PECs, which had delayed their first meetings, have also delayed the delivery of personal invitations to the voters. There were some problems with delivery of personal invitations in the certain districts (SMD #27, city of Dnipro).
However, OPORA's observers didn't notice any hazards for proper organization of the election process by PECs despite substantial problems in the beginning of their work.
ACTIVITIES OF CANDIDATES
The number of candidates who campaigned quite actively has gradually increased on the final stage of election campaign, and the scale of campaigning events has been growing in all seven single-member districts. As for the quantity of candidates who actually participated in campaigning activities, the most competitive districts were #23 (Volyn obl.) and #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.), with 61% and 43% active candidates respectively. The least competitive districts: #206 (Chernihiv oblast) – 18% of active candidates; #114 (Luhansk oblast) – 23%; and #27 (Dnipropetrovsk oblast) – 25%. In general, only around one third of registered candidates are actively campaigning in parliamentary by-election in in seven districts. Thus, we have to ascertain the fact that so-called technical candidates prevail in number the real candidates.
The forms of campaigning haven't radically changed over the last few weeks. While the candidates mostly use street campaigning and visual political advertising, there is also a burst of direct voter engagement. The major tendency of the final campaign stage are often visits of national politicians to the districts (except for Luhansk oblast). Top campaigners are Yuliia Tymoshenko, Oleh Liashko, Oleh Tiahnybok, and Ivan Krulko.
Registered candidates/candidates who conduct campaigning activities (17 July 2016 by-election of MPs):
|# of district||Number of registered candidates (as of 7/14/2016)||Number of candidates who conduct active or moderate campaigning activities||Percentage of activene candidates|
|SMD #23 (Volyn obl.)||18||11||61%|
|SMD #27 (Dnipro)||59||15||25%|
|SMD #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.)||37||16||43%|
|SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.)||107||25||23%|
|SMD #151 (Poltava obl.)||47||14||30%|
|SMD #183 (Kherson obl.)||29||10||34%|
|SMD #206 (city of Chernihiv)||74||13||18%|
SMD #23 (settlement of Manevychi, Volyn obl.)
There were 20 candidates willing to participate in parliamentary by-election in Ukraine in electoral district #23. However, according to the CEC resolutions #169, 185, 193, 209 and 220, only 19 candidates were registered. Besides that, one candidate (Valerii Nikitchenko) had withdrawn his candidacy.
During the reporting period, 2 more candidates joined those 9 candidates who had been already campaigning in June. In general, only 60% of candidates in Volyn oblast are actively campaigning in the district.
|Iryna Konstankevych||Ukrainian Union of Patriots – UKROP|
|Serhii Bula||The Radical Party of Oleh Liashko|
|Liudmyla Kyrda||All-Ukrainian Union Batkivshchyna|
|Oleksandr Pyrozhyk||All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda|
|Yurii Kulachek||Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity'|
|Tetiana Lyshnevets||Narodnyi Kontrol (People's Oversight) Civic Movement|
|Volodymyr Demchuk||Ukraina Slavetna political party|
The most widespread campaigning means in district #23 are: billboards and placards with pictures of candidates, information tents, personal meetings with the voters, campaigning in mass media (printed, online, TV and radio), dissemination of printed campaigning materials (newspapers, booklets and leaflets), organization of concerts and other public events.
Some candidates use resources of political parties in their campaign activities. Usually they use the property of political parties in they campaigning. For example, candidates Serhii Bula, Yurii Kulachek, Liudmyla Kyrda, Oleksandr Pyrozhyk and Tetiana Lyshnevets use tents of the Radical Party of Oleh Liashko, Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity', AUU Batkivshchyna, AUU Svoboda and Narodnyi Kontrol Civic Movement to disseminate printed campaign materials. Only one candidate, Tetiana Lyshnevets, didn't conclude an agreement on the lease of information tents with a party.
During the reporting period, MPs of Ukraine visited the district twice to participate in events organized in support of candidates. For example, Oles Donii attended a meeting with the voters organized by candidate Tetiana Lyshnevets on July 10, 2016 and urged them to vote for her. Besides that, MP Ivan Krulko participated in the celebration of Kolky Village Day (village Kolky in Manevychi raion) on the same day. The MP called the citizens to vote for Liudmyla Kurda (member of the AUU Batkivshchyna) from the stage.
There are some examples of using party symbols in election campaigning efforts of candidates in district #23. For example, the AUU Svoboda disseminated party newspapers from information tents with party logo in the beginning of the election process. Besides that, the Radical Party of Oleh Liashko disseminated its party newspaper Borotba, containing the information about activities of party leader, together with campaign materials of Serhii Bula. However, there are no other ways the parties participate in public life.
Campaign slogans of the most active candidates. Election district #23
|Candidate||Nominating entity||Slogan, promise, declaration|
|Bula Serhii Volodymyrovych||The Radical Party of Oleh Liashko||“Use pitchfork against the government and oligarchs!”|
|Konstankevych Iryna Myroslavivna||Ukrainian Union of Patriots – UKROP||“We can change the life for better only together!”|
|Kyrda Liudmyla Fedorivna||All-Ukrainian Union Batkivshchyna||“Fair state, honest government, decent life.”|
|Pyrozhyk Oleksandr Veniaminovych||All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda||“To live in justice, to work conscientiously!”|
|Kulachek Yurii Mykolaiovych||Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity'||“We have managed to stand for, we will manage to change!”|
|Venislavskyi Fedir Volodymyrovych||self-nominated||“Live as other people do. Vote conscientiously!”|
|Demchuk Volodymyr Hryhorovych||Ukraina Slavetna political party||“Ukraine was is and will be glorious.”|
|Rytsko Ihor Yosypovych||self-nominated||
“Let's clean Volyn from corruption!”
“Conscious is not for sale!”
|Lyshnevets Tetiana Petrivna||Narodnyi Kontrol Civic Movement||“We'll make the government work fairly!”|
Iryna Konstankevych (Ukrainian Union of Patriots – UKROP), Serhii Bula (Radical Party of Oleh Liashko) and Liudmyla Kyrda (All-Ukrainian Union Batkivshchyna) were the most active candidates in the last weeks of election campaign in district #23.
SMD #27 (city of Dnipro)
15 of 59 candidates for MPs of Ukraine were quite active in the last weeks of campaign.
|Candidate||Subject of nomination|
|Tetiana Korniichuk||AUU Batkivshchyna|
|Tetiana Lampika||Greens political party|
|Dmytro Khorishko||People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh)|
|Serhieiev Pavlo||Ukraina Slavetna|
Withdrawal of Oksana Tomchuk (UKROP) in favor of candidate Tetiana Rychkova became the central event in the district during the reporting period. Candidates actively use various campaigning forms – outdoor, media, street and direct engagement. However, the most popular are campaigning tents and outdoor advertising.
In the city of Dnipro, public persons visited campaign events of the certain MP candidates in electoral district #27. For example, MPs Pavlo Kyshkar and Viktor Kryvenko visited the district where Dmytro Khorishko (People's Movement of Ukraine) was nominated to disseminate campaign materials and communicate with the voters. MP Nadiia Savcehnko came to the district to campaign for Korniichuk Tetiana (AUU Batkivshchyna). MP Yurii Levchenko participated in campaigning events of Zamkovyi Oleksandr (AUU Svoboda).
Party logos are not actively used because of large number of independent candidates participating, except for the People's Movement of Ukraine and AUU Batkivshchyna.
Campaign slogans of the most active candidates. Election District #27
|Candidate||Subject of nomination||Slogan, promise, declaration|
|Serhii Ruliov||Samopomich Union||“Our man from Dnipro”|
“For peace! For Dnipropetrovsk!”
“Let's return the city its name”
“The only candidate from opposition”
|Viktoriia Shylova||self-nominated||“Vote for the peace”|
|Serhii Zhukov||self-nominated||“Win together”|
“For the only candidate from patriotic forces”
“Our. Real. Steady”
|Oleksandr Momot||self-nominated||“Order and stability”|
|Oleksandr Kuznetsov||Patriotic Party of Ukraine||“Vote for the partiots”|
|Viktoriia Tiutierieva||self-nominated||“The victory is being made by people!”|
|Anastasiia Staroskoltseva||self-nominated||“Real actions”|
|Zahid Krasnov||self-nominated||“The only candidate from opposition”|
|Anzhelika Pylypenko||self-nominated||“Trust in the people – trust of the people!”|
Independent candidates Tetiana Rychkova and Zahid Krasnov, and Tetiana Korniichuk (AUU Batkivshchyna) were the most active in campaigning efforts in district #27 over the last weeks of election campaign. Candidates actively use media and outdoor advertising, as well as street tents. Tetiana Rychkova conducts meetings with the voters in housing areas and labor associations of state and communal enterprises. Tetiana Korniichuk uses picture of Nadiia Savchenko in her outdoor advertising.
SMD #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.)
The list of active candidates has increased in three persons over the last week. These candidates are Oleh Nyzhnyk, Volodymyr Klius and representative of the European Party of Ukraine Valerii Shapovalov. Thus, only 16 of 37 candidates organized campaigning activities.
|Candidate||Subject of nomination|
|Andrian Volhin||Syla Liudei|
|Serhii Nasalyk||Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity'|
|Oleh Savka||People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh)|
|Olha Sikora||AUU Batkivshchyna|
|Oksana Tebeshevska||AUU SVOBODA|
|Ihor Tkach||Republican Party|
|Viktor Shevchenko||Ukrainian Union of Patriots – UKROP|
|Anzhela Yarovata||The Radical Party of Oleh Liashko|
|Valerii Shapovalov||European Party|
Meetings with the voters, political advertising in the media and outdoor political advertising are the most widespread forms of campaigning. Outdoor advertising is used widely, but not by all active candidates in the district. All active candidates used their right for free broadcast time on radio and television, provided for campaigning purposes.
Despite law-enforcement bodies investigated into OPORA's report about activities having features of indirect voter bribery, Viktor Shevchenko (UKROP) continued organising free trips to the Tourist complex "Bukovel".
National politicians became increasingly active in campaigning activities in district #85. Such instrument is used by Olha Sikora (AUU Batkivshchyna), Oksana Tebeshevska (AUU Svoboda), Ihor Tkach (Republican Party) and Anzhela Yarovata (Radical Party of Oleh Liashko). For example, Oleh Tiahnybok, Andrii Illienko, Andrii Mokhnyk, Roman Koshulynskyi visited the district to participate in meetings with the voters organized by candidate Oksana Tebeshevska (AUU Svoboda). In July, MP Ivan Krulko visited the district in support of Olha Sikora (AUU Batkivshchyna). On 12 July, Ihor Mosiichuk campaigned for candidate from the Radical Party Anzhela Yarovata during a concert of Kozak System rock band. On 11-13 July, Honorary Chairman of the Republican Party Levko Lukianenko campaigned for Ihor Tkach on his meetings with the voters.
Campaign slogans of the most active candidates. Election District #94
|Candidate||Subject of nomination||Slogan, promise, declaration|
|Olha Sikora||AUU Batkivshchyna||
“I'm not going to betray you”
“Motherland needs a fighter like Sikora” “Reconsideration of tariffs”
|Serhii Nasalyk||Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity'||
“I never promise things I can't accomplish”
|Viktor Shevchenko||Ukrainian Union of Patriots – UKROP||
“Roads made by standards.
Let's unite, patriots!”
|Oleh Savka||People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh)||
“Finally we have someone to choose”
“Economic patriotism program of the Rukh”
“2 billion investment from Bavaria
20 thousand workplaces”
|Oksana Tebeshevska||AUU SVOBODA||“I will protect simple Ukrainians”|
In the last weeks of campaigning, Viktor Shevchenko, Serhii Nasalyk and Olha Sikora were the most active in district #85.
Viktor Shevchenko (Ukrainian Union of Patriots – UKROP) used political advertising in local mass media, dissemination of printed campaign materials in campaigning tents and on streets. Besides that, free Bukovel mountain tours were also organized in the reporting period. Besides that, OPORA's observers have got a video from one of such tours, where the candidate tells the voters about his plans in the Bukovel Tourist Complex (https://youtu.be/GjcNdUUP8T8). As for these free travel tours, OPORA has reported them to the police, because they have features of indirect voter bribery. The report was registered and the information is being verified.
Serhii Nasalyk (Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity') uses political advertising on billboards and in local mass media (online and printed). He also organizes meetings with the voters, dissemination of newspapers and leaflets from tents and on streets.
Olha Sikora (AUU Batkivshchyna) has started to use political advertising on outdoor advertising means, comapred to the previous reporting period. The candidate continues organizing meetings with the voters, dissemination of political advertising in local mass media and street campaigning comprising dissemination of printed campaign materials on streets and from tents. The curren MPs are also actively participating in campaigning efforts of candidates. For example, MP Ivan Krulko participated in a press-conference in Kalush, organized by a candidate.
SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.)
The candidates have become increasingly active in the last weeks of election campaign. The number of campaign events has raised in Stanychno-Luhanskyi raion compared to June. Candidates and political parties became more active in all raions of the district without exception. Bilovodskyi raion still has the largest number of campaigning events. The number of active candidates has also increased to 25 (compared to 14 active candidates in June):
|Candidate||Subject of nomination|
|Babenko Dmytro Volodymyrovych||Syla Liudei|
|Bondarchuk Oleksandr Vasylovych||self-nominated|
|Bruchko Roman Mykolaiovych||UKROP|
|Velychko Anatolii Volodymyrovych||People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh)|
|Verihina Iryna Kostiantynivna||AUU Batkivshchyna|
|Hladyrieva Liudmyla Oleksandrivna||self-nominated|
|Hrekov Mykola Oleksandrovych||self-nominated|
|Denyshchenko Denys Viktorovych||Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity'|
|Detochka Anatolii Yuriiovych||self-nominated|
|Zaretskyi Serhii Viktorovych||self-nominated|
|Ilchenko Kostiantyn Hryhorovych||The Radical Party of Oleh Liashko|
|Kobzar Oleh Yuriiovych||self-nominated|
|Kostanchuk Taras Dmytrovych||self-nominated|
|Litvinov Yurii Oleksandrovych||self-nominated|
|Liebedev Borys Viktorovych||Opposition Bloc|
|Lesyk Andrii Anatoliiovych||self-nominated|
|Malevanets Oleksii Anatoliiovych||self-nominated|
|Moroz Tetiana Volodymyrivna||Solidarity of Women of Ukraine|
|Moshenskyi Valerii Zakharovych||self-nominated|
|Pavlyshyn Nadiia Viktorivna||Ukraina Slavetna|
|Ponomarenko Yurii Serhiiovych||Right Sector|
|Filimonenko Vsevolod Kostiantynovych||self-nominated|
|Shakhov Serhii Volodymyrovych||Nash Krai|
|Shvaiko Ihor Oleksandrovych||AUU Svoboda|
|Shpakovskyi Vitalii Hennadiiovych||European Party of Ukraine|
The most popular forms of campaigning were the following: outdoor advertising, organization of meetings with the voters, public events, election charity, indirect bribery of voters, and advertising in local media. Some candidates have started actively using black PR.
Candidates representing the party in power sometimes tend to present themselves as independent candidates to raise the chances of being elected in their district. However, national politicians didn't visit the district #114 to campaign for the candidates, in contrast to the other oblasts.
Civil Network OPORA has analyzed election programs of candidates in single-member district #114. They all have used, either fully or in part, statements from other candidates who participated in the previous parliamentary elections. Some of the candidates used some or all statements from their previous programs, when they participated in two previous parliamentary election campaigns, or election programs of political parties. Thus, according to the analysis results, 90 of 107 candidates have the features of plagiarism in their election programs (83% of all programs). 76 programs contained statements from the programs belonging to other candidates, and 14 programs were similar to previous election ones. Only 14% or 15 candidates have prepared unique texts. Thus, the following 5 candidates have unique programs and are active in the district: Kostiantyn Ilchenko (Radical Party of Oleh Liashko), Iryna Verihina (AUU Batkivshchyna), Serhii Zaretskyi (independent candidate), Nadiia Pavlyshyn (Ukraina Slavetna) and Serhii Shakhov (Nash Krai).
Campaign slogans of the most active candidates. Election District #114
|Candidate||Subject of nomination||Slogan, promise, declaration|
|Babenko Dmytro Volodymyrovych||Syla Liudei||“New politics without oligarchs”|
|Verihina Iryna Kostiantynivna||Batkivshchyna||“Your land – your Motherland”|
|Hladyrieva Liudmyla Oleksandrivna||self-nominated||“Show how you treat the ruling party – vote for a communist!”|
|Denyshchenko Denys Viktorovych||Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity'||“Candidate from Luhansk oblast!”|
|Zaretskyi Serhii Viktorovych||self-nominated||“Modern village – happy people!”|
|Kobzar Oleh Yuriiovych||self-nominated||“Peace in Luhansk oblast, restoration of the demolished, investments in the economy!”|
|Kostanchuk Taras Dmytrovych||self-nominated||“For the justice and worthy life of Ukrainians. Choose the justice! Vote for Konstanchuk”|
|Lesyk Andrii Anatoliiovych||self-nominated||“For the sanity! For the friendship with Russian people! Conflicts must be solved peacefully! The government works to the detriment of the people! Our path is just – we will win!”|
|Malevanets Oleksii Anatoliiovych||self-nominated||“Preserve the village together”|
|Moshenskyi Valerii Zakharovych||self-nominated||
“Vote for the MP candidate Moshenskyi Valerii Zakharovych”
“The government cannot be repaired”
|Shakhov Serhii Volodymyrovych||Nash Krai||“Our candidate from Luhansk oblast”, “Let's gain the peace on our land”, “Luhansk oblast is my home, we are the one family! With people and for people!”|
|Shvaiko Ihor Oleksandrovych||“Freedom”||“Shvaiko is our man! It's time to choose the freedom!”|
|Shpakovskyi Vitalii Hennadiiovych||European Party of Ukraine||“Vote For! A hereditary miner”|
In district #114, Serhii Shakhov (Nash Krai), Iryna Verihina (AUU Batkivshchyna) and independent candidate Andrii Lesyk are the most active in the last weeks of campaigning.
SMD #151 (Poltava obl.)
The candidates are increasingly active in the last two weeks. The district is overwhelmed with campaigning tents and printed campaign materials, which are often placed in prohibited places (on trees, pillars etc.). 14 of 47 candidates were actively campaigning:
|Candidate (Name)||Subject of nomination|
|Serhii Mamoian||Serhii Kaplin's Party of Simple People|
|Oleksandr Berezianskyi||Opposition Bloc|
|Ruslan Liashko||The Radical Party of Oleh Liashko|
|Ihor Chadiuk||Right Sector|
The candidates are actively using direct voter engagement instruments. They are also using outdoor, street and media campaigning, particularly in social media. National politicians came to the district to campaign for the candidates they support. Yuliia Tymoshenko campaigned for candidate Ruslan Bondar from fer party. Oleh Tiahnybok visited the district to support Ivan Blyzniuk (AUU Svoboda). Semen Semenchenko came to the district to support independent candidate Valentyn Manko.
Campaign slogans of the most active candidates. Election District #151
Party which nominated the candidate
|Slogan, promise, declaration|
|Serhii Mamoian||Party of Simple People||“For Serhii Mamoian!” For Simple People!|
|Oleksandr Olshanskyi||self-nominated||“Our man for our people”|
|Ruslan Bohdan||Batkivshchyna||“Poltava oblast is your Motherland”, “Order” Justice. Batkivshchyna|
|Ivan Blyzniuk||Svoboda||“Choose your fellow countryman – vote for Blyzniuk”|
|Valentyn Manko||self-nominated||“We have defended our Motherland – we will defend our people”|
|Oleksandr Myhal||self-nominated||“We believe in ourselves! We believe our people!”|
|Ruslan Liashko||The Radical Party of Oleh Liashko||“A differently-designed politician”|
|Valerii Bohun||self-nominated||“Grabbers and grafters, get out, let the cossacks pass!”|
|Oleksii Riabokon||self-nominated||“Choose a person by its deeds”|
|Oleksandr Berezianskyi||Opposition Bloc||“For peace and development”|
|Mykola Bondar||self-nominated||“I keep my word and answer for the consequences”|
|Ihor Chadiuk||Right Sector||“Let's gain a State for the Nation!”|
|Inna Avramenko||UKROP||“Who but us is going to improve the life to Poltava oblast”|
Ruslan Bohdan (AUU Batkivshchyna), Serhii Mamoian (Serhii Kaplin's Party of Simple People) and independent candidate Oleksii Riabokon were the most active candidates in district #151 in the last weeks of campaigning.
SMD #183 (Kherson obl.)
Only some candidates continue campaigning actively. Thus, candidates A. Putilov (PPB), Yu. Odarchenko (Batkivshchyna), A. Sereda (Opposition Bloc), M. Opanashchenko (Vidrodzhennia) and O. Knyha (UKROP) are the most active among those nominated by political parties. Candidates Rybachok (People's Movement), Dudar (Samopomich) and Havrylko (Svoboda) are moderately active. Candidate Ukhal, who represents the Solidarity of Women of Ukraine, has significantly intensified her campaigning efforts over the reporting period. All the other nominees from political parties have only a few billboards or campaigning posters. Thus, only 10 of 29 candidates organized campaigning activities.
|Candidate||Subject of nomination|
|A. Sereda||The Opposition Bloc|
|I. Kyva||Independent candidate|
|O. Ukhal (became active only in the last weeks)||Solidarity of Women of Ukraine|
|S. Rybachok||People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh)|
Candidates use the variety of activities and campaigning means. The most widespread are the following: street posters, outdoor advertising means, mass media, information tents and campaigners, door-to-door campaigns, public events (both single-time and long-term (swimming school, football championship in Bilozerka raion organized by A. Putilov, events for children organized by Yu. Odarchenko), publication and determination of campaign materials. As for individual forms of campaigning, I. Kyva organized “direct action” campaigning events, M. Opanashchenko had campaigning cars.
Batkivshchyna's resources are actively used in campaigning of Yu. Odarchenko. For example, on 11 July, party leader Yu. Tymoshenko visited the village of Stanislav and the city of Kherson. Candidate A. Sereda, for his part, based his campaign on a non-public network of the Opposition Bloc. Samopomich and the Radical Party are barely involved in campaigning of their candidates. On 13 July, Svoboda party leader O. Tiahnybok visited the city of Kherson to campaign for candidate O. Havrylko.
Campaign slogans of the most active candidates. Election District #183
|Candidate||Subject of nomination||Slogan, promise, declaration|
“Let's stop the genocide of the village”
“We are able to establish fair tariffs”
|A. Putilov||PPB||“Vote for the deeds”|
|O. Havrylko||Freedom||“Always with you and never with oligarchs”|
|C. Rybachok||People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh)||“We move together into the future”|
In district #183, Andrii Putilov (Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity'), Yurii Odarchenko (AUU Batkivshchyna) and Illia Kiva (independent candidate) were the most active in the last weeks of campaigning.
SMD #206 (city of Chernihiv)
13 of 74 candidates were actively campaigning:
|Candidate||Subject of nomination|
|Ihor Andriichenko||Democratic Alliance|
|Dmytro Blaush||The Radical Party of Oleh Liashko|
|Yurii Vlasenko||AUU Batkivshchyna|
|Lidiia Haievska||The Opposition Bloc|
|Volodymyr Fedorok||AUU Svoboda|
|Pavlo Chemeryskyi||European Party of Ukraine|
Candidates usually use some campaigning means at a time. Thus, it's popular to organize concerts and celebrations, including celebration of village days. Organizers often treat the voters to food, drinks, hire children animators, give the people presents and prizes. It's also popular to use “mobile public receptions” or organize meetings with the voters in the yards of small set. Many electoral subjects set up campaigning tents and disseminate printed campaign materials. Outdoor political advertising is quite popular. Printed, audio, visual and electronic mass media are also actively used in campaigning.
Newspapers Poliskyi Perets and Chetverta Vlada are also disseminated in the district, and most of their printing space is filled with black PR against candidates Maksym Mykytas, Yehor Firsov and Yurii Vlasenko.
Nominees of parliamentary political parties are actively campaigning, except for Serhii Harus, nominated by the Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity'. The candidates are actively attracting famous politicians, MPs of Ukraine and leaders of political parties to their campaigning efforts. Yuliia Tymoshenko (to support Yuri Vlasov, AUU Batkivshchyna), Oleh Liashko (to support Dmytro Blaush, Radical Party), Oleh Tiahnybok (to support Volodymyr Fodorok, AUU Svoboda), Mustafa Naiiem (to support Ihor Andriichenko, Democratic Alliance), and Viktor Chumak (to support independent candidate Yehor Firsov) visited the district during the reporting period.
Most of candidates nominated by parties use symbols and branding of their parties, for example candidates Oleksandr Kyryndas (Samopomich), Yaroslav Hirich (UKROP), Yurii Vlasenko (AUU Batkivshchyna), Ihor Andriichenko (Democratic Alliance), Volodymyr Fedorok (AUU Svoboda»), Lidiia Haievska (Opposition Bloc). Independent candidates Hryhorii Tkachenko and Oksana Hryshchenko actively used party symbols, particularly the Agrarian Party of Ukraine and Syla Liudei respectively. Party symbols are usually placed on outdoor advertising means, tents and in mass media.
Campaign slogans of the most active candidates. Election District #206
|Candidate||Subject of nomination||Slogan, promise, declaration|
|Maksym Mykytas||self-nominated||“Development of Chernihiv oblast will rescue Polissia”|
|Yurii Vlasenko||AUU Batkivshchyna||
“We'll make the government make lower tariffs”
“Chernihiv oblast is my Motherland”
|Dmytro Blaush||RP||“Liashko and Blaush”|
|Yehor Firsov||self-nominated||“Fight for Justice”|
|Yaroslav Hirich||UKROP||“Clean thoughts – noble deeds”|
|Oleksandr Kyryndas||Samopomich||“A proud choice”|
|Hryhorii Tkachenko||self-nominated||“Support your countryman”|
|Ihor Andriichenko||Democratic Alliance||“Choose the deserving”|
|Lidiia Haievska||The Opposition Bloc||“For the stable development”|
|Oksana Hryshchenko||self-nominated||“Syla Liudei with Chernihiv in hearts”|
|Volodymyr Fedorok||AUU Svoboda||“I don't buy votes – I will not sell Chernihiv oblast”|
In the last weeks of campaigning,Maksym Mykytas, Dmytro Blaush and Yurii Vlasenko were the most active candidates in district #206.
Independent candidate Maksym Mykytas is actively engaged in election campaigning. Thus, he provided assistance for organization of different concerts in the district including “berries festival”, “Ivana Kupala feast” etc. The voters received free food and presents; the Culture Department of Chernihiv Oblast State Administration organized participation of craftsmen. The candidate actively uses campaigning tents to disseminate various printed campaign materials – from newspapers to recipes. Maksym Mykytas has also assisted the construction of playgrounds, where the children receive gifts.
Dmytro Blaush (Radical Party of Oleh Liashko) enjoys participation of MPs of Ukraine Oleh Liashko, Vasyl Amelchenko, and Dmytro Linko in his election campaigning. On 10 July, Dmytro Blaush and Oleh Liashko conducted a number of events with the voters in Chernihiv city, particularly a concert in the Masany micro district with free children animators and free toys. He uses printed campaigning materials, outdoor advertising and campaigning tents.
Yurii Vlasenko (AUU Batkivshchyna) is also quite active. He attracts MPs of Ukraine Oleksanda Kuzhel, Valerii Dubil, Ivan Krulko, Serhii Soboliev, Yuliia Tymoshenko to his campaigning efforts. Candidates organize “mobile public receptions” and meetings with the voters. Besides that, Batkivshchyna party and Yurii Vlasenko organize together holidays for children. Observers noticed opening of some playgrounds in the district, which construction was sponsored by Yurii Vlasenko and the party. In campaigning tents, signatures are collected against the increase of tariffs. Mass media, printed media, outdoor and street advertising is acttively used in campaigning.
FINANCIAL REPORTS OF CANDIDATES
According to the Article 49 (5) of the Law of Ukraine on Elections of People's Deputies and the calendar plan of the preparation and conduction of parliamentary by-election, all the candidates were supposed to submit interim financial reports on contributions received and expenditures made from campaign fund accounts to district election commissions until 8 July (on paper and in electronic form).
However, OPORA's observers have analyzed the candidates' reporting and found that only one third of all registered candidates in seven districts had submitted the reports required by the Law. Candidates in district #23 (Volyn oblast) turned out to be the most law-abiding; 60% of them submitted interim financial reports. The situation in district #114 (Luhansk oblast) is the worst – only 14% of candidates observed the Law. Thus, OPORA's observers filed reports on violation of the Law of Ukraine on Elections of People's Deputies based on the detected violations. According to the Article 212-21 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Ukraine, violation of the procedure or time constraints for submission of financial reports on contributions received and expenditures made from campaign fund accounts, or submission of financial report which is not executed in accordance with the law, shall be punished with a fine in amount of from one to three hundreds of untaxed minimum salaries.
Submission of interim financial reports
|# of district||Number of registered candidates (as of 7/14/2016)||Number of candidates who submitted reports||Percentage or submitted reports|
|SMD #23 (Volyn obl.)||18||11||61%|
|SMD #27 (Dnipro)||59||29||49%|
|SMD #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.)||37||13||35%|
|SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.)||107||15||14%|
|SMD #151 (Poltava obl.)||47||12||26%|
|SMD #183 (Kherson obl.)||29||14||48%|
|SMD #206 (city of Chernihiv)||74||15||20%|
Neglect of the Law requirement concerning the creation of campaign fund accounts is a similar violation to non-submission of interim financial reports. According to the Law, a party whose MP candidates were registered in the nationwide election district, as well as an MP candidate in a single-mandate election district, shall open an electoral fund account no later than on the tenth day following the day of registration by the Central Election Commission. In most cases, the candidates who failed to submit financial reports also didn't inform the commission about opening of campaign account.
According to the Article 61 (1,2) of the Law of Ukraine on Elections of People's Deputies, the Central Election Commission may adopt a decision to issue a warning to a party whose MP candidates are included in the party’s electoral list or to an individual MP candidate. According to the Article 48 (1) of the Law of Ukraine on Elections of People's Deputies, the Central Election Commission may adopt a decision to issue a warning to a party whose MP candidates are included in the party’s electoral list or to an individual MP candidate.
On Thursday, 14 July, the Central Election Commission has issued warnings to a number of candidates for MPs registered in SMDs #23, 27, 85, 114, 151, 183 and 206, who violated the time constraints for opening of campaign fund accounts. Thus, 225 of 371 candidates were issued the warning. According to OPORA's calculations, 5 of 18 candidates were issued the warning in SMD #23; 27 of 59 in SMD #27; 20 of 37 in SMD #85; 86 of 107 in SMD #114; 27 of 47 in SMD #151; 9 of 29 in SMD #183; and 51 of 74 in SMD #206. Thus, candidates in SMD #23 turned out to be the most disciplined (only 27.8% were issued the warning), in contrast to the SMD #114, where 80.4% were issued the warning.
District election commissions, for their part, were receiving and and approving the interim financial reports from candidates in a formalistic manner. They didn't consider or analyze them properly. For example, the DEC in district #183 (Kherson oblast) have approved all the submitted reports despite some of them lacked electronic forms or didn't correspond to the reporting requirements. Similar situations also occurred in other districts, where commissions neglected the absence of some attachments; discrepancies between information about expenses in paragraphs and presence of information about these very expenses in a table); discrepancies between the campaigning expenses in the report and real expenses (for example no information about information tents while the candidate has many tents in the district).
Thus, OPORA's observers have noticed that the candidates produced the certain campaign materials and didn't report them in interim financial reports. For example, candidate Serhii Bula in district #23 (Volyn oblast) produced “anti-corruption pitchforks”and marked them with stickers, but didn't report them; Iryna Konstankevych (UKROP) placed 10 billboards in the district and didn't include them in her report. Candidate from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc 'Solidarity' in Luhansk oblast Denys Denyshchenko has declared expenses on placement of advertising in municipal media, but didn't include the production of campaign leaflets into the report.
Candidates in district #27 (Dnipropetrovsk oblast) declared the largest amount of expenses – 8.8 million UAH. The second largest amount was spent by the candidates in district #206 (Chernihiv oblast). Candidates in district #23 (Volyn oblast) spent the smallest amount of funds – a little more than one million UAH.
Total expenses of candidates per districts
|# of district||Expenditures of candidates who submitted reports|
|SMD #27 (Dnipro)||8810635|
|SMD #206 (city of Chernihiv)||5048879|
|SMD #183 (Kherson obl.)||1664932|
|SMD #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.)||1517313|
|SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.)||1276956|
|SMD #151 (Poltava obl.)||1127613|
|SMD #23 (Volyn obl.)||1110096|
Self-nominated candidate Zahid Krasnov has spent the largest amount on campaigning of all the candidates who had officially declared their expenses. His two competitors in district #27 (Dnipropetrovsk oblast) – independent candidate Tetiana Rychkova spent 2.2 million UAH and candidate from the UKROP party Oksana Tomchuk, who had withdrawn her candidacy, spent (1.7 million UAH) – are the second and the third in top three spenders. They are followed by candidates in district #206 independent candidate Maksym Mykytas and representative of the AUU Batkivshchyna Yurii Vlasenko – 1.4 and 1.1 respectively.
Top 5 spenders in parliamentary by-election
|# of district||Candidates||Amount of election fund expenses, UAH|
|SMD #27 (Dnipro)||Krasnov Zahid Hennadiiovych||2649265|
|SMD #27 (Dnipro)||Rychkova Tetiana Borysivna||2250557|
|SMD #27 (Dnipro)||Tomchuk Oksana Valentynivna||1736761|
|SMD #206 (city of Chernihiv)||Mykytas Maksym Viktorovych||1452816|
|SMD #206 (city of Chernihiv)||Vlasenko Yurii Dmytrovych||1144252|
Top spenders per districts
|# of district||Candidates||Amount of election fund expenses, UAH|
|SMD #23 (Volyn obl.)||Konstankevych Iryna Myroslavivna||515657|
|SMD #27 (Dnipro)||Krasnov Zahid Hennadiiovych||2649265|
|SMD #85 (Ivano-Frankivsk obl.)||Shevchenko Viktor Leonidovych||361304|
|SMD #114 (Luhansk obl.)||Lesyk Andrii Anatoliiovych||434056|
|SMD #151 (Poltava obl.)||Bohdan Ruslan Dmytrovych||430741|
|SMD #183 (Kherson obl.)||Kyva Illia Volodymyrovych||367009|
|SMD #206 (city of Chernihiv)||Mykytas Maksym Viktorovych||1452816|
To the President of Ukraine
- To urgently sign the amendments to the Law of Ukraine on State Budget of Ukraine for 2016 (concerning increased expenditures on the Central Election Commission in parliamentary by-election in Ukraine).
To the Central Election Commission
- To strengthen oversight of adherence to and uniform application of the electoral legislation in parliamentary by-election in Ukraine through mobilization of CEC members authorized to supervise the certain districts, as well as consideration of electoral issues on its own initiative;
- To better inform the public and media concerning issues emerging in the election process and the corresponding response of the CEC.
To district election commissions
- To refrain from politically motivated decisions and guarantee that unauthorized persons do not interfere in the process.
To law-enforcement agencies of Ukraine
- To provide efficient investigation of electoral violations and inform the media, observers and the public about investigation results;
- To strengthen preventive and awareness-rising efforts targeted at electoral subjects and goaled to prevent electoral violations, taking into consideration the information about bribery schemes applied by candidates.