After the events of the night of acceptance of protocols from PECs, the All-Ukrainian Union Fatherland filed a claim against the actions of the district election commission of district No.173. In the claim, a representative of the political party asked to recognise the decision of the district commission on the acceptance of documents of the precinct election commissions as such that violates current legislation and oblige the DEC to carry out vote recount. The evidence in this proceedings should have been the testimony of the official OPORA observer in the district No.173 and photos and videos recorded by her.

On 29 October, at the night meeting of the district commission of the ED No.173, the agent of the political party Fatherland Kateryna Artiukh suggested to check the completeness of all boxes, in which election documents were brought from the stations to the district commissions. The suggestion wasn't supported by members of the DEC — they referred to the lack of remarks on the integrity of packaging of the boxes.

Пошкоджена пломба

Such actions of the district commission became the cause of the claim. According to Kateryna Artiukh, these events are contrary to Section 5 of Article 94 of the Law of Ukraine On Election of People's Deputies of Ukraine. The provision states that when accepting the documents from PECs, a district commission shall check the completeness of documents and integrity of all packages with election documents.

This Law entitles all commission members to inspect the packages with documents. As the OPORA observer, who was present at the meeting, notes, none of the commission members used that opportunity.

Because of constant interruptions for technical reasons, the hearing of the case lasted for two days. On 31 October, there were four of them, and on 1 November — two.

Although OPORA observer Olena Ukrayinets was involved in the proceedings as a witness she didn't get to testify at the hearing. The court didn't deem necessary to call witnesses. However, some photo and video evidence recorded by the OPORA observer were included in the case. They demonstrate damaged seals (PEC No.631338) and packing the boxes with documents on the premises of the DEC (PECs No.631659 and 631660).

In the end, Kharkiv District Administrative Court ruled to dismiss the plaintiff's claim. Because, firstly, photo and video evidence provided don't support the evidence in the claim. I.e. the court wasn't provided with any evidence as to the fact that when the district commission accepted election documents from PECs, the completeness and integrity of packaging of the boxes hadn't been really checked.

По-друге, під час засідання сторони не заперечували щодо пакування боксів з виборчою документацією. В тому числі, не надходило зауважень щодо оформлень коробок і від члена ОВК від ВО “Батьківщина” на момент прийняття документів від ДВК.

Secondly, at the meeting, the parties didn't object to packing the boxes with election documents. Also, no remarks were received as to the packaging of boxes from the member of the DEC of the All-Ukrainian Union Fatherland when the documents from PEC were being accepted.

For comment, please contact:
Viktoriia Shevchuk,
Election Programmes Coordinator of the Civil Network OPORA
in Kharkiv Oblast
067 177 26 55
066 047 07 72

Civic monitoring conducted by OPORA - is a type of network activity, aimed at impartial assessment of the preparation and conduct of elections, as well as preventing violations through comprehensive civic action. Professional monitoring at all stages of the election process indirectly influences the quality of the campaign. The public opinion, both foreign and domestic is formed through gathering and spreading of information among the target audience. From a strategic perspective public monitoring of elections focuses upon improving the system and certain procedures.