Group manager

Pashkova Nadiia
Phone: 066 154 74 70
npashkova@ifes.org

Lead expert

Radchenko Yevhen
eradchenko@internews.ua
Мельничук Віталій
melnychuk9@gmail.com

Civil Society Organisations:

  • Civil Network OPORA
  • Committee of Voters of Ukraine
  • Internews Ukraine
  • Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research
  • Election Law Institute
  • Human rights platform
  • ISSUES TO BE RESOLVED BY THE REFORM

    The electoral systems based on which the Ukrainian elections are held do not facilitate rotation of political elites and lead to abuse of administrative resources and vote buying. While the political parties represented in the parliament have declared the need in shifting to the open list proportional electoral system for parliamentary elections and local council elections, the respective provisions of the Coalition Agreement are yet to be implemented. Further, there is no systematic dialogue between the politicians and experts on the prospects of the introduction of the open list proportional electoral system and its substance. Despite the permanent changes of the laws governing the elections in Ukraine, the current electoral legal framework fails to address the OSCE/ODIHR and Venice Commission’s recommendations for its improvement, neither does it reflect the best European practices..
    Despite the significant number of criminal cases against those who committed the election-related crimes, the majority of such cases were closed before the court hearings, while those which survived until court hearings ended up with acquittal verdicts or very soft punishments. The legal framework fails to provide for the sanctions for many violations (including distribution of the goods and services in relation to the election campaigning). As a result, election-related crimes mostly go unsanctioned, something that creates an incentive to repeatedly commit the crimes during the next elections.
    The Central Election Commission with the expired terms of the most of its members still remains an issue. During the last several years, the experts have repeatedly called for replacing 12 out of the 15 CEC members, whose terms in office expired in June 2014, by the new members suggested with due consideration of the names put forward by the party factions in the Parliament and civil society organizations specializing in electoral reform issues. In early June 2016, the President of Ukraine has officially proposed a slate of 11 (out of the 12 to be replaced) names to be approved by the legislature. However, the suggested slate of the nominees ignored the interests of a number of the party factions in the Parliament. Non-transparency of the process of replacing the CEC members, whose terms in office have expired years ago, as well as delays in appointments of new CEC members, is unacceptable from both the political and legal standpoints. The replacement of the CEC members with expired terms by the new commissioners through the inclusive and transparent procedure is a key precondition for ensuring independence and integrity of the Election Management Body, increased confidence of the politicians and society in general in the Commission, as well as to more fruitful cooperation between the Commission and the public.
    The Central Election Commission fails to maintain close interaction with the citizens. A number of CEC decisions have been strongly criticized by the public and experts (e.g., attempts to cancel the second round of mayoral election in Pavlohrad, de-facto repeal of the legally established gender quotas for the party lists etc.). These decisions have had a negative impact on public confidence in the Commission. Building close cooperation between the CEC, expert community and public in general could contribute to strengthening public confidence in the CEC.

    GOAL I. STABLE AND TRANSPARENT PARTY AND ELECTORAL SYSTEMS ENSURING RENEWAL OF POLITICAL ELITES, DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNAL PARTY DEMOCRACY AND PREVENTION OF POLITICAL FRAGMENTATION OF PARLIAMENT
    1. Introduce the open list proportional electoral system for parliamentary elections.

    Decision-making authority: Verkhovna Rada.

    1. Update the legal framework governing the local elections to ensure effective political representation in the local authorities.

    Decision-making authority: Verkhovna Rada.

    1. Launch public funding of political parties and ensure transparency of party finances.

    Decision-making authority: National Agency on Corruption Prevention

    GOAL II. INEVITABILITY OF PUNISHMENT FOR VIOLATIONS OF ELECTION LAWS
    1. Introduce an effective system of the sanctions for violations of the election laws, which would eliminate the possibilities for vote buying and abuse of administrative resources.

    Decision-making authority: Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

    1. Strengthen control over enforcement of sanctions for violation of the election laws.

    Decision-making authority: Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

    GOAL IІІ. EFFECTIVE AND INTEGRAL CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION
    1. Institutionalize cooperation of the expert community and civil society with the Central Election Commission through the establishment of the Public Council under the CEC.

    Decision-making authority: Verkhovna Rada, Central Election Commission.

    1. Facilitate strengthening the staff capacity of the Central Election Commission and contribute to a better quality of the CEC decisions.

    Decision-making authority: Verkhovna Rada.

    1. Monitor permanently the effectiveness and integrity of functioning of the Central Election Commission.
    2. Exclude the possibility of unlimited tenures of the members of the Central Election Commission.

    Decision-making authority: Verkhovna Rada.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    Group experts

    • Aivazovska Olha
    • Burmahin Oleksandr
    • Kliuchkovskyi Yurii
    • Kliuzhev Oleksandr
    • Kotsiuruba Olha
    • Kovryzhenko Denys
    • Kononchuk Svitlana
    • Pashkova Nadiia
    • Radchenko Yevhen
    • Shypilova Yulia
    • Tkachenko Serhii
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