Almost four years have passed since the expiration of the term of office for 12 out of 15 members of the Central Election Commission. In February 2017, term of office expired for another member of the Central Election Commission. Since the vast majority of the Central Election Commission members exercise their powers beyond the statutory term, the public legitimacy of the highest elections administration body in the state was called into question long time age. Despite the constant assurances of the senior government officials that the composition of the CEC will be updated in the nearest future, they have not lived up to their promises. Meanwhile, less than a year is left till the next presidential elections.
Currently, the road to the CEC renewal and the appointment of new members of the Commission instead of those whose powers have expired is wide open since all 14 nominees proposed by the President have been subjected to a special verification under the Law “On Prevention of Corruption”. Now, full responsibility for the prompt CEC renewal is borne by the Committee on Legal Policy and Justice, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, as well as the Parliament itself, which must make a final decision to renew the CEC.
In this context, it is important to ensure that there is a quorum at the meeting of the Committee on Legal Policy and Justice that is due to take place on April 18, 2018, and to make decisions on the proposed candidates in order so that they could be further considered by the Parliament.
Since the number of nominees for the CEC exceeds the number of vacancies, in resolving this issue, the Parliament should take into account the fact that in accordance with the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters of the Venice Commission, the CEC must have in its compositions at least one representative from each political party represented in the Parliament.
In this regard, the coalition of non-governmental organizations Reanimation Package of Reforms calls on:
1) The Committee on Legal Policy and Justice to urgently consider the CEC candidates submitted by the President and adopt the decisions provided for by the Regulation based on the results of the candidates consideration;
2) The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada to ensure urgent consideration by the Parliament of the termination of powers of all CEC members whose term of office has expired, and the appointment of new CEC members from the list proposed by the President;
3) The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: