Ukrainian leading non-governmental and expert organizations call on the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to urgently register in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine a submission on appointment of new members of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine (CEC). In autumn 2015, parliamentary factions and groups of MPs submitted their nominees to membership of the CEC. On 16 November 2015, Higher Administrative Court of Ukraine has ruled that inaction of the President of Ukraine, particularly a failure to appoint new members of the CEC, is illegitimate. However, the President hasn’t yet executed the court decision. Thus, such illegitimate inaction of the President is still taking place.
Despite 12 of 15 members of the Central Election Commission have had their seven-year term of office expired yet on 1 June 2014, they still keep their positions based on amendments to the Law of Ukraine on the Central Election Commission adopted in March 2014 with the aim of preventing interruption of the presidential election campaign. However, as of now all national and local elections have been finished and the argument that membership of the CEC should not change during the election process does not have a leg to stand on. Another groundless argument concerns the factions, which allegedly are not interested in rotation of the CEC members, because most of the factions and groups have already submitted nominees to a new membership yet in 2015.
Thus, such inaction in regard to appointment of new CEC members undermines the public trust in both collegial body and the election process as a whole. It also questions the legitimacy and independence of the CEC as an election administration body, and increases the risk of political pressure upon current nominees for Commission members. Besides that, uncertainty in the future of current CEC members decreases their interest in long-term planning and improvement of the election administration process.
Taking into consideration the abovementioned, we insist on the following steps in appointment of new CEC members:
Taking into consideration that some parliamentary factions have nominated many candidates for CEC members at once, it would be reasonable if they decide publicly on their top priority candidates, in order to secure open formation of the election administration body.
We would like to one more time draw attention of the President of Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the urgency of appointing 12 CEC members. Any further postponement of rotation in the CEC is a sign of legal nihilism and private interests standing above the interests of the public. It will also question the ability of higher authorities – the President and the Parliament – to secure implementation of the Constitution, adherence to the principles of legal certainty, independence of the election administration body and other general European principles of election administration.
Statement signed by:
Olha Ajvazovska, Head of Board of All-Ukrainian NGO “Civil Network OPORA”
Yuriy Dmytriyev, Head of NGO “Public Control of Kirovogradshchyna”
Tetyana Durnieva, Executive director of Donetsk regional branch of All-Ukrainian NGO “Committee of Voters of Ukraine”
Kostyantyn Kvurt, Head of Board of “Internews Ukraine”
Yuliya Kyrychenko, Constitutional Law Projects Manager, “Centre of Policy and Legal Reform”
Yuriy Klyuchkovskyi, President of “Election Law Institute”
Ihor Kozub, Head of “Committee of Restoration of Historical Justice”
Svitlana Kononchuk, Executive director of “Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research”
Oleksiy Koshel, Director General of NGO “Committee of Voters of Ukraine”
Volodymyr Kupriy, Executive director of “CCC Creative Center”
Mykhailo Nakhod, Head of “Center of Political Analysis and Election Consulting”
Olena Salata, Head of Board of NGO “Cultural Assembly”
Dmytro Sinchenko, Head of “Association of Political Sciences”
Olena Sinchenko, Kirovograd regional coordinator of Youth network “Creators of the Future”
Oleg Slabospytskyi, Co-coordinator of “Euromaidan Civil Sector”
Viktoriya Starchenko, Head of Board of “Foundation of Regional Initiatives”
Olha Trufanova, First deputy executive director of “Regional Press Development Institute”
Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Head of advocacy of civil coalition “Reanimation Package of Reforms”
Vladyslav Greziev, Head of NGO “Opir.org”
Oksana Romaniuk, Executive director of “Institute of Mass Information”
Oksana Syvak, Head of Board of NGO “Initiative E+”
Viktor Taran, Head of “Eidos – Center for Political Studies and Analysis”
Andriy Kruglashov, Coordinator of “CHESNO Civil Movement”