Ukraine has not changed Central Election Commission since times of Yanukovych

Author : Yaroslav Konoshchuk

Source : 112 Ukraine

Term of office of the overwhelming majority of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission members has expired many years ago
10:48, 30 October 2017

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As for today, the term of office of the overwhelming majority of members of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission has expired. Some of them have been working in this structure since 2004. However, due to changes in the legislation, they continue to perform their duties before the rotation. For more than two years, "Fatherland" and "Samopomich" factions, as well as representatives of various public organizations, have been demanding from President Poroshenko the resignation of the current chairman of the Central Election Commission and all its members. However, Ukrainian authorities have replaced only two of its members. In 2014, the parliament appointed Kateryna Makhnitska and Oleg Didenko as CEC members. Poroshenko introduced a decree to dismiss the 12 CEC members and proposed 11 candidates for replacement until two years after being elected as a president. However, draft resolutions were not even considered by the parliament, since there were no votes for appointing a new CEC.

"First of all, we must dismiss the old members of the CEC, and then appoint new members of the commission. If we discussed on the CEC, then his work could be paralyzed," deputies from the ruling coalition explained.

"The president is probably ready to replace the members of the Central Election Commission, but the People's Front cannot decide on the candidates," one of the influential deputies from Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, who is considered close to the president, told us.

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In turn, "People's Front" unofficially claim that Poroshenko himself is not interested in rotation of the CEC.

"Poroshenko wanted to play for everyone and steamroll the Central Election Commission to use it for his advantage," influential front-line deputies noted, adding that the interests of all parliamentary factions and groups should be taken into account in the new view.

Talking about a new composition of the Central Election Commission, some annonimous deputies note that Popular Front proposes to include the current deputy chairman of the commission, Andriy Magera, to the new CEC. This proposl has caused some conflicts. However, this summer Magera was expelled from the list. However, officially in the "Popular Front" says that it has not changed the list.

With the start of the new session, the question of the rotation of the CEC seems to be definitely moved on from the dead point. First deputy chairperson of Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, Igor Kononenko, announced the possibility of holding a so-called “personnel day” in October. The purpose is to appoint new members of the Chamber of Accounts, the Central Executive Committee, the human rights commissioner for the Verkhovna Rada, and the chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU).

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"If we make a personnel package, we must fill all vacancies," he said. And although in October, the parliament did not solve those personnel issues; our sources in coalition factions note that deputies are more than ever close to reaching a compromise regarding the appointment of a new composition of the Central Election Commission. As noted by our interlocutors, the previous list of candidates, which was submitted by the President Poroshenko, would be clarified in connection with the appointment of Roman Greba to the Cabinet of Ministers (Groisman’s nominee from Popular Front). Among other things, it is tentatively planned that one representative in the commission would be from Will of the People and the Radical Party of Lyashko.

"There is a controversy concerning including of Andriy Magera to CEC.There is a variant to vote for a new composition without him and to appoint him later," says one of the influential front-line deputies, recalling that Poroshenko stands for a full reset.

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Our interlocutor also stated that it was decided to give the current CEC members the opportunity to "hold elections in the united territorial communities" so that the “shifters” had more time to enter the process. Our sources in the Cabinet of Ministers add that the role and pressure of international partners that have long insisted on rotating in the CEC played a role.

Thus, in an interview with Censor.NET, US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch stressed the importance of renewing the composition of the Central Election Commission: "I think the first thing to be done in the election issue is to name new members of the Central Election Commission. The CEC is working since Yanukovych’s times, and we live in 2017. So I see this as the first step, and I think that everyone agrees with this."

As for the leadership of the new commission, deputies from the coalition are expecting the appointment of the representative of Bloc of Petro Poroshenko.

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