To punish those who bribe voters you must build prison in each Ukrainian town

Author : Andrey Kokotiukha

Source : 112 Ukraine

Theoretically, for the time being you could see only the moral responsibility for those guilty in such cases
20:31, 17 April 2018

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112 Agency

A local action of unprecedented generosity took place in the Obukhivsky district on March 8 this year. Citizens were given cheap shampoos and terry Chinese towels. The gift was decorated with the inscription: "Have a nice day!" Ihor Kononenko, a people's deputy from the Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc, wished this. The information was promulgated by another Ukrainian MP Viktor Romanyuk. He is indignant and demands from National Anti-Corruption Bureau to bring his colleague in the coalition to justice.

Theoretically, you could see only the moral responsibility in such cases. However, it is interesting and even indicative: the information mentioned above was shown in the news on April 12. On the eve, on April 11, the Ministry of Internal Affairs proposed to criminalize violating of electoral law. Changes seem to have been supported by the government. However, MP Romanyuk will still not be able to obtain the imprisonment of Kononenko for two years for such a crime. It's not that changes in the Criminal Code have not been made and do not have legal force. And the fact is that Ihor Kononenko with his personal gifts did not participate in the electoral process, because the start of both presidential and parliamentary elections has not yet been announced. That is, in this case, he only bought a bath kit and gave it to people he wanted.

In the packages mentioned by Victor Romanyuk, there were no food products. However, the deputy still called the set "buckwheat set." A bag of sacred groats weighing one kilogram for 22 years personifies everything connected with the bribery of citizens before every next election: presidential, parliamentary, local. Not everyone knows the history of the issue, its main character is Leonid Chernovetsky. In the mid-1990s, he, one of the first official Ukrainian millionaires, was under the sword of Damocles in several criminal cases. Only the campaign in politics could save him. Therefore, Chernovetsky began distributing food packages to low-income residents of depressive Darnytsia district. Since then the contents of the package have not changed: half a liter of oil, canned fish, a jar of instant coffee and one kilogram of buckwheat - one of the largest deficiencies in the USSR. The trend was actual even after Maidan and during the war, when the Ukrainians elected a new president and a new parliament. Activists saw such givers almost everywhere, wrote the relevant statements and noted: the number of violations even increased. However, nobody was behind bars.

Violation of the rights of voters is not only the distribution of free products, but also the forgery of voting results and, in general, the influence and pressure on the process of expression of will. The newest Ukrainian history knows two glaring facts from 2004. The first was the election of the Mukachevo mayor in the summer, who controlled the criminals and did not hide the kind of their occupation. The second is the presidential election, the results of which were rigged, which gave rise to the "orange" revolution. Although in both cases the suspects were known, and the revolutionary expediency required execution, none of the participants were punished and even slightly scared.

The current innovations from the Ministry of Internal Affairs suggest punishing not only those who give but also those who take. That is Ukrainians who do not refuse to take buckwheat and give in return a vote in favor of a generous candidate. A chairman of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine Olexiy Koshel sees this as a positive step because people will look around and fear criminal responsibility. But at the same time, he stresses: citizens themselves must understand their actions and regard them as criminal. Because if someone is caught with a "buckwheat set," the offender can say: "I was given - I took it! I will vote not for this candidate, but for another!"

The "ignoramuses" themselves have many opportunities for legal voter bribery, and these are not always products or shampoo with towels. For example, the construction of a children's playground where it has long been expected. In these situations, you will have to take to prison both the one who built and the one who enjoys the benefits. If the law comes into effect and there are people willing to identify violators, the prisons will have to be built, without exaggeration, in every Ukrainian city or town. After all, you will find a lot of violators among citizens who are accustomed to something positive only during the election.

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