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G7 countries' ambassadors urge Ukraine to renew CEC, carry out electoral reform

Source : 112 Ukraine

The statement welcomes the adoption by Verkhovna Rada of the Electoral Code draft in the first reading
09:15, 16 November 2017

Open source

Ambassadors of the G7 countries in Ukraine called renewal in 2017 of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) by filling all expired 13 seats, says the statement of the ambassadors, published on the website of the Italian Embassy in Kyiv.

The statement welcomes the adoption by Verkhovna Rada of the Electoral Code draft in the first reading.

"We congratulate the Verkhovna Rada for adopting the draft election code #3112-1 in the first reading. We agree that now is the time for electoral reform, allowing at least one year for implementation prior to the 2019 elections," the message says.

"We also call for a renewal in 2017 of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) by filling all expired 13 seats, thereby establishing a politically balanced election commission, with a strong, long-term mandate, supported by a modernized election administration," the statement says.

G7 ambassadors believe that there is still room for a transparent, inclusive and consultative process before the second reading in order to further enhance democratic representation, including through effective sanctions for violations of election laws and for the abuse of state resources, to increase political participation and representation of vulnerable and minority groups, including women and internally displaced persons, and to  accelerate political finance reform.  

It is noted that electoral reforms, in line with relevant international commitments and standards, are pivotal to realizing Ukraine’s full potential. Effective and credible electoral processes, and the resulting legitimacy of elected institutions and leaders, will have a profound impact on long-term democratic strengthening, political stability, and economic progress.

Related: Ukraine enlists Canada's support in promoting idea of peacekeepers in G7

As it was reported earlier Verkhovna Rada adopted the draft of Electoral Code of Ukraine. 226 MPs voted for it during its session on November 7. People's Deputy from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc Oleksandr Chernenko presented the document in the session hall of the parliament.

“In the parliamentary elections, we propose a system of regional open lists - when Ukraine is divided into 27 electoral regions. In each of these regions, the parties nominate their lists, the voter necessarily votes for one of these parties and if he wants - for one of the candidates whom the party nominated in this region. This way it makes a rating for these candidates when the party leader cannot influence the candidate's place in the list, the chances of his passage, and this is influenced solely by the voter,” he said.

The People's Deputy added that the document stipulates gender quotas: in every five of the national list there must be at least two persons of the opposite sex.

In addition, the bill divides the concepts of informing voters and agitation.

According to the explanatory note, the bill proposes to introduce "open" lists of candidates. This requires the creation of regional electoral districts, at the same time they plan to stimulate the all-Ukrainian character of political parties. The party nominates a single list of candidates, approving it at its congress. From this list, the party forms regional lists of candidates for each electoral region. The regional list of candidates must include at least five candidates.

Central Election Commission distributes mandates among those candidates who received over 4% of the votes - first among candidates from regional lists, and then - among nationwide candidates.

Related: G7 can become platform in issue of Crimean de-occupation, - Poroshenko

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