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Ukraine's new Election Code might be politicking

Author : Yaroslav Konoshchuk

Verkhovna Rada gave the green light to the new Election Code and elections on open lists
14:46, 12 July 2019

Verkhovna Rada
Iryna Gerashchenko Facebook

Verkhovna Rada gave the green light to the new Election Code and elections on open lists. The Ukrainians would elect the MPs of the tenth convocation (after December 2023) by the new rules.

It is a second attempt to save Ukraine from the “corruptive” majority system. According to the transitional provisions of the amendments to the Constitution of 2004, in 2006 and 2007, the elections of MPs were held according to the proportional system with closed lists, when the voter voted only for a specific political party. However, in the fall of 2011, according to the results of political bargaining, MPs returned to a mixed electoral system. Ex-chairman of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), Mykhailo Okhendovsky, said that the best option for Ukraine would be to switch to a proportional electoral system with open lists, and added that the majority system increases corruption risks. After the change of power in Ukraine, international partners actively joined this campaign. Finally, in the autumn of 2015, the Electoral Code was registered in parliament, and two years later, in November 2017, the MPs voted for it in the first reading.

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Then another reason for the effective vote was then called the insistent wishes of the West to change the electoral system.

“This is a revolutionary decision, but I do not believe that the draft law would be passed in this form. Unless the embassies (of the USA and the EU countries, - ed.) call and would persistently recommend supporting the bill," the then opposition parliamentarians noted.

On the sidelines of the parliament, the holding of elections under a majoritarian system was generally discussed, and different political groups were preparing for a parliamentary campaign according to the old rules. And Parliament Speaker Andriy Paruby, despite the skepticism of colleagues, created a working group to finalize the document. And one of the MPs from the National Front faction urged the author of these lines that the MPs would vote in favor of the Electoral Code at the last sessional week.

A year and a half after the “sensation,” on June 6, 2019, the MPs took up 4.5 thousand amendments to the Electoral Code.

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However, in early July, the situation changed. According to 112.ua sources in the coalition factions, the MPs began to lean towards effective voting for the bill.

On the morning of July 11, the MPs supported the Electoral Code by 230 votes (there were seventeenth attempts to do it). “The Electoral Code is adopted... Glory to Ukraine!” Speaker Parubiy congratulated the lawmakers. The decisive were the votes were given by the non-fractional MPs.

According to the law, the electoral barrier remains at the level of 5%, since, according to one of the authors of the draft law, otherwise the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko faction would not have supported the document.

The adopted law fundamentally changes voting rules. As one of the authors of the legislative initiative, MP Leonid Yemets, explained, now the voter would receive one ballot and, voting for the party, rank the candidates from one or another political force.

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Applicants for the MPs mandates will run in 27 electoral districts. In the case of the signing of the bill by President Zelensky, the new rules would come into force after December 1, 2023. And this means that both parliaments of 9th and 10th convocations would be elected according to the old rules.

According to Article 77 of Ukraine’s Constitution, regular elections to the Verkhovna Rada are held in October at the end of the fifth year of the powers of parliament, that is, in October 2023. Supporters of the adopted law claim that it would eliminate corruption during the formation of electoral lists. Opponents of the adopted draft law say that by enlarging the ridings the connection between voters and MPs would weaken, and they fear that the voting might not take place due to the complexity of the electoral system. Some MPs are not sure that the bill would live to December 2023 and calls today's decision a hype attempt.

Read the original text at 112.ua

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