Verkhovna Rada adopts bill on Electoral Code

Source : 112 Ukraine

The document was voted for by 226 MPs in the first reading
15:15, 7 November 2017

Oleh Fedoniuk Facebook

Verkhovna Rada adopted the draft of Electoral Code of Ukraine. 226 MPs voted for it during the session broadcasted by 112 Ukraine TV channel.

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: Parliament’s Thursday agenda: Medical reform, cancelation of MP immunity, changes in electoral system

For this, Central Election Commission establishes the total number of unutilized votes cast in the national constituency in support of the electoral list of each party, and divides them into an electoral quota.

The draft provides for a similar system for the election of deputies in the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea - elections are held according to the system of proportional representation on open electoral lists of candidates for deputies in multi-member constituencies from regional organizations of political parties.

Anticorruption committee gave the bill a positive conclusion - it does not have any corruption factors. At the same time, they commented: in particular, it is worthwhile to specify how the president will take into account the positions of factions and groups when forming the Central Election Commission.

The main scientific and expert administration criticized the fact that the document contains provisions on the legal status of the CEC, as well as the proposed procedure for preparing candidates for election commissions.

Related: Klimkin: ‘Enough of electoral farce in Ukraine’

In particular, the document provides that the CEC is engaged in licensing activities for preparing candidates for election commissions, and also controls compliance with licensing conditions. In addition, the concept of "training" and "preparation" are not delimitated. 

This was criticized. After all, we are talking about creating a layer of the population professionally engaged in holding elections and referendums. And if a person cannot get a certificate, he cannot become a member of the district election commissions.

As it was reported earlier Verkhovna Rada considered three alternative draft laws that provide for electoral reform. As a result, there was not enough votes to support any of the initiatives.

Earlier medical reform, canceling the lawmakers’ immunity and amendments in the electoral system of Ukraine – these will be the most urgent topics for consideration in the Ukrainian Parliament on Thursday.

In Kyiv under the walls of Verkhovna Rada there was a rally of allies of the former governor of Odesa region and now leader of Movement of New Forces party Mikheil Saakashvili and a number of other opposition politicians. The organizers and participants of the event demand that parliament cancels the parliamentary immunity, amend electoral legislation, making the party lists open, and also create an anti-corruption court.  

Around about 3,500 of law enforcers protect order in the center of capital, the traffic movement is partially blocked. According to various estimates, several thousand people take part in the protests under the parliament building.

Related: Donbas citizens are still the most passive electoral group in Ukraine

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