Statement on Interim Observation Results of 2015 Regular Local Elections
Local elections in Ukraine were held with numerous violations of the electoral process organization procedure and international standards including Main drawbacks concerned instable electoral legislation and vague procedures, violation of equal opportunities principle and the principle of balanced proportion of mandates, low level of ballot papers security and violations which may be specified and voter bribery. However, Civil Network OPORA affirms that election day violations were usually unsystematic and didn’t have significant influence on election results or vote count process, and the campaign itself was quite competitive. Final summary on regular local elections will be published by Civil Network OPORA only after territorial election commissions finish all the procedural activities and official election results are announced.
However, the fact that politically motivated but not legal grounds were used to stop the voting process in Mariupol and Krasnoarmiisk can be interpreted as obstruction to realization of citizen voting rights and the right to local self-government. Thus, these facts must be assessed by the Central Election Commission and law-enforcement bodies of Ukraine in an independent and unbiased manner.
OPORA’s summary is based on the results of long- and short-term observation, criteria and principles of democratic elections established by documents of the Venice Commission, Copenhagen Conference, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Summary on the course of election campaign from Civil Network OPORA:
Systematic problems emerged in application of the new Law on Local Elections due to the non-inclusive approach to its drafting and instability of electoral legislation as a whole. Some regulations of the Law were either declarative or didn’t provide specific requirements to the procedures and, therefore, became a proof that legal framework was not prepared in proper way. The Central Election Commission sometimes even had to not only provide explanations on the certain law regulations, but also, in fact, take upon itself legislative functions of the parliament. For example, a situation with gender quotas in electoral lists of political parties, or a procedure of mandate distribution with consideration of the “first candidate in a list”, which wasn’t specifically defined by the legislation;Registration of candidates and party lists wasn’t finished before the deadline established by the law in the certain communities and, therefore, opportunities of candidates for a comprehensive campaign were limited;Both parties/candidates electoral subjects and territorial election commissions failed to secure the transparency and accountability of campaign financing at an adequate level. Early campaigning before official registration of candidates was financed with violation of legislative requirements and systematical. The access to information about interim reports on campaign fund expenses wasn’t secured in a way that the voters and NGOs could have had quick access to these data.Voter bribery incidents occurred in different regions of Ukraine, resulting from the fact that the certainty of punishment principle doesn’t work in such cases and judiciary practices prove to be inefficient. However, law enforcement bodies are more active if compared to 2012 and 2014 parliamentary elections and 2010 local elections, and duly respond to requests of OPORA’s observers. However, we will be able to assess the efficiency of investigations into this category of violations on the basis of court practices only after six months after the election campaign finishes.The scale of centralized misuse of administrative resources was much smaller if compared to 2010 elections, and it didn’t have a systematic influence on the election process.There were many situations hazarding the election process itself if we mention about production of ballot papers. For example, approved forms with errors and inaccuracies or dubious interpretation of the law in regard to contracts with printing houses. As a result, ballot papers were considered inappropriate, additional expenses were made to print new ballots, or even the voting itself was canceled.
The final report on observation results containing detailed findings of the Civil Network OPORA are going to be published in a few weeks. OPORA will also include recommendations for improvement of electoral process in this report.
Civil Network OPORA conducts citizen observation of local elections in Ukraine, scheduled for 25 October 2015. Civic monitoring conducted by OPORA—is a type of network activity, aimed at impartial assessment of the preparation and conduct of elections, as well as preventing electoral violations through comprehensive civic action. 144 long-term observers were deployed to all Ukrainian regions on 5 September, and 3000 short-term observers will join them on the election day.
Quelle: <http://www.oporaua.org/en/news/9864-zajava-shchodo-promizhnyh-rezultativ-sposterezhennja-za-chergovymy-miscev ymy-vyboramy-2015-roku>