CVU – New law on elections is a return to Kuchma times
“After 2004, journalists experienced a “golden age”, the authorities listened to the community, there were public hearings and discussions. Now there is ever less of this. At the same time the new law on the elections envisages effectively draconian sanctions against the media which will not be able to fully cover the campaign. Civic organizations are totally removed from this process. This is a step back about 5 years or more”. These comments were made today by the Head of the Board of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] Oleksandr Chernenko. He was speaking at a roundtable in Lviv entitled “Informed choice and the quality of political discussion: the meaning of the media and organizations of civic society.”
Mr Chernenko stressed that both sides share responsibility for this, and that the media “do not always do everything so that the public’s choice was informed.”
He noted that the pre-election campaign had already effectively begun, this being “a competition of billboards, PR and, unfortunately, not a competition of strategies and proposals.”
“One cannot talk about an informed choice given the way the campaign is run. With regard to political discussion, there isn’t any as such. There are monologues which are in fact written by speech makers. This is also confirmed by the law on the elections: regardless of the fact that not one expert had a good word to say about it, the National Deputies overrode the President’s veto, discarding the amendments which were proposed, and there was no discussion. Here, like in Russia, parliament is not a place for discussion”.