Ukraine: authorities should demonstrate good faith in drafting of new election code
Strasbourg, 11.04.2011 – “I am convinced that Ukraine’s rightful place is in Europe, and welcome its willingness to live up to European ideals and standards, ” said Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin (Sweden EPP/CD), co-rapporteur for the monitoring of Ukraine by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), following a visit to Kyiv and Lviv. She welcomed the continuing efforts of the authorities to meet Ukraine’s commitments to the Council of Europe and to respond to Assembly recommendations. However, at the same time she also stressed that some recent developments gave rise to concern.
“The authorities do not seem to be very serious about entering into a dialogue with all political forces on the drafting of a new election code, and instead seem only to be willing to discuss the details of a code they have already drafted in private, ” said Ms de Pourbaix-Lundin. She underscored that consensus on, and trust in, the new election code by all political forces would be essential to ensure genuinely democratic elections in Ukraine next year.
In addition, Ms de Pourbaix-Lundin expressed her disappointment with the fact that the authorities were willing to discuss a new election code for parliamentary elections only, and not the establishment of a unified election code that would apply to all elections, as strongly recommended by, inter alia, the Venice Commission and the Assembly.
With regard to constitutional reform, the co-rapporteur underscored that the return to the 1996 Constitution had not removed the obstacles to fulfilling Ukraine’s commitments to the Council of Europe that were highlighted in the recent resolution of the Assembly. “This is understood by the authorities and in that respect I applaud their initiative to set up a Constitutional Assembly to guide the constitutional reform process, ” said Ms de Pourbaix-Lundin. In that respect she also urged the authorities to ensure that the different co-ordination and consultation structures that were recently established work hand in hand to avoid confusion about the direction of the reform process.
In addition to holding meetings with the authorities in Kyiv, Ms de Pourbaix-Lundin visited Lviv to gain a better understanding of the regional perspective on the reforms and political developments. At the end of her visit there, Ms de Pourbaix-Lundin welcomed the young and dynamic political scene in Lviv and stressed that more profound reforms were needed to ensure genuine self-government at the regional and local level.
The next report on the honouring of obligations and commitments of Ukraine is foreseen for the first half of 2012.