Ministry of Justice has prepared new rules for parliamentary elections



The Minister of Justice, Oleksandr Lavrynovych stated at a press conference on11 April 2011 that he expects a draft Law on the Election for National Deputies to be registered in the Verkhovna Rada by the end of this parliamentary session. He also presented the conceptual tenets of the draft law.

The elections would be according to a mixed proportional and majority system with half the number of Deputies being elected according to a proportional system in a general State constituency with electoral lists of candidates from political parties. The second half would be according to a majority system with a relative majority in single-mandate electoral constituencies.

All parties would be able to take part in the elections regardless of how long they had been registered. However the preferential arrangements at present would remain for parties in parliament in the formation of district and precinct electoral commissions.

These commissions would take decisions according to a majority of votes of those present with a quorum being more than half the actual members.

Candidates standing for office in single-mandate constituencies would pay a bond amounting to 12 times the minimum wage. The bond from unsuccessful candidates would be added to the State coffers.

Early elections would be funded from the Cabinet of Ministers’ Reserve Fund.

There would be the possibility for people to put their own candidacy forward for single-mandate constituencies.

An electoral commission could only cancel a candidate’s registration on the grounds of non-compliance with established requirements for candidacy. The commission could not consider applications from candidates to withdraw their candidacy after the voting papers had been printed.

The draft law also envisages rejection of public funding for political campaigning with only social advertising retained. This means that election campaigning would be paid for solely by the candidates or parties.

In both the proportional and majority constituencies it is not planned to have the option of voting against all.

The draft law does not allow participation of blocs of political parties.

At the same time, Mr Lavrynovych stated that all the above was at discussion stage, and the working group was ready for discussion when drawing up the final version of the document.

As reported here, the international organizations invited to be on the working group - the National Democratic Institute [NDI] and the International Republican Institute [IRI] – recently suspended their participation until such time as the Group’s work becomes more transparent and takes into account different views.  Members of the working group have also complained that decisions are being taken regardless of what is discussed during meetings. 

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