Dissent within ruling majority over new electoral law
Petro Symonenko, leader of the Communist Party has spoken out against a mixed electoral system and a raising of the voting threshold for getting into parliament from 3% to 5%. He says that they are for a proportional system and will not vote for a mixed. He asserts that voting for political parties gives the voters a chance to form the State’s development programme. “In conditions where the political regime upholds the interests of large capital, the majority system turns into an administrative resource, and majority constitutions will obviously be represented by money bags”.
The Communist Party last year formed a ruling coalition with the Party of the Regions and Bloc of Volodymyr Lytvyn/ This became possible after they voted in changes to the Verkhovna Rada Regulations allowing members of other factions to change sides. Although this contradicted a judgment from the Constitutional Court in September 2008, a submission was then sent to the same makeup of the Constitutional Court which in April 2010 found that this was constitutional [translator].
As reported, 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. According to the concept he made public, there would be a mixed system with 225 parliamentarians being elected according to party lists, and another 225 according to majority constituencies. He also informed that President Yanukovych had approved raising the threshold to 5%.
Symonenko said that “this law reflects the interests of large capital and in the present makeup of the Verkhovna Rada the overwhelming majority are National Deputies upholding the interests of large capital. There is therefore undoubtedly a chance that this law will be passed”.
Oleh Zarubinsky, a Deputy from Lytvyn’s party which would also be at risk if the threshold was raised said that there is no unequivocal support for the bill.
For somewhat different reasons, the civic organizations who have formed a consortium aimed at reforming electoral legislation have also expressed opposition to the raising of the threshold and also raised doubts about other aspects of the proposed changes. Their statement can be read here.
New information (but not the above text in italic) from a report by Kommersant - Ukraine