Parliamentary Election Committee heading for stalemate
According to a report in Kommersant-Ukraine, the ruling majority and the opposition have put forward demands which will not be met. Thursday’s meeting of the Special Committee on preparing the new electoral law ended with an ultimatum from the opposition. They demanded that the threshold for a party to enter the Verkhovna Rada be no higher than 4% and that no more than 30% of candidates are elected in majority constituencies. The draft law tabled by the ruling majority proposes a 5% threshold and a mixed electoral system: 50% party candidate lists; 50% majority constituencies. Since these points are the ones the Party of the Regions is insisting on, then those giving the ultimatum may withdraw from the Committee, as well as a ban on blocs participating in the elections. .
After a week since its formation, the members of the Committee had prepared their proposals for the future draft law, but did not manage to agree which of the five draft laws previously registered in the Verkhovna Rada they would take as a base.
Ruslan Knyazevych made a joint statement on behalf of the opposition Our Ukraine-People’s Self-Defence and BYUT factions, saying that if the ruling majority takes the said draft law as base, then they will withdraw from the Committee.
The Venice Commission and OSCE Joint Opinion on the draft electoral law shown to it (which did not have some highly contentious norms added to draft Law No. 9255-1) is highly critical of the mixed system proposed and points out that Ukraine has negative experience of such a system which helps only the party in power. The report, as well as that from the International Federation of Electoral Systems and from Ukrainian NGOs specializing in electoral issues, give a generally negative assessment of the draft law, as well as the non-transparent manner in which it was drawn up without broad discussion.
New information from a detailed report of the arguments at Kommersant-Ukraine The photo is by Vladislav Sodel, Kommersant