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06.04.2012

Constitutional Court once again obliges over electoral legislation

   

On Thursday 5 April the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional Article 22 § 2 of the Law on the Parliamentary Elections according to which  in all polling stations outside Ukraine voters would case votes for single-mandate constituencies in Kyiv.  The Constitutional Court thus agreed with 59 MPs from the ruling Party of the Regions faction who had lodged the necessary constitutional submission.

Following the CCU Judgement dated 4 April 2012, people voting abroad will only be able to vote for the candidates on party lists. 

As reported, despite strong criticism from groups within Ukraine and the Council of Europe Venice Commission, the same Party of the Regions insisted on the parliamentary elections being run on a mixed system with 50% of the MPs elected according to party lists, and 50% voting in single-mandate constituencies.

The Court asserted that the norm in question did not ensure the principle of equal and free electoral rights of voters resident or temporarily situated abroad.

The law requires single-mandate constituencies to have roughly the same number of voters. If voters from abroad cannot vote in such constituencies then the number of these in Kyiv and its region will fall.  As reported, analysts had suggested the likelihood of such a CCU judgement some time ago, saying that this was a likely way of reducing the anticipated impact of more constituencies expected to produce an outcome more favourable to opposition candidates.  The BBC Ukrainian Service reports that during the last presidential elections an overwhelming majority of voters outside Ukraine voted for Yulia Tymoshenko (over 65%) whereas Viktor Yanukovych received around 34% of the votes.

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