No parallel standing for office in single-mandate constituencies & on party lists


On Tuesday the Constitutional Court made public its 5 April judgement regarding the provision of the Law on the Parliamentary Elections which allowed candidates to stand for parliament both on the party candidate lists, and in single-mandate constituencies. 

In finding the provision to be unconstitutional, the Constitutional Court was on this occasion consistent, since it had issued precisely the same judgement back on 26 February 1998.

As reported, many had predicted that this would be a sticking point or could render election results invalid if there was no judgement before the elections.

Despite the previous CCU judgement, the possibility of simultaneous voting was set down in the new Law which, despite widespread criticism, including from international NGOs and the Venice Commission, unexpectedly received votes from members of the opposition BYUT faction in parliament. 

There was clearly a behind-the-scenes compromise reached over the draft law.  The CCU judgement announced a week ago, prohibiting voters abroad from taking part at all in the 50% of the elections based on single-mandate constituencies, has already aroused not only concern from members of the Central Election Commission that this violates people’s electoral rights, but protest from members of the opposition. Although the voting for Kyiv candidates was not necessarily logical, it had been the situation before, yet it was a submission from 59 MPs from the same ruling Party of the Regions which has insisted on the key features of the elections, which asked the Constitutional Court to find the provision unconstitutional.  Which it did.

The decision to prohibit simultaneous standing for office in single-mandate constituencies and on party lists was obviously less unexpected, yet there was clearly an agreement across party lines on this point.

This is the latest of a number of judgements by the Constitutional Court in response to submissions from Party of the Regions MPs finding unconstitutional provisions of laws which the Party of the Regions has appeared to itself support.  These include permission to MPs and their families to defer publication of income declarations until after the elections, and the judgement in January which defined “confidential information” extremely broadly. 

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