Luhansk CVU informs of electoral law infringements
The Luhansk oblast as divided by the Central Election Commission
The Luhansk Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] has reported the first fragrant infringements they have found of electoral law during the parliamentary election campaign.
Infringement of equal electoral rights by the authorities
This is seen in the Central Election Commission’s Resolution No. 82 from 28 April 2012. which formed single-mandate electoral districts in the interests of specific candidates, and therefore against the interests of other potential candidates.
For example, the territory which in all previous elections made up the Stakhanov electoral district has been artificially divided up between three other electoral districts. We consider that through such means the Ukrainian authorities are trying to prevent the election to parliament of Serhiy Shakov, a popular politician from Stakhanov.
Four electoral districts, namely 106, 107, 110 and 112, have been created against the interests of proper administration of the elections and in breach of basic commonsense.
In other districts enclaves have been joined together which are not adjacent and are a large distance from each others. The geography of these electoral districts is extremely complicated with separate polling precincts of three rayons and two cities of regional jurisdiction carved up into pieces. This seriously hinders the chances of election of candidates in opposition to the present authorities; creates the basis for manipulation and falsifications during the elections; and gives an advantage to people who we believe are planning to stand for election in these districts.
2. The lack of effective legal defence against infringements of electoral law
This is demonstrated, for example, in the decision passed by the High Administrative Court on 10 May 2012 refusing to examine a civil suit challenging the Central Election Commission’s 28 April Resolution creating 225 single-mandate electoral districts. The cassation level court [as reported, the High Administrative Court was approached after the Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal refused to examine the suit a week earlier – translator) decided that such a suit should be examined not as an electoral dispute, but as a normative legal act by a body of power. Given the pace of the electoral process and considerable time required for any court dispute, such procedure makes the right to court redress illusory.
3. The lack of openness from the Ukrainian authorities regarding the organization of the elections/
On 10 March the Luhansk Regional Branch of the CVU sent the Central Election Commission [CEC] proposals regarding the formation of electoral districts. These propopsals had been the subject of public discussion in the Luhansk region and did not elicit any objections from potential candidates. The proposals made it possible to create electoral districts without dividing the territory of the region into enclaves or three rayons into parts. They were more compact and produced the least divergence in number of voters from the average number around the region. In breach of the Law on Citizens’ Appeals, CVU’s proposals were ignored.
The facts presented here indicate that the Ukrainian authorities do not plan to run the elections in honest manner. Even at this stage the question can be raised as to the legitimacy of the 28 October parliamentary elections.
Alexei Svyetikov, Head of the Board of the Luhansk Regional Branch of the CVU