Unwarranted interference by the Luhansk Prosecutor’s Office in the election process
The Luhansk Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU has reported that the Luhansk Prosecutor’s Office Press Service has circulated information that “in order to ensure speedy response to infringements of legislation on the parliamentary elections” the Prosecutor’s Office has set up a “hotline”.
CVU expresses its concern that by so arbitrarily exceeding the limits of their authorities, Luhansk’s law enforcement bodies may be placing the democratic nature of the elections in question. “Elections can be democratic only on condition that the authorities, and in the first instance, the law enforcement bodies, do not interfere in the election process.”
CVU points out that according to Article 108 of the Law on the Parliamentary Elections, it is only the electoral commissions and the courts which are competent to consider complaints about decisions, actions or inaction. The Prosecutor’s Office has no such authority. Moreover, the law envisages significant restrictions in the work of the law enforcement bodies during the election campaign. law enforcement staff are prohibited from being in places where voting or the vote count are taking place (Article 34 of the Law). They can’t be members of electoral commissions (Article 26), observers (Article 78) and so forth. The law envisages that electoral commissions may turn to the law enforcement bodies for them to check things and / or react (Articles 49, 61, 74 and 111).
Examination of administrative offences under Chapter 15-A of the Code of Administrative Offences, as well as protection of public order, do not fall within the competence of the Prosecutor’s Office.
For the above reasons the Luhansk Regional Branch of the CVU views the setting up of a “hotline” linked with the elections as unwarranted interference by the Prosecutor in the election process.