CVU Monitoring Report for August
The Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] has issued its long-term monitoring report for August 2012.
It has no particular criticism of the Central Election Commission, saying that on the whole it was working in a transparent manner.
CVU was more critical of the local authorities and their preparation for the elections. It says that far from all had designated places for placing election campaigning material and suggests that candidates may wish to appeal against their inaction in the courts.
The process by which parties put forward candidates is described as non-transparent and was accompanied by numerous internal conflicts. CVU is dismissive of the “primaries” supposedly run by some parties, and says that the choice of candidates took place under the influence of the leadership of the parties.
“Despite the assurances from individual parties that dishonest candidates would not take part in the elections, far from all of them have kept their promises” On the other hand, CVU notes that there are new faces being put forward on party lists, which together with a new intake from single-mandate electoral districts, could mean a 20-30% change in MPs in the future parliament.
Although CEC refused to register a number of potential candidates, CVU says that with isolated exceptions, these refusals were justified.
It says that failings in the Law on the Parliamentary Elections and in the Rules of Procedure adopted by the CEC for holding a draw for including candidates in district electoral commissions were one of the reasons for the overwhelming majority of vacant posts in these commissions being filled by members of marginal parties some of whom have only put forward one candidate.
“Although exclusion from taking part in the elections of certain leaders of the opposition complies with the demands of the Constitution and the Law on the Parliamentary Elections, the exclusion of influential politicians from taking part may arouse doubts as to whether the elections were run in accordance with international standards.”
It notes that the question of ensuring professionalism and independence from political influence of members of DEC remains immediate. It suggests that in future any draw should be at the level of each DEC, and not about which political parties can have their people on them.
The monitors have not noticed any significant changes in campaigning activities in the last month. CVU notes that concern is aroused by the increase in cases of pressure on the media, impediments put in the way of campaigners; the involvement of civil servants, students and representatives of religious organizations in campaigning and in “black PR”. The election campaigns of many parties, it says, are solely about criticizing political opponents. “Although the number of cases of indirect bribing of voters decreased, they are still fairly widespread.
Among potential problems in September it names problems linked with “reformatting the makeup of DEC; the formation of precinct electoral commissions from people without sufficient training; infringements for the timeframe for holding the first meetings of precinct electoral commissions; widening spheres of use of administrative resources.
“The liberal norm of legislation on the possibility of temporary change in voting area without change in electoral address can lead to wide-scale “political tourism” on Election Day when tens or even hundreds of thousands of voters move between districts and vote for one or another candidate. This will not influence the outcome in the party-list based half of the elections, and will not be a formal infringement of the law, but will cause further pressure in the work of precinct electoral commissions and will influence the outcome in single-mandate electoral districts. It is of fundamental importance that movement of voters takes place without coercion or influence being exerted on their choice.
From the report summary here