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05.09.2012

OPORA: Use of administrative resource and bribing voters most widespread infringements

   

  On 4 September the Civic Network OPORA presented an interactive map of its election observing which will provide information about the location of all polling stations, boundaries and the centres of 225 districts; the make up of both district and precinct electoral commissions. It will make it easy to see infringements and incidents recorded by observers throughout the country.

OPORA also presented its fifth monitoring report.

Like the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU], OPORA criticized the way the district electoral commissions [DEC] have been formed.  It explains that legislation has simplified the process for putting forward candidates for the DEC leading to unfair distribution of quotas between those taking part in the elections. Parties who have registered only one candidate in a single-mandate electoral district received 225 places after the draw for places. On the other hand, VO Svoboda and UDAR, which according to public opinion surveys could get more than the requisite 5% votes to enter parliament have none.

Oleksandr Klyuzhev from OPORA says that the division is unfair and will have an adverse effect on mutual control by those taking part in the elections. OPORA observed great disruption to the beginning of the commissions’ work due to the non-appearance at the first session of representatives from these marginal parties. “There have been cases where members of so-called technical parties, taking part in the elections purely to serve the interests of third parties, primarily the most popular parties, have refused to take part in the DEC.

OPORA points out that the Venice Commission has stressed the important role played by electoral commissions, and a balance makeup is crucial.

Olha Aivazovska, Head of OPORA’s electoral programme drew attention to the most widespread infringements which individual candidates and political parties resorted to.

The most negative factor was the use of administrative resources with public officials unlawfully taking part and influencing the election process.

109 such incidents had been recorded in all regions of Ukraine, and 76 in single-mandate electoral districts.

A close second in this negative rating was held by bribery of voters. Observers had recorded 103 incidents which according to current legislation bear the hallmarks of bribery.  These took place in 23 oblasts and 82 single-mandate electoral districts.

In third place was obstruction of the activities of parties and candidates.  There had been 58 cases recorded in 20 oblasts and 38 single-mandate electoral districts.

Equally widespread were infringements of procedure for campaigning with 42 cases observed in 19 oblasts and 30 single-mandate electoral districts.

In last place was the use of the enforcement bodies as a method by which the law enforcement have impact on the elections. There were 9 incidents in 8 regions and 7 single-mandate electoral districts.

OPORA has also created a list showing which political parties and candidates were the worst infringers. In top place from the point of view of infringements is the Party of the Regions with 188 incidents, followed by candidates putting themselves forward in single-mandate electoral districts – 47 infringements; third place – the Communists with 6 cases; and 4 by the Batkivshchyna Party.

From a report here

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