Crimean CVU warns of risks from makeup of electoral commissions
The Crimean branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] warns that the makeup of district electoral commissions [DEC] may become one of the main threats to the holding of transparent and democratic elections.
CVU informs that the DEC are largely made up of members of political parties who are not politically active, don’t have a party structure in the region, lack clearly identifiable ideology and any noticeable number of supporters. The scale of this is such as to suggest that the majority of district electoral commissions are formed from technical satellites creating the appearance of diversity. CVU believes that the only task which members of these chimera-like parties will have is to ensure a majority of votes in taking decisions on key issues.
“Legally speaking there is no violation of legislation in this, although in fact we are dealing with a significant violation of the equality of most participants in the elections”. The secretary of District Electoral Commission No. 3 represents the Bratsvo Party, while at the same time being a deputy of the local council from the Party of the Regions.
The Deputy Head of DEC No. 5 is put forward by the “Union of Anarchists of Ukraine” although at the last parliamentary elections he represented the Party of the Regions in the electoral commission.
The Head of DEC No. 4 is supposedly from the “National Labour Union of Ukraine” but was until recently in the local branch of the Party of the Regions.
According to the Head of the Crimean CVU, Andriy Krisko, more such coincidences can be cited but he believes no further comment is needed.
The leaders of Crimean electoral commissions also include officials of local administrations – the head of the Feodosia Municipal Property Fund; the Head of the Kerch Department of Transport and Communications and so forth.
CVU believes that in the present political situation it seems unlikely that representatives of the authorities will represent the interests of any other party than the party in power.
Among other features of the election campaign during the last month, the Crimean branch of the CVU pointed to a significant increase in the number of cases of use of administrative resources. Use of administrative resources was seen primarily in the positioning of campaigning by one party on municipal and State buildings which is prohibited by law; participation of public officials in campaigning for candidates for single-mandate electoral districts; as well as in encouraging businesspeople to place campaigning material on their buildings.
Furthermore, according to information from the Crimean branch of the CVU, along with the increase in campaigning there has been a sharp increase in the number of cases of interference by the law enforcement bodies in the political activities of participants in the elections, and there is more active use of other means of impeding opponents’ campaigning. These include counter-pickets; provocation; the circulation of printed material (often without issue details) containing negative information about them.
Press Service of the Crimean Branch of CVU