Regions Party deputies on electoral commissions in disguise


  The Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] Donetsk regional branch reports that deputies from the Party of the Regions are working as members of district electoral commissions [DEC] as representatives of the “Union of Anarchists of Ukraine”, “Rus Yednyna” and “Ruska Yednist”.

“The procedure for the creation of district electoral commissions used at the 2012 elections has rendered meaningless the principles of mutual control between participants in the elections. Parties with no influence which are not taking real part in the election campaign have received the right to form district electoral commissions. One single draw for all 225 DEC has led to maximum representation in these commissions of so called technical parties.

Despite the fact that the DEC were only formed on 26 August, there have already been extensive changes in their makeup.  The rotation most often concerns those members of the DEC who represent marginal political parties. These parties substitute members who en masse have missed the first sessions of the DEC.  The tendencies regarding these changes in Donetsk regional DEC show that the real division of political influence in the DEC does not comply with who the members are officially representing.

Over the short period that the DEC have been functioning, one and the same people have managed to represent different political parties, and well-known members of one political party have been included on committees according to the quota of a totally different party.

For example, Valentina Kalinichenko, Party of the Regions Deputy in the Volnovask City Council has replaced a representative of the Union of Anarchists of Ukraine in DEC No. 60.

The same situation can be seen in No. 52, where Party of the Regions Deputy in the Dzerzhynsk City Council, Oleksandr Kovalenko is supposedly representing the party Rus Yedyna.  He became a member of the electoral commission following rotation.

In No. 48 Party of the Regions Deputy in the Kramatorsk City Council Ivan Polupan is formally representing Ruska Yednist.

Less well-known members of DEC are also demonstrating fickleness in their party affiliation.

In No. 52 Natalia Didenko at first represented a faction of the Narodna Partia, then as the result of rotation has become a representative of the Party of the Regions.

In No. 42 an authorized representative of the UDAR Party, Serhiy Hrechko has become Deputy Head of the Commission from the Christian Democratic Party.  He only lost his status as authorized representative of UDAR on 28 August, and on 31 August became a representative of the Christian Democratic Party.

CVU which is carrying out monitoring as part of the nationwide campaign of the OPORA network states that such examples are not in breach of legislation, but are not in keeping with democratic principles for organizing the work of electoral commissions.  The Venice Commission’s Code of Practice in Electoral Matters states that work in electoral commissions must be based on transparency and be independent of political manipulation. In Ukraine political parties are increasing informal influence on the electoral commissions by using the quotas of marginal parties. This prevents citizens from drawing correct conclusions about the balance of interests in electoral commissions. 

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