Leaders in (ab)use of administrative resources identified
Photo from Radio Svoboda
OPORA has once again noted in its monitoring report that use of administrative resource is the main infringement in the parliamentary elections. It states that the assurances in electoral legislation and the regulations on the civil service about political impartiality bear no relation to reality. Public officials are taking an active part in the election campaign in open support of certain candidates and with public resources being used for campaigning.
It has drawn up a list of heads of regional administrations rated from the point of view of how they are using administrative resource to influence the elections.
OPORA monitors looked at evidence of the following
1) Campaigning for or against particular candidates and participation in events organized by particular parties
2) Official events organized by the heads of regional administrations with the involvement of particular parties or candidates / public officials or public resources being used for campaigning;
3) Budget administrative resources;
4) misuse of government information resource;
5) participation in political advertising;
6) Politically motivated pressure on subordinates, the media, law enforcement agencies, NGOs etc;
7) use of status or powers for personal interest as a candidate.
OPORA based their assessment on previously published incidents and stresses that the results are not 100% statistically accurate, but present tendencies.
21 heads of regional administrations had used administrative resource to influence the election process on more than one occasion. There had been 162 cases in total. 75 cases concerned involving candidates or political parties in official events, with a privileged candidate holding an event together with the head of the administration.
Heads of administrations, of the Crimean Parliament and of local administrations were all actively involved in adverting the ruling Party of the Regions and its candidates in single-mandate electoral districts (31 such incidents).
There were 24 cases where the heads of administrations, of the Crimean Parliament and of local administrations had publicly supported the Party of the Regions or particular candidates in the course of their official duties.
On 17 occasions two officials – the heads of the Vinnytsa and Zhytomyr regional administrations - used their powers to push their own interests as candidates. The electoral law does not prevent their standing for office but does prohibit their use of administrative resource.
On 8 occasions the heads of regional administrations had initiated projects using public funding to benefit particular candidates or parties.
There were 4 cases where the heads of administrations, of the Crimean Parliament and of local administrations exerted pressure on law enforcement agencies or other bodies for election purposes.
The first place in this anti-rating was held by the Heads of the Chernivtsi and Donetsk Regional State Administrations, Mykhailo Papyev and Andriy Shyshatsky.
Second: Edward Matvichuk, Head of the Odessa Regional State Administration
Third: Mykhailo Dobkin, Head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration