Monitoring Committee: changes to Law on the Presidential Elections should be adopted without delay
After discussing an information note prepared by the co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) with respect of Ukraine, on the basis of their last visit to Kiev from 5 to 8 April 2009, the PACE Monitoring Committee on Tuesday expressed its concern that the positive changes to the Law on Elections of the President of Ukraine, adopted after the controversial second round of the Presidential election in 2004, were only of a temporary nature and will not be applicable for the forthcoming Presidential elections. Taking into account that Presidential elections will be held soon in Ukraine, the Committee called upon the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to urgently re-enact the 2004 changes, to ensure that the shortcomings and violations that occurred during the first two rounds of the Presidential election in 2004 can not be repeated in the forthcoming elections.
The Committee also noted that several positive changes were made to the electoral framework for parliamentary elections in Ukraine, which resulted in the last two parliamentary elections being generally conducted in line with Council of Europe standards. The Committee therefore recommended that these positive elements should also be incorporated in the Law on Elections of the President of Ukraine that will govern the upcoming Presidential election in Ukraine in January 2010.
In the view of the Committee, it would be incomprehensible if, as a result of such changes not being enacted, the Ukrainian voters were to lose their confidence in the democratic electoral process of their country. The political forces in Ukraine should therefore set aside their political differences and adopt these changes, in close consultation with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, without any further delay.