Parliament rejects amendments to the Law on the Presidential Elections
The Verkhovna Rada has rejected Draft Law No. 5263-2, submitted by President Yushchenko, which proposed amendments to some legislative acts on the presidential elections. According to Deputy Speaker Oleksandr Lavrynovych, who chaired the session, not one amendment received the support of a majority of National Deputies.
The draft law in the version of the first reading established the right to be on district or precinct electoral commission regardless of whether the people in question live within those electoral boundaries. It was also envisaged that district electoral commissions would have the right to make changes to the corrected voters’ list exclusive on court order.
The National Deputies also failed to support the amendment which would have regulated voting abroad and an amendment on giving official observers from civic organizations the right to observe the course of the voting.
Over two days, 1 and 2 December the Verkhovna Rada considered – and rejected - 243 amendments to Yushchenko’s draft law, passed at its first reading at the beginning of November and sent for reworking.
Under the circumstances it is worth noting that not only did the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission give a damning assessment of the Law on the Presidential Elections passed by the Verkhovna Rada on 21 August 2009, but Ukraine’s own Constitutional Court found a number of provisions in the Law to not be in keeping with the Constitution. The following were deemed to be unconstitutional:
- the requirement that Ukrainian nationals must be on the consulate register of the country where they wish to vote;
- the provision requiring that members of electoral committees live in the area in question;
- the provision preventing appeal in the courts against protocols drawn up by electoral precincts;
- the provision that appeals against the decisions, actions or inaction of participants in the electoral process not considered by the court within two days from the end of voting at electoral precincts are left without consideration;
- the ban on making complaints to the Central Election Committee on Election Day and subsequent days of the electoral process;
- the ban on courts allowing claims in disputes concerning the elections, that is the courts passing rulings which suspend the force of this or that act regarding the elections;
New information reported at