CVU warn of chaos and lack of readiness for 2010 Elections
According to Oleksandr Chernenko, Head of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, the electoral process in Ukraine in the run-up to the presidential elections is marked by chaos and lack of preparation.
He notes that the law which makes it possible to vote at home without any document confirming that one cannot get to a polling station already creates problems for the democratic expression of voters’ choice, with this also at risk due to the poor state of the voter register.
Money for the elections “barely appeared by the end of the year” and since there is still no budget for 2010, it remains unclear how they will be financed further, Mr Chernenko notes and adds that these difficult conditions could lead, if not to abuse, at least to a situation where not all voters will be able to use their right to vote.
Other concerns he raises are the politicization of the Central Election Commission, and the fact – noted also in the OSCE Observers’ Interim Report – that candidates do not have equal coverage of their campaign in the media, although he says that there is no strict censorship as in 2004. Experts point to a large number of commissioned materials and concealed advertising, and Mr Chernenko notes that the leaders of the country not infrequently use their working trips as a form of campaigning.
Mr Chernenko believes that the 2.7 thousand international observers can only promote the democratic course of the electoral process, but does add that there were far more in 2004.
Last Monday the Central Election Commission voted to allow voting at home without the need to provide proof of inability to get to a polling station. 8 members voted for this, 4 against, and two, including the Head of the CES, abstained. This was appealed against during the week by Yulia Tymoshenko, however the court upheld the CES decision.