- The law “On Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine” in general makes it possible to provide elections in accordance with international standards. However, the Law has a number of drawbacks. The major drawback is preservation of mixed electoral system to be applied for elections of the early parliamentary elections. Procedures, provided by the Law, are not fully consistent with correspondent procedures provided by legislation on presidential and local elections. Constitutionality of the main provisions of the Law (in particular, in section regarding deprivation of the right to vote in majority component of the system those citizens who reside or stay abroad or have changed their voting place without change of voting address) is questionable. The Law does not provide efficient guarantees of safety for conduction of voting in regions of Anti-terrorist operation (ATO). Nor does it provide simplified procedure for internally displaced persons from Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
- The fact that elections are to be organized by Central Election Commission (CEC), commission of the majority of whose members' expired as far back in June 2014, gives rise to concern. Extension of CEC member's term of office for undefined period arouses an question of the CEC legitimacy as an institution.
- Organization of elections on the territories of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts will be one of the most problematic issues of the election process. In Luhansk oblast it is practically impossible to hold elections in at least 5 election districts, in Donetsk oblast — in 10 districts. Aggravation of confrontation with armed groups of separatists and units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in these regions may lead to not having elections in the overwhelming majority of districts, established within boundaries of these two oblasts. Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Security Service of Ukraine, Ministry of Defense should in cooperation with the CEC take additional measures in order to reinforce security provisions within those territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts which are under control of the state.
- The fact that the CEC had harmonized its previous acts on organization of parliamentary elections with requirements of the Law long before the beginning of the election process is a positive aspect of the early parliamentary elections process. It will decrease functional load on the CEC and provide higher level predictability as for preparations for elections and conduction of elections.
- The CEC implemented its activities of registering candidates, establishment of District election commissions (DECs), according permissions to civic organizations to have official election observers in accordance with the Law. Refusals to register were mostly caused by inconsistency of documents provided by the candidates (autobiographies, etc) with requirements of the Law “On Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine”.
- District election commissions (DECs) were established in time, provided by the Law and in accordance with the Law provisions. The same as at previous elections, the main problems of DECs activities are: frequent replacements of DECs members, insufficient level of commission members' readiness for work in the commissions (in many commissions there are less than 50% members with previous experience in election commissions), insufficient material and technical provision. Many DECs still do not have plates, installed communication tools, office equipment. Some DECs have to hold their meetings in sport halls or premises with no working conditions. It is necessary to introduce mechanisms aimed to prevent misuse of the right to make changes in DECs composition, as well as to provide obligatory training of commission members on election issues. Issue of raising salary of election commission members remains topical.
- In most regions, main political parties have already started campaigning. Congresses of political parties, where candidates were nominated, where held openly in most cases. However, the same as on previous elections, there were almost no meaningful discussions about the nominees, proposed for adoption of the congresses. Negotiations on nomination of candidates were mostly behind-the-scenes. It is positive that main parties included to their lists many civic activists and journalists, and thus will contribute to renewal of the parliament personal composition.
- Cases of indirect vote-buying, use of unfair methods of political struggle, though recorded, are not yet widespread. Among the reasons – low number of registered candidates in single-mandate constituencies. Campaigning of main parties remains to be populist and focuses on issues connected with the situation of the East of Ukraine.
- It is a trend of the election campaign that candidates of parties in power try to disaffiliate themselves from political powers they were affiliated with during recent years. Civic organizations should take actions to inform broad public on activities of such candidates in 2010-2013.
10. Level of transparency of the election campaign financing on the early elections of people’s deputies of Ukraine remains to be low. Intermediate financial reports of the parties on receipts and expenditures of election funds will be published 20 days before E-day (or even later), while registration of candidates is finished less than 30 days before E-Day.