During February - June 2014 CVU and its regional offices conducted a long-term observation of the electoral process for early presidential elections in Ukraine, including the CEC activities on organization and conduct of elections, formation and activities of lower level election commissions, campaigning, organization of voting and vote tabulation. 5 reports on the long-term observation of presidential election and 4 reports on observation of local elections were prepared and published on CVU website. The final report summarizes the results of the public observation of the 2014 election campaign and provides recommendations for further improvement of electoral legislation and organization of elections in general.
Presidential elections in 2014 were generally conducted in transparent, fair and democratic manner. Essential problems in the election process were observed only in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where most of districts failed to create the conditions for election commissions’ work and for voting. In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea elections were not conducted at all.
Presidential and local elections were held in 2014 on the basis of significantly changed legislation that went through fundamental changes during the relevant electoral processes. Although these changes improved the legal regulation of presidential and local elections, their adoption during electoral process led to strengthening of the functional load on the CEC, which was forced to accept new and review existing regulations for conducting elections. Election commissions’ members did not have enough time to learn new electoral legislation, although the CEC and international donors took steps to eliminate this problem.
Administrative bodies of the electoral process acted mostly impartially and followed the requirements of legislation. There were some cases of violations in their activities but these cases were not systematic. These violations were provoked mainly by frequent replacement of staff, short period of the election campaign, significant number of "technical" candidates, problems of material, technical and financial provision.
There were just few electoral disputes They were resolved by the courts and election commissions mainly according to requirements of the law. There were just few cases (except problematic regions) of obstruction of the election rights by vote-buying, intimidation, etc. or misuse of administrative resource.
The main problems of elections in 2014 were the following: security of voters and commission members in problematic oblasts, permanent changes of members in district and precinct election commissions, problems of material, technical and financial provision of the election administration, insufficient transparency of candidates’ nomination and election campaign financing. On Election Day long queues were reported at polling stations. The election commissions repeatedly faced with problems related to data input to the Information-analytical system "Elections" (Vybory), while the system was not sufficiently protected from the outside illegal interference. So-called "jeans" propaganda was used actively during early elections, the same as in previous election campaigns. The procedure of changing the place of voting without changing the permanent voting address appeared to be rather complicated. Although the quality of voter lists for elections in 2014 was significantly higher than in previous election campaigns, there were still some errors and omissions (including double inclusion of voters into different lists, inclusion of dead people into voter lists, etc.).
- The Parliament should speed up the unification of the legal regulations of different types of elections by adopting the Election Code. The Election Code should be adopted by at least a year before the next local elections in October 2015.
- Considering termination of power of most CEC members, the President and the Parliament should urgently initiate the appointment and appoint new CEC members to replace those whose powers expire. The CEC should include not only representatives of the parliamentary factions but also non-governmental electoral law experts, which will increase the level of the CEC independence.
- Projects of CEC decisions should be submitted for expert discussion before their adoption.
- The Parliament should reconsider the draft law aimed to improve provisions of the Criminal Code of Ukraine and the Code on Administrative Offences, which were submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by Government but were not included to agenda of the current session of the Parliament.
- In mid-term perspective the maximum number of voters at precincts should be reduced to facilitate proper organization of voting and proper work of election commissions.
- It is necessary to make significant changes to the laws on financing of political parties and electoral campaigns aimed to bring the legislation in line with international standards.
- It is necessary to make amendments to the Law "On the State Voter Register" stating it in the wording of the law that existed before September 21, 2010.
- The possibility to replace commission members by entities that submitted their nominations should be limited on legislative level. Laws on the State Budget of Ukraine for years of elections should anticipate an increase in expenses for activities of election commissions including the cost of commission members labour as well as material and technical provision of commissions.
- The size of election pledge on the presidential election in Ukraine should be reduced.
10. It is necessary to expand the powers of election commissions to resolve electoral controversies.
11. The CEC has to allocate sufficient funding for training lower level election commissions’ members and for informing voters. Procedure for training of election commissions’ members should be defined by the law.
12. Electoral legislation should be amended with definition of pre-election campaigning which allows identifying hidden political advertising.
13. The CEC, local executive authorities, local self-government should pay special attention to ensuring vote opportunities at polling stations for voters with disabilities.
14. CEC and SSU have to take measures to strengthen the security level of IAS “The Elections” from external interference.
1. ELECTION LEGISLATION AND ACTIVITIES OF THE CEC
Ukrainian early presidential elections and early local elections in 2014 were held on the basis of significantly changed election laws. Although amendments to the election laws improved legal regulations of election (compared to previous laws), their review just few months before the election contradicts to international standards on stability of election rights. In general, during February - May 2014 the Law "On Election of the President of Ukraine" was changed 7 times; recent changes were made May 20, 2014 just few days before the election.
Revision of election laws during the electoral process added functional duties to the CEC, which was forced to clarify and explain requirements of these laws during election process, which actually was short.
As a result, some of CEC resolutions were taken quite late (particularly resolutions on preparation to early local elections) and some of them were quite controversial.
Some shortcomings of electoral legislation were not resolved by legislator; especially it concerns administrative and criminal liability for violations / offenses against the voting rights as well as financing of the election campaign. Non-governmental organizations initiated amendments to the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offences and to the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which were submitted to the Parliament by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (draft law № 4741 from 18.04.2014). However, the draft law was not included by the Parliament to the agenda. NGOs also prepared draft law "On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine on transparency of funding of political parties in Ukraine and campaigning" (registration №4846 from 05.12.2014), which was submitted to the Parliament by a group of MPs (P.Poroshenko, A.Hrytsenko, O.Tiahnybok and others). The same fate befell this draft law as the draft law № 4741; it was not included to the agenda of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine during parliamentary session.
CEC provided their activities on organization of elections on May 25, 2014 in general impartially and according to the Law "On the Central Election Commission" and election laws. Complaints (quite small number of those) were considered by CEC in the statutory period, and overall quality of pre-court settlement of electoral controversies was significantly higher compared to elections in 2012-2013. At the same time, there is a problem of financing of certain activities of the CEC including voter education, training of election commission members etc. The main donors of these expenditures were international organizations (OSCE, IFES). In the future the Parliament should increase funding for the CEC, particularly costs for organizational and methodical provision of election and voter education. Election 2014 also revealed the need for taking measures for better protection of IAS "The Elections" from unauthorized interference to automated system by the he CEC (with assistance of other government agencies, primarily SSU).
2. NOMINATION AND REGISTRATION OF CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE
CVU didn't record any significant violations of the Law "On Election of the President of Ukraine" on stage of nomination and registration of candidates for President of Ukraine. Some candidates were denied registration, but the main reason was absence of required documents or improperly filled documents submitted for their registration.
Below there is a list of the most common reasons for refusing registration of presidential candidates:
- lack of document proving deposit in amount of 2 500 000 UAH. (Tovtrivska O.O., Kostiv G.P., Miroshnichenko G.L., Marinich V.K., Schetynin S.M., Omelchenko O.M., Burnashova O.M., Kucheriavenko O.V., Chopey V.V., Makhlai A.F., Rozhnova L.V., Maksymenko L.V., Miroshnichenko D.L., Rekalo P.Y., Onopryyuk T.G., Abbasov Z.D., Lavrentiv-Furdas B.F., Metalnikov A.I.);
- exceeding the established volume limit (up to 2000 characters) for autobiography of presidential candidate (Tovtrivska O.O., Omelchenko O.M.);
- lack of candidate's autobiography (Abbasov Z.D.)
- submission autobiography in hard paper form only (Kostiv G.P., Metalnikov A.I.);
- lack of required information in autobiography (Makhlai A.F., Rozhnova L.V., Rekalo P.Y.,);
- lack of duly certified application for registration (Tovtrivska O.O., Kostiv G.P., Velidchenko V.I., Burnashova O.M., Chopey V.V., Makhlai A.F., Maksymenko L.V., Miroshnichenko D.L., Lavrentiv-Furdas B.F., Metalnikov A.I.);
- applying for registration as a candidate not personally (Burnashova O.M., Chopey V.V., Makhlai A.F., Maksymenko L.V., Onopryyuk T.G., Abbasov Z.D., Metalnikov A.I.);
- no photocopies of pages Ukrainian citizen's passport attached to the application (Omelchenko O.M., Rozhnova L.V., Maksymenko L.V., Onopryyuk T.G., Abbasov Z.D.);
- lack of candidate’s application form (Velidchenko V.G., Burnashova O.M., Chopey V.V., Maksymenko L.V., Metalnikov A.I .);
- absence of required information in presidential candidate’s application form (Tovtrivska O.O., Kostiv G.P. , Kucheriavenko O.V., Rekalo P.Y., Lavrentiv-Furdas B.F.);
- lack of declaration on income, property, expenses and financial obligations (Velidchenko V.G., Burnashova O.M., Chopey V.V., Makhlai A.F., Rozhnova L.V., Maksymenko L.V., Abbasov Z.D. );
- non-complience of submitted declaration on income, property, expenses and financial obligations with provisions established by the Law "On Prevention and Combating Corruption", including non-personal completing of declaration (Kostiv G.P., Marinich V.K., Omelchenko O.M., Kucheriavenko O.V., Miroshnichenko D.L., Rekalo P.Y., Onopryyuk T.G., Abbasov Z.D.);
- failure to submit of election program in electronic form (Kostiv G.P., Maksymenko L.V.);
- submission of election program written in other than the state language (Maksymenko L.V., Onopryyuk T.G.);
- exceeding the required volume of election program (Schetynin S.M., Onopryyuk T.G.);
- no photographs of the candidate (Velidchenko V.G., Burnashova O.M. Chopey V.V., Makhlai A.F.);
- non-complience of photographs of the candidate with set requirements concerning the size (Kostiv G.P., Rozhnova L.V., Miroshnichenko D.L., Rekalo P.Y., Onopryyuk T.G., Abbasov Z.D.);
- absence of a written consent to disclosure of biographical information, information submitted in declaration on income, property, expenses and financial obligations, absence of written commitments according to the Law (Burnashova O.M., Chopey V.V., Maksymenko L.V ., Metalnikov A.I.).
At the same time the nomination of presidential candidates was carried out not transparently enough. Some political parties did not inform media on the time and place of their meetings, and some parties restricted journalists' access to their meetings. The current Law "On Election of the President of Ukraine" does not contain any requirements to congresses, which must be held to nominate candidates for President (according to the article 47 of the Law congresses are held according to the statute of the party, the law do not provide presence of the CEC representatives at congress; the Law also does not provide any responsibility for violation its provisions regarding compulsory informing medias about the date, time and location of the congress to be held, etc.). In this regard, the Law "On Election of the President of Ukraine" should be amended to establish additional guarantees of congresses democracy, their transparency; the law should provide for mechanisms to control compliance with the following requirements (at least it should state mandatory presence the CEC representatives at the congresses).
Prescribed by the Law "On Election of the President of Ukraine" election pledge amount (2,500,000 UAH) is too large and actually limits the right to be elected as President of Ukraine. A number of international organizations (OSCE / ODIHR, Venice Commission, etc.) and national experts proposed to reduce the amount of election pledge. CVU also supports the idea of reducing the amount of election pledge.
3. FORMATION AND ACTIVITIES OF DECs
Composition of DECs was formed by the CEC according to requirements of electoral legislation and in prescribed by the law terms.
At the same time since the CEC made decision on the formation of DECs, district election commissions suffered constant change in composition. In general the CEC adopted more than 20 resolutions on changes to composition of district election commissions. As a result, the composition of DEC on average was changed by more than 40%.
Below you can find information on the scope of such changes:
- less than 20% -DECs of TEDs №№ 25, 36, 37, 39, 106, 167, 199, 200, 204, 210, 213;
- from 20% to 30% - DECs of TEDs №№ 24, 29, 31, 33, 35, 40, 92, 94, 95, 107, 110, 165, 166, 168, 169, 197, 198, 202, 203;
- from 30% to 40% - DECs of TEDs №№ 26, 27, 28, 34, 42, 45, 56, 57, 58, 60, 91, 93, 96, 98, 99, 111, 112, 113, 116, 140, 142, 143, 145, 205;
- from 40% to 50% - DECs of TEDs №№ 38, 41, 43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 59, 97, 114, 115, 136, 137, 139, 141, 144, 201;
- 50% and more - DECs of TEDs №№ 30, 32, 109, 135, 138, 207.
The main reasons for changes in DECs' composition were submissions by the candidates for President of Ukraine to replace the relevant DEC members (most common reason), cancellation of registration by two candidates for President of Ukraine (N. Korolevska and O. Tsarev), submission of applications on resignation by DEC members, violation by DEC members requirements of the electoral law.
Making constant changes of the DECs somehow weakened the role of DECs in proper organization of the electoral process, reduced the effectiveness of training conducted by the CEC with the financial support of international donors. In future the legislator should consider changes to the Law "On Elections of the President of Ukraine" aimed at narrowing the conditions when candidates for President of Ukraine can submit changes to composition of DECs and increasing expenses on wages to election commission members.
The most common violations were the delay in promulgation of DEC resolutions on the stands and the delay in the transferring of DEC resolutions to the CEC for publication on the CEC website. Constant delays in publication of DEC resolutions take place in all DECs of Kirovograd oblast. In DEC of TED №№ 199-203 (Cherkasy oblast) some resolutions of relevant commissions are not promulgated on the stand, and resolutions which promulgated are promulgated with violation of prescribed in the law terms. In DEC of TED № 206 (Chernivtsi oblast) protocols of meeting were promulgated with delay, there were violations in paperwork management; input documents were registered with delay. In Kharkiv oblast delays in publication of DEC resolutions and their transfer to the CEC for posting on the official website of the CEC are widespread.
Some DECs face the problem of access to the IAS "The Elections". In Kharkiv oblast computers of DEC were connected to the IAS "The Elections" only on May, 6 2014 because of the technical reasons, and in Luhansk oblast in DEC of TED ОВК ТВО №№ 107 and 113 computers were connected to the IAS "The Elections" on May, 1 2014. In Donetsk oblast DEC of TED № 58 didn't have access to the IAS "The Elections» so calculations of proportional share of managerial positions in PECs were made in "manual" mode and checked later with help of the system. Other DECs of the oblast also experienced difficulties while using the system. In Cherkasy oblast during May holidays the system IAS "Elections" did not function as open joint-stock company "Ukrtelecom" could not provide access to it for technical reasons. May, 6 2014 at the DEC meeting of TED № 207 (Chernivtsi oblast) conduct the sortition of leadership positions in PECs between subjects of submitting of candidates for PEC members. However, it was impossible to input sortition results into IAS "Elections" due to the functional problems of the system. As a result, May 7, 2014 this DEC conducted new sortition on the distribution of leadership positions in PECs, which was carried out without informing participants of the election process and was documented as annex to the DEC resolution on the formation of PECs of 06.05.2014.
Pressing problem of DECs was also material and technical provision of their activities. Thus, in Kirovohrad oblast premises of DEC of TED №100 did not meet the requirements, while the DEC of TECs №№ 101, 102, 104 experienced delay in installation of telecommunication. DEC members of TED №129 bought lamps for lighting for their own expense. One of essential reason of these problems was delay in allocation budget funds to DECs.
At some territorial constituencies it was difficult to register official observers on election. Thus, some DECs of Rivne oblast established on the last day such working hours for applications to register observers, which didn't allow all those who had the corresponding right to apply. DEC of TED № 163 (Sumy oblast) refused to accept electronic documents form official observers submitted on data storage devices (a significant number of modern computers do not have CD/DVD drives, which made preparation of relevant registration documents more complicated to observers).
4. FORMATION AND ACTIVITIES OF PECs
Not all the candidates for President of Ukraine exercised the right to make submissions for nominations to PECs, while the DECs not in all cases managed to staff PECs to the minimum required quantity (12 members) in the statutory period. The Parliament solved the problem by amending the law "On Election of the President of Ukraine", which reduced the compulsory number of PEC members to 9 persons. However, PECs of large precincts with minimum quantity of members (9 persons) in some cases failed to provide proper organization of voting on May 25, 2014. The PECs in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts experienced particularly many problems, as PECs were not established or commission members were forced to work in conditions of intimidation, threats and attacks on polling stations by armed separatist groups DNR / LNR.
Most submissions to PECs were made by candidates for President of Ukraine V.Kuybida, M. Malomuzh, P.Poroshenko, Y.Tymoshenko, S.Tihipko, P.Symonenko, O.Tiahnybok, Z.Shkiryak (over 20 000 nominees from each candidate). However, some presidential candidates for President didn't exercise their right to make nominations to PECs (A.Hrynenko, V.Konovalyuk) or proposed just few nominees (O.Bohomolets, Y.Boyko, M. Dobkin, R. Kuzmin, O. Lyashko, V.Rabynovych, V.Tsushko, D.Yarosh), and consequently they didn't not receive representation in most PECs. V.Saranov submitted nominees to PECs but all of them were rejected.
Nominations to PECs from candidates for President were made in compliance with the law. CVU estimates that the total number of rejected nominees for the PEC members was less than 1%. The main reasons for rejection of nominees to PEC were submissions by unauthorized persons, submissions with violation of the statutory period, nomination of the same person by several subjects of PEC members’ nomination etc.
Due to the fact that a number of candidates did not exercised the right to nominate PEC members, in many cases the first PEC meetings were held with delays. Proposed candidates for PEC members as well as candidates for DEC members resided out of region/district, did not have relevant experience as commission member or were not even aware that they were offered as PEC members. It resulted in significant changes in most PECs, the share of which in many cases was 30-50% and more. In particular, in Dnipropetrovsk and Odesa oblasts the share of changes in PEC membership reached 50%, in Ternopil oblast (TED №№ 166, 167) - 40-45%, in the Kherson oblast - at least one third of PEC members, in Khmelnytsky Oblast (TED №№193 and 195) - up to 75%. In Donetsk oblast the share of changes in PEC membership was between 30 to 80% due to the difficult situation in region and threats to commission members lives. In general in future the Law "On Elections of the President of Ukraine" should be amended to cut down options to replace election commission members by agents who submitted nominees to commissions. The State Budget of Ukraine for the election year should also to include additional cost for commission members’ wages.
The overall qualification level of PEC members was low. In particular, in Vinnytsia oblast almost 70% of heads, deputy heads and secretaries of PEC were appointed to PEC for the first time or had no previous work experience in election commissions. Low qualification level of PEC members was observed in most districts of Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk and other oblasts. That is the reason why the problem of legislative regulations for obligatory training of commission members on election issues is essential.
One of the problems in PEC work was insufficient material and technical provision. In Ivano-Frankivsk oblast in many precincts there was no telephone service for a long time, also there were cases that transferred ballot boxes were damaged. Problems with providing PECs with telephone service were observed by CVU in Kirovograd oblast (TED №№ 104, 101, 102). A number of PECs in TED №132 (Mykolaiv oblast) were not provided with fabric for booths for secret voting. In some villages of Pervomaysky rayon of Mykolayiv oblast (TEC 134) PECs were given premises unaccommodated for voting. For example, in Sofiyivka village PEC was located in a tumble-down club. In Odessa oblast the most common problems were improper premises which didn't correspond to established standards, lack of office equipment, cars, information boards, safes, telephone service, office supplies, booths and ballot boxes, fire safety means, state flag of Ukraine, emergency lighting. In Kharkiv oblast in most PECs there were no stands with official materials of commissions for a long time. Information posters of candidates for President of Ukraine were not places on stands at PEC premises in Kharkiv oblast for a long time. For example according to CVU audit a week before the election day mentioned problems were revealed in PECs №№ 631517 - 631521, 631528 - 631530 of TEC 172 (Moskovsky city district of Kharkiv), PECs №№ 631000, 630650, 630999, 631017, 631020 of TEC 181 (the city of Lozova) or №№ 630533, 630537, 630545, 630557 of TEC 182 (the city of Krasnohrad).
One of the urgent problems was also provision voting opportunities for voters with special needs. Almost all PECs of precincts established in rural areas were not equipped with ramps. There were quite common cases when the voting premises were located on the second or third floors of the buildings. The CEC together with the organizations which represent interests of voters with disabilities should analyze PEC premises to meet need of voters of special needs and to take steps (together with the local authorities) aimed to remove these problems.
The positive aspect of election campaign in 2014 is that there were just few individual cases of obstruction official observers to fulfil their duties at polling station.
5. COMPILING AND UPDATING VOTER LISTS
The quality of the voter lists in 2014 was significantly higher than in previous election campaigns, nevertheless CVU recorded some cases of multiple inclusion of voters in the voter lists, including persons who didn't have voting right, dead people etc. For example, in Kirovograd oblast (TED №104) there were a significant number of dead and multiple included people in the voter list. Insufficient quality of voter lists (dead and multiple included people, etc.) was observed in several districts of Mykolaiv and Zakarpattya oblasts. In Odesa oblast there were some individual cases when addresses of non-existent buildings were included to the voter lists, as well as some addresses were missing, some people were multiple or wrongful included to lists, etc.
One of the problems of elections in 2014 was difficulties which faced voters trying to change the place of voting without changing voting address. They were caused due to shortcomings in the law "On State Voter Register" (particularly due to the definition of voting address) and poor work activity management of some State Voter Register bodies, poor public awareness on activities of bodies managing electoral process on the order of change the place of voting without changing voting address etc.
Thus, in some regions observers CVU recorded long lines to premises of the State Voter Register bodies - especially on the last day of the change the place of voting without changing the voting address (19 May 2014). That is in particular about Vinnytsia oblast (cities of Vinnytsya, Zhmerinka, Kozyatyn). Vinnytsia department of the State Voters Register made amendments to the State Voters Register until 4 AM May 20, 2014 (in consultation with DEC). Large queues also were recorded near the premises of the State Voters Register in Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad (SVR departments of Kirovsky, Leninsky counsil and SVR department of Olexandria rayon), Lviv (the city of Lviv, queues for 4-5 hours), Odesa (the city of Odesa), Rivne (the city of Rivne), Chernivtsi (the city of Chernivtsi) oblasts. In the city of Rivne applications of voters on change the place of voting without changing the voting address were accepted only until 5 PM May 19, 2014, but deadline was postponed on request of CVU observers.
In many regions officials of SVR resolved issues on change the place of voting without changing voting addresses according to own interpretation. CVU recorded many cases when representatives of SVR did not consider documents submitted in support of the need to change the place of voting sufficient enough and required submission of additional documents or additional certification of submitted documents. There were many cases when SVR bodies didn't have adequate conditions to prepare applications for change the place of voting, including to SVR or change data in the SVR.
In many regions due to the delay in forming PECs voter lists were not published in time. The parliament also played a certain role in narrowing possibility to check voter lists, as it reduced the terms to transfer the preliminary voter lists by SVR and terms to deliver personal invitations to voters.
In some oblasts PEC members could not explain the procedure of updating voter lists to voters, refused to accept applications on update of voter lists sending voters out to the State Voter Register bodies (Volyn, Kyiv, Lviv oblasts).
In Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts delays in obtaining voter lists were mostly due to general crime situation. In particular, in Donetsk oblast only some PECs received preliminary voter lists. On May 19 only 6 of 99 PECs of TED №43 received voter lists. In TED № 49 only 51 of 103 PECs received preliminary voter lists, in TED № 60 - 55 out of 148 PECs. There were only some rare cases when voters of the region received invitations, so the absolute majority of PECs failed to provide citizens with information on the time and place of voting. In Luhansk oblast preliminary voter lists were submitted just for 2 PECs of TED (№№ 114 and 115).
6. PRE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN AND ITS FINANCING
Due to activities of armed separatist groups campaign on presidential elections in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts actually wasn't held by candidates. The main way to provide information on candidates to voters in these regions was outdoor political advertising, although some candidates (for example, O. Lyashko) hold meeting with voters in these oblasts.
Destruction or damage by unidentified people outdoor political advertising became rather widespread. "Victims" of this are M. Dobkin (in most regions of the state), O. Lyashko (southern Ukraine and in some western and centre regions), in a smaller extent it concerns S.Tigipko, P.Poroshenko and other candidates. Billboards of these candidates get poured with paint, covered with drawings and obscene inscriptions.
During May 2014 CVU recorded cases of attacks on activists from candidates for President of Ukraine, damaging campaign tents. However, these were just few individual incidents and had rather features of bullying rather than obstruction of voter rights. In particular on May 15, at the centre of Vinnycia on the street of Nebesna Sotnia agitation tent of candidate for President of Ukraine P. Poroshenko was attacked. Authorized representative of presidential candidate M. Malomuzh Y.Shostak (member of the party "Batkivschyna") with a group of people took leaflets depicting P.Poroshenko out of the tent and wrote “bandit” on them, then put them on the walls of buildings around the square and on public transport. On May, 19 in Lutsk a group of drunk people started shaking agitation tent of P.Poroshenko and abuse women agitators working there. The incident was over after arrival of the law enforcement officers. During May 6 cases of hooligan attacks committed by unknown persons on agitation tents of candidates for President of Ukraine A.Grytsenko, P.Poroshenko, Y. Tymoshenko were recorded in Zaporizhzhya oblast.
The leaders of so-called “jeans” propaganda were S.Tigipko, Y.Tymoshenko and P.Poroshenko but hidden political advertising was also placed for other candidates for President too. The Law "On Elections of President of Ukraine" should be amended in order to prevent placement of hidden political advertising and which allow identify it as such.
There were few cases of direct and indirect bribery of voters during election process but anyway they were less common than during early and intermediate local elections. Thus, on May, 19 2014 military men of Rivne received 300 sets of new uniform from “Svoboda” representatives. According to press office of Rivne oblast organisation of “Svoboda” on May, 19 presidential candidate Oleg Tyagnibok was supposed to visit Rivne oblast. Administrators of group “To live in a new way” - Youth of Rivne “FOR IT!” in social network "VKontakte" offered 50 UAH to top-up an account by clicking “Share with Friends” the post with a picture and the words “TO LIVE IN A NEW WAY - GLORY TO UKRAINE “.
The main victim of “black PR” in election 2014 was P.Poroshenko, systematic work against him was done in many oblasts. In particular, on May 14, 2014 after information on mined public reception of the head of Vinnytsia oblast party organization "Batkivschyna" and the arrival police, 19 packages of newspapers "New Vinnytsia newspaper" (250 copies each package) was found inside, this paper contained information aimed at discrediting P.Poroshenko. In many regions flyers "5 Facts about Poroshenko" were actively distributed, the aim was also discrediting the candidate. In addition, in some oblasts there were billboards saying not to betray Maidan. These billboards were done in colours and used distorted slogans of outdoor political advertising of P.Poroshenko. However, "black PR" was also aimed at other candidates too. Thus, in the Cherkasy oblast we found some media materials aimed at discrediting A.Grytsenko.
The other feature of election campaign in 2014 was placement hidden political advertising in prohibited by law time by two leading candidates for President of Ukraine. Thus, in most regions on May,25 2014 outdoor advertising called to come and vote on May 25, 2014 was decorated in style of outdoor advertising of P.Poroshenko ("time to live in a new way") as well as said "Only a strong leader will restore peace" decorated in style of Tymoshenko campaign.
In some regions CVU recorded violations of established procedure of campaigning, in particular the Article 64 of the Law "On Election of the President of Ukraine". However, such violations were not widespread. Thus, May 20, 2014 in premises of 3rd building of the National University of Water and Nature Management on board for announcements CVU observed campaign poster announcing arrival of presidential candidate O. Lyashko to rayon centre. National University of Water and Nature Management is a state institution and therefore accommodating campaign materials there violates p.21 of Art. 64 of the Law "On Election of President of Ukraine". In Chernihiv oblast on May 16, 2014 in administrative building of Music and Drama Theatre near the stage for speech of the candidate for President of Ukraine Poroshenko there was a banner saying “Together for Julia”, placement of which can be considered as violation of election law.
In general, the scope of laws violations during campaigning in presidential election in 2014 was significantly lower than in previous election campaigns.
Financial sources of election campaigns remain unknown to general public. Only few candidates for President of Ukraine published the information on the receipt and use of election funds. Many publications of financial reports on the receipt and use of election funds appeared starting June 12, 2014, but published reports did not contain information allowing to identify major donors of election campaign, the size of their contributions, or to identify the sources of funds. V.Tsushko, according to report published by savings account administrator of his campaign fund, had no expenses for his campaign, while O. Lyashko, whose outdoor advertising was present in almost all regions of the state, spent on his election campaign only 7 million UAH - almost as much as A.Hrytsenko, billboards agitation in whom was placed only final weeks before Election Day. Declared expenditures on advertising by V.Tsushko and O. Lyashko are quite unreliable. Lack of transparency in funding campaigning once again demonstrates the urgent need to implement a complex reform on party and election campaigns funding.
7. ORGANIZATION, VOTING AND VOTE TABULATION
Despite amendments to the Law “On Election of President of Ukraine” aimed at strengthening security measures during organization of voting and vote tabulation in problem regions, voting on most polling stations in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts was disrupted, and the process of voting in these regions was accompanied with armed attacks by groups of separatists, intimidation of voters, commission members, hostage-taking, destruction of election documents. Difficult situation in these regions caused low voter turnout at polling stations. For example, in TED № 49 only about 19% of voters voted of those who were included into voter lists of opened polling stations, in TED № 50 - 17% of voters, in TED № 58 - about 16% of voters.
In other regions of the state voting and vote tabulation were carried out in compliance with the electoral legislation but with some difficulties and violations.
In the vast majority of precincts observed by CVU preparatory meeting started within the prescribed statutory period. Preparatory meetings were held in compliance with legal procedures and were open to official observers, media representatives and other persons who have right be present at commission meetings without permission or invitation. Violations of the prescribed order of preparatory meetings were mentioned only in some precincts. Thus, PEC of precinct № 631078 (TEC № 178, Kharkiv oblast) started the preparatory meeting at 7:05. The preparatory meeting was held with the delay in precinct № 741039 (Chernigiv). The reason was that the secretary of commission lost the keys of the safe with ballots, and therefore the safe got sawn with circular saw. Not all PECs informed DECs on the data required by the law, and therefore DECs telephoned to PECs and received information in such way. Such situations were observed for example in TEDs № 199, 200 (Cherkasy oblast), TEDs № 129 and 131 (Mykolaiv oblast). In some polling stations official observers were not admitted to the preparatory meeting as they arrived late. At polling station № 511 291 (TED № 137, Odesa oblast) at preparatory meeting reference letters were not omitted to the stationary ballot boxes and stationary ballot boxes were not sealed. Sealing boxes was made after voting.
The peculiarities of early presidential elections in Ukraine in 2014 were long queues at polling stations in most regions of Ukraine that didn’t disappear throughout Election Day. These queues were caused with several reasons: 1) high turnout; 2) lack of election commission members, especially in large electoral districts; 3) simultaneous early presidential elections in Ukraine, midterm elections of People's Deputy of Ukraine at TED № 83 and local elections. The result of significant activity of voters was that voting at polling stations with several elections lasted until 10 PM and later (including Kyiv).
In most cases voting at polling stations started in the statutory period, i.e. at 8 AM. There were just some exceptions to this rule at few polling stations in Ivano-Frankivsk (precincts №№ 260901, 260908, 260922, 260898 in TED № 84), Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Kharkiv (TED № 631236 constituency number 171), Rivne (precinct №560932, 560907 (TED №154), № 560655 (TED № 155) and Odesa (precincts №№ 511083, 511125 (TED №135), №№ 511214, 511203 (TED № 136), №№ 511312, 511285, 511263 , 511250 (TED № 137), 511324 (TED № 138) oblasts. .
Violations of the procedure for giving ballots were widespread mainly in case of simultaneous presidential and local elections. Such cases were reported for example at many polling stations in Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi and Kyiv. Contrary to the requirements of election legislation, work with the voter lists and giving ballots in local elections was carried out not simultaneously but sequentially: first voter had to sign the voter list and then to take a turn for receiving ballots for voting on relevant local election. This method of voting not only contradicted the requirements of the law, but also could lead to the situation that voters who signed for receiving ballots actually did not receive them (as decided not to stand in line to receive ballots), wrong number of voter in voter lists could be written into control coupons (as was written from the words of voters), multiple voting or illegal giving of ballots could take place.
Official observers of CVU recorded cases of unlawful giving ballots on the basis of documents not prescribed in the law (pension certificates, international passports) or even without showing any documents as well as cases of multiple voting. However, such cases still were not widespread. For example, at polling station № 711049 (TED № 198, Cherkasy oblast) the same person twice was given ballots for voting at early presidential elections. At polling station № 510499 (TED № 141, Odesa oblast) two voters received ballots without showing passports of citizens of Ukraine. At polling station № 50873 (TED № 15, Vinnytsia oblast) commission members allowed elderly voters to vote without showing passport, because it was difficult for elderly people to get back home for passports.
Despite the explanation of the CEC that it's legal to give ballots to voters with passports without photographs that should be pasted in when citizen reaches 25 - and 45-years old, at some polling stations voters were refused from giving ballot due to lack of necessary photographs in passport of citizen of Ukraine. Such a case was recorded, for example, at a polling station № 121 076 (TED № 24, Dnipropetrovsk oblast).
Significant number of voters at polling station led to the fact that voters filled out ballots in prohibited places or in presence of other voters in secret ballot booths. Cases of simultaneous voting by several voters in the booth for secret voting was recorded at several polling stations in Kyiv, at polling station № 320040 (city of Uzyn, Kyiv oblast), at some polling stations in Mykolaiv oblast (polling stations №№ 480909, 480746 (TED № 130), № 480784 (TED №129), №480827 (TED №130) , at polling stations №№ 560910, 560940 (TED № 154, Rivne oblast). At polling station № 631 146 (TED № 170, Kharkov), where most voters are students of Kharkiv National University, CVU recorded a video of massive disclosure of their choice by voters: voters (students) showed filled ballots to official observers from candidates for President of Ukraine S.Tihipko and M. Dobkin. PEC members didn't respond to violation of election laws and remarks of CVU observers.
At some polling stations where both local and presidential elections were organized, the voter lists to vote in local elections for unknown reasons included more voters than lists to vote in presidential elections. For example, at a polling station № 511234 (TED № 136, Odesa oblast) the voter list to vote in local elections included 6 more people than the voter list to vote in presidential elections. Significant differences in voter lists in different elections, which were held simultaneously, also were recorded in Ivano-Frankivsk and Mykolaiv.
At some polling stations changes to voter lists were made on Election Day desp