FINAL MONITORING REPORT ON RESULTS OF 2012 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS

All-Ukrainian civic organisation Committee of voters of Ukraine (CVU) operates since 1994 and hold monitoring of election campaigns in Ukraine. CVU branches work in all regions of the    country.

Committee of voters of Ukraine is one of the founding members of European Network of Election   Monitoring    Organizations (ENEMO).

In    May-October   2012  CVU held   long-term    monitoring    of   every   stage    of preparation    and conduction   of election   campaign    on   regular   elections of the   people's deputies of  Ukraine   in   all th e    districts.

On   the    Election   Day  of October   28th 6,500 CVU observers worked   on   election  precincts.

The given   report   was prepared   based   on   results of long-   and   short   term   observation   of the Committee   of voters of  Ukraine.

CONCLUSIONS

The 2012 elections of the people's deputies of Ukraine as a whole with violations of fair and democratic elections' standards. They became the most problematic national elections since 2004. The most problematic stages of the election process were as follows:

  • pre-election campaigning, accompanied by bribery and use of administrative resource; 
  • formation of election commissions; 
  • establishment of the voting results in single-mandate constituencies. 

However, the problems were also recorded another stages of election process as well as before its official beginning.

The legal basis made it possible to conduct fair and transparent elections, though had a number of important drawbacks. The regular elections of the people's deputies of Ukraine were conducted again on the basis of a Law, passed by the parliament less then a year before elections. Ruling of some of the Law provisions unconstitutional,

 

adoption of a Law “On Peculiarities of Ensuring Openness, Transparency and Democratic Elections of People's deputies of Ukraine on October 28, 2012” less then a month before election process beginning, as well as revision of some important election rules (such as provisions on lotting for the candidacies for district and precinct election commissions, procedures for change of voting place without change of voting address etc) did not contribute to the principle of election legislation stability.

The Law on Election of People's Deputies of Ukraine did not take into account the majority of recommendations by the Venice Commission, OSCE/ODIHR and other international organisations, done based on previous elections results, as well as analysis of Election of People's Deputies of Ukraine draft law on the stage of it's preparation by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

In particular, recommendations that covered the following issues were not taken into account:

  • determination of criteria for election districts formation; 
    • limitation of possibilities for change of election commission member by other persons from the same subject of election process; 
    • regulation of pre-election campaigning; 
    • rise of election campaign financing transparency level; 
    • ground for declaring voting and election results invalid. 

Non-consideration of these recommendations, as well as other drawbacks and lacunas in the Law caused a number of problems in its application. Some of these problems are lack of some parties and candidates' representation in the election commissions, abuse of administrative resource, frequent changes in the composition of DEC and PEC, violations of voting results establishment in single-mandate districts.

The key role in administration of the election process was played by CEC, while other state institutions were rather passive in providing elections correspondence with international standards. However, collegial nature and transparency in the work of the Commission was weakened by the practice of preliminary discussions of issues in the competence of the Commission on closed meetings, as well as practice of CEC members' territorial specialisation for preparation of some issues for consideration of the Commission.

Local public authorities in many cases have done necessary steps or proper organisation of the election process, though on a nationwide scale activities of these bodies lacked systematic nature and single approach to the piorities for provision of proper election process organisation.

CVU records passivity of law-enforcement bodies (Ministry of Internal Affairs, Security Service of Ukraine, Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine) in reacting on information on violations, as well as instances of illegal interference in the election process, especially during the vote tabulation.

Formation of election districts was done without public consultations with potentially interested subjects. In some cases a principle of election districts continuity of boundaries was violated with no good reason, in some cases districts were formed without consideration of administrative territorial devision of Ukraine (in 6 cases even territories of village councils were divided between several districts), as well as places of national minorities' compact residence.

 

Configuration of some districts was favourable for some candidates' balloting, who started campaigning long before the election process beginning. Such situation casts doubt on the lack of political influence on the districts formation.

Considerable number of problems connected with formation of election precincts

was caused by the drawbacks of the Law on Election of People's Deputies of Ukraine. The CEC has limited a list of special election precincts formed on permanent basis, against the Law. As a result of the Law drawbacks and an order of special election precincts formation on permanent basis in places of temporary voters' stay approved by CEC, in some places of citizens' temporary stay temporary precincts were not formed at all, while in some other places of temporary stay there were not enough reasons to form the precincts (in particular, in sanatoriums, children's hospitals etc). The list of special precincts on permanent basis was several times changed by CEC that may have complicated organisation of voting.

Nomination of candidates was not enough transparent and was followed by inter-party and inner party conflicts, positioning of politically affiliated candidates as independent.

Nomination of candidates-”clones” in single-mandate districts was rather wide spread, such candidates had to distract part of votes in support of main candidates. Registering of deputies was done by CEC in the time according to the Law on Election of People's Deputies of Ukraine. As a whole, no considerable violations of election legislation were recorded in the process of candidates' registration.

The main problem on the stage of candidates' registration was questionable reading of the Law on Election of People's Deputies of Ukraine in the part of the term of permanent residence on the territory of Ukraine as a ground for realisation of passive election right. The grounds were understood by CEC rather broadly, and there were many cases of denial in candidates' registration. However, potential election subjects had enough possibilities to protect their right for registration in court.

One of the important problem of 2012 parliamentary elections became removal of some opposition leader from participation in election contest. Cases of mass candidates' resignations, as well as one of the parties cancellation of a decision of its candidates nomination which took place in September- October 2012 had negative effect on the organisation of the elections. Cancellation of candidates' registration on the above mentioned grounds has led to the necessity to reprint election ballots for many districts, as well as use of “Withdrawn” stamp for introduction of changes to the ballot papers.

The Law and the CEC procedures drawbacks for lotting of the candidates to precinct and district commission has resulted in a number of problems in PEC and DEC formation, in particular excessive representation of not well known parties or parties which nominated candidates in several single-mandate districts only in the commissions, lack of representation in the commissions of parties and candidates with high chances to be elected, inclusion to the commissions of persons without proper experience in organisation of the election process, frequent changes in the composition of the commissions (including changes just before E-Day and after the voting).

Formation of PEC was accompanied with multiple cases of violations — on purpose prevention of some electoral subjects from nomination of candidates to the PEC composition, violation of deadlines for lotting and PEC formation, conduction of lotting in

 

a way that made it possible to pick certain pre-selected candidates etc. Some of these problems were caused by the fact that CEC has changes the order of lotting on the PEC composition shortly before the lotting.

As a whole, proper conditions for work of DEC were provided almost in all regions, while in some cases commissions were not provided with proper premises, office equipment etc. At the same time, proper conditions for work of PEC were not provided in many cases.

Most DEC were transparent in their activities, while PEC demonstrated to some extent lower level of transparency. Both DEC and PEC were not effective enough in considering complaints of election process subjects. At the same time, non-effectiveness of complaints consideration was in many cases caused by inappropriate level of headquarters' lawyers, candidates, authorised persons and proxies to contest decisions, activities on inactivity regarding elections in the election commissions.

In some regions official observers have faced problems with registration by DEC.

Among main problems connected with formation and correction of voter lists should be named low level of preliminary and corrected voter lists in many precincts, violation of deadlines for submission of preliminary voter lists from State Voter Register bodies to PEC, drawbacks in organisation of State Voter Register bodies work.

Change of the order of temporary change of voting place without change of voting

address by CEC has prevented mass migration of voters on the E-Day. However, correspondence of the new order with the requirements of the Law on State Voter Register and Constitution of Ukraine is rather questionable.

The Committee of voters of Ukraine has revealed a number of important problems in the practice of pre-election campaigning by the election process subjects. The main problems are as following:

  • start of campaigning long before the election process beginning;
  • nonaTOK 3flii/iCHeHi-m ariTauj! 3aflOBro flo nonaTKy BuGopnoro npou,ecy;
    • lack of content of campaigning materials/political advertisement of many election subjects;
    • wide spread in mass media hidden political advertisements (so called “jeans”);
      • frequent cases of prevention from  campaigning  (damage  of advertisement posters, refusal from providing premises for campaigning events);
    • use of so called “black PR” technology;
    • mass direct and indirect vote buying;
      • active excessive use of administration resource and involvement od state officials in campaigning activities.

CVU has also registered non-systematic but not sporadic cases of pressure on candidates and their business, which had some indicators of being politically motivated.

Voting as a whole was held with no serious violations, though in such violations were recorded in some districts.

 

The following problematic aspects of voting on certain polling stations should be emphasised:

  • wrong application of “Withdrawn” stamp on ballot papers; 
  • prevention of observers from their activities on some polling stations; 
  • lack of explanation of voting procedure; 
  • drawbacks in the organisation of video surveillance; 
  • violations in the order of passing ballot papers to voters; 
    • excessive number of voters in the exerpt from the voter list for voting at voter's place of stay; 
    • campaigning on the E-Day. 

CVU observers have also recorded not rare cases of vote buying and other violations (including use of so called merry-go-round, photographing of ballot papers in the booths for secret voting, use of vanishing writing ink for filling in ballot papers etc).

One of the most problematic stages of the election process of the regular elections of people's deputies of Ukraine was vote tabulation and establishment of voting

results. Numerous abuses became one of the reasons is was impossible to establish verifiable results in five single-mandate districts, though a list of “problematic” single-mandate districts is not limited to the ones where it was impossible to establish election results.

In many cases PEC held vote tabulation with violation of the Law requirements, rules of election documentation transporting were also frequently not observed. Work of most PEC on receiving election documentation was not organised properly. In the process of election results establishment in some districts cases of incorrect data introduction to the “Elections” system, as well as selective re-tabulation of ballots, intentional damage of ballots, violence, threatening, interference in election commissions' work.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Institutions of state authories should scrupulously consider 2012 elections experience in order to eliminate drawbacks in election process organisation before conduction of repeat and interim elections of people's deputies of Ukraine, and also 2015 presidential elections. Based on results of corresponding analysis shortly after establishment of results of elections of people's deputies of Ukraine changes should be introduced to the law on elections of people's deputies of Ukraine. Persons, guilty for violation of election legislation should be brought to justice.

Before 2015 presidential elections conduction electoral legislation should be codified. Besides, election system should be revised for parliamentary elections with consideration of recommendations of Council of Europe and Venice Commission.

I. To Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine:

The following changes should be introduced to the Law On Elections of People's deputies of Ukraine or another law that would establish the order of people's deputies of Ukraine elections:

■    in the part of territorial organisation of elections:

 

establish reasons for change of electoral districts boundaries in a

period before the beginning of election process;

provide principle of election districts continuity of boundaries (with

possible excuse of this principle in the cases when it is caused by peculiarities of administrative and territorial devision of Ukraine), consideration of administrative and territorial devision, and also places of national minorities residence;

provide obligation of preliminary publication of CEC draft decisions

on formation or change of election districts boundaries or centers, and also consultations on corresponding issues with parties and other potentially interested subjects;

establish an order for formation, change and liquidation of permanent election precincts;

establish clear list of special election precincts that may be formed on temporary basis;

consider possibility to form out of country election precincts  out of

diplomatic institutions or military bazes abroad and also establish an order of their formation;

decrease  maximum  number of voters  per election  precinct to

provide proper organisation of voting and vote tabulation;

■    in the part of formation and organisation of election commissions' work

make clear division between parties-subjects of election process,

providing that if a party nominates candidates in single-mandate constituencies such a party may nominate candidates to the commissions of those districts only where their candidates are registered, while representation in composition of all PEC should be granted only to parties which nominate candidates in mationwide election district;

establish general provisions for lotting for candidates in DEC and PEC members, providing separate lotting for each DEC and PEC;

consider possibility to give rights to candidates in single-mandate constituencies to nominate candidates in DEC members;

provide obligation of passing training on election legislation at least

by all DEC members (or candidates in DEC members), and if possible — by PEC members as well, and establish an order of such training conduction;

cosider possibility to deny parties and candidates right to change

voluntarily members of commissions by other persons from the same subjects of candidates' nomination to the commission composition;

consider possibility to decrease number of PEC members in case of

decrease of maximum number of voters for election precincts;

establish a range of DEC decisions that are subject for obligatory

publication on the CEC web site;

■    in the part of nomination and registration of candidates in deputies:

 

specify meaning of temporary residence on the territory of Ukraine

for the last 5 years;

clearly foresee that submission of documents for registration with

insufficient information required by the law are grounds for denial in candidates registration;

establish such a term for candidates or parties to decide on

resignation form participation in elections (cancellation of candidate's registration in nationwide district) that would make it possible to reprint ballot papers without use of “Withdrawn” stamp;

limit grounds for giving notices to parties and candidates,  but

provide proportional and effective sanctions for the most substantial violations (indirect vote-buying, use of subordinate persons in campaigning etc), such as fines;

■    in the part of registering og voters, formation and correction of voter list:

establish such an order of voting at out of country election precincts

that would correspond with the principle of equal election right;

provide for mechanisms that would let voters freely change place of

voting without change of voting address in the boundaries of nationwide election district and temporary change place of voting without change of voting address in the boundaries on single-mandate election district only;

introduce effective mechanisms of public control over change of

place of voting without change of voting address such as those used for control over voting with absentee voting certificates;

establish DEC power in   control over formation and correction of

voter lists;

provide possibility for voters to file applications on correction of

voter lists solely to bodies of State Voter Register maintenance, not to PEC;

establish such time frames for consideration of disputes connected

with correction of voter lists that would allow not making any changes to the corrected voter lists on the E-Day (besides from technical mistakes);

■    in the part of pre-election campaigning regulation:

unify rules of parties financing of election campaign, taking into

account recommendations of the Venice Commission, OSCE/ODIHR, Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Group of Countries against Corruption on bringing regulation of financing parties and elections in correspondence with international standards;

make more clear division between election campaigning and official

information on activities of state authorities who are candidates on elections;

establish an order for placement of outdoor political advertising with

consideration of requirements of providing equal opportunities in campaigning for electoral process subjects for placement of campaigning materials in printed and audiovisual mass media outlets;

 

consider possibility to change limits for election campaigning with

consideration of OSCE/ODIHR preliminary recommendations based on election observation results, in particular — limits in campaigning in mass media with foreign share in ownership, prohibition for foreigners ot participate in campaigning etc;

limit range of grounds for cancellation of license for translation and

issue of printed editions to the most substantial violations (such violations should be clearly stated in the law), providing possibility of other sanctions to mass media, such as fines;

bring   regulation   of   right  for   answer   in   correspondence  with

democratic standards, providing grounds for refusal;

introduce more effective mechanisms of preventing state officials

from involvement in campaigning activities and indirect vote buying, in particular by establishing effective and proportional sanctions for corresponding violations;

■   in the part of organisation of voting, vote tabulation and establishment of
election results
:

consider possibility to simplify regulation of an order of preparation

for voting, organisation of voting and vote tabulation on election precincts with simultaneous preservation of mechanisms aimed at prevention from possible abuses/violations;

provide such a order of ballot papers print that would let reprinting

them in short term without introduction of changes to the ballots by “Withdrawn” stamp, with simultaneous provision of ballots protection from forgery;

provide for publication of documentation connected with ballot papers (acts etc) on the CEC web site;

provide for possibility to print ballot papers in the languages of national minorities in places of compact residence;

provide that information posters of election process subjects placed at precincts do not belong to campaigning materials;

consider possibility to add to the Law provisions that would provide

possibility for observers and other persons who have a right to be present at commission meetings without invitation or permission to enter the voting premises after closing of election precinct;

change a range of reasons for declaring voting results at election

precinct invalid with consideration of preliminary recommendations of Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR;

provide possibility to cancel election results in case of violations

which make it impossible to establish verifiable election results;

■   in the part of status of official observers, authorised persons and proxies:

provide an obligation to register authorised persons and proxies in the districts by DEC;

 

provide an opportunity for observers from civic organisations to

monitor elections nationwide, and not only in the limits of one or another single-mandate district, and also their registration on early stages of election process;

■   in the part of appealing of decisions, actions or passivity regarding elections and
responsibility for election legislation violation:

consider possibility to prolong time frames of appeals consideration

by election commissions to 3-5 days;

consider possibility to further  narrow  competences  of election

commission in consideration of election disputes, and in case of preservation of the current mechanism of commissions formation in future — limiting consideration of election disputes to the competences of courts;

provide possibility to appeal all court decisions on election disputes,

including decisions of Higher Administrative Court of Ukraine;

provide effective and  proportional sanctions for violation of all

restrictions and prohibitions imposed by the Law, including by introducing correspondent changes in the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses and Criminal Code of Ukraine.

II. To the president of Ukraine and Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine:

■     to consider possibility to assume measures within the limits of their authority aimed at bringing to justice state officials who violated electoral legislation, including participation in campaigning activities; 

■     to consider possibility to assume measures aimed at further reform of election legislation with due consideration of 2012 election campaign and provision of its codification, i.e. by establishment of a new Working group on reforming election legislation; 

■     to consider possibility to adopt before regular elections an act (acts) that would establish standards of activities of members of Cabinet and heads of other executive authorities institutions on preparations for elections. 

III. To Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine and Ministry of Internal Affairs:

■     to consider possibility to assume measures within the limits of their authority aimed at bringing to justice all persons who violated electoral legislation; 

■     to publish information on results of court hearings on the cases of administrative violations and criminal cases; 

■     to assume measures aimed at raising level of skills and knowledge of prosecutors and internal affairs bodies officials on election legislation issues, protection of voting rights, reacting on violations etc. 

IV. To Central Election Commission:

■     to consider possibility to prepare, publish and publicly discuss report on the CEC activities in organisation of the regular elections of the people's deputies of Ukraine, revealed problems and ways to eliminate them; 

■     based on the results of regular elections of the people's deputies of Ukraine to consider possibility to develop propositions on further improvement of Ukrainian 


electoral    legislation,    in    particular   provisions   regarding   election   districts boundaries, order or election commission training etc;

■     to consider possibility to form permanent center or branch of CEC Secretariat that would be responsible for training of election commission members; 

■     to consider possibility of preliminary publication of CEC acts on electoral matters on the CEC website for public awareness and also consulting on such drafts; 

■     to consider possibility to form territorial Secretariat departments to decrease functional pressure on the Commission and its central body; 

■     to consider possibility to change the practice of the Commission and its members' work to make it more transparent in consideration and ruling of issues of its competence, as well as to refuse from CEC members territorial specialisation in preliminary consideration of issues, belonging to the CEC competence. 

1. TERRITORIAL ORGANIZATION OF THE ELECTIONS OF PEOPLE'S DEPUTIES OF UKRAINE

Formation of the electoral districts

The Law “On Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine” only outlines the order of formation of electoral districts. In particular, it makes provision that the CEC should form electoral districts in 180 days before the election day (Pgh. 3, i. 6 of the final and transitional regulations of the Law). In addition, Art. 18 of the Law provides that the districts should exist on a regular basis; the boundaries of the districts should not violate the boundaries of the oblasts, cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol, and Autonomous Republic of Crimea; the deviation of the voters number in a single mandate electoral district should not exceed 12% of the estimated average number of voters in single mandate electoral districts determined by the CEC based on data of the State Voters Register (Art. 18 of the Law).However, the Law is not reflecting some important principles for the formation of the districts, in particular, the principle of continuity of the districts’ boundaries; considering during their formation the boundaries of city districts and cities of the oblast importance, places of compact residence of national minorities and others. In this context it is worth noting that the Law does not provide for public consultation in determining electoral boundaries, as well as the grounds and procedure for revision of electoral districts’ boundaries. If the following (after 2012) Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine are to be held after the mixed electoral system, there is a high risk that the districts’ boundaries, formed in 2012, will be significantly changed shortly before the election process of the respective elections. And so the winners of the election campaign of 2012, actively interacting with voters of “their” districts, will find themselves in an inconvenient position because of a new redistribution of administrative-territorial units between the districts.

The CEC determined the number of single mandate districts for each region in Resolution N°65 of April 9, 2012. This number, generally, was proportional to the number of voters included in the State Voters Register at the adoption date of the mentioned Resolution of the CEC. Boundaries and centers of the districts were defined in the CEC’s Resolution N°82 of April 28, 2012. The draft of this Resolution was not given open publicity, and respectively, potential participants of the electoral process and experts were not able to affect its final content. Moreover, the very Resolution N°82 was censored twice a few months before the election day (the CEC Resolutions N°N° 130 of July 31, 2012 and 1072 of September 25, 2012), which could somewhat complicate the agitation and organization of the electoral process in the respective single mandate districts.The significant gaps in the Law “On Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine”

 

concerning formation of electoral districts became one of the main reasons that caused a number of important drawbacks during the formation of the districts:

Violation of the principle of boundaries continuity of the districts

In many regions, the CEC created districts with continuous borders. Among these regions are Volyn, Zhytomyr, Zaporizhia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kirovohrad, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Rivne, Sumy, Ternopil, Khmelnytsky and Chernivtsi oblasts. However, in other oblasts, and also in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Kyiv and Sevastopol, this principle has been violated, which led to appearance of natural and artificial enclaves in some of the districts. Besides that, in 2012, the number of regions in which districts were formed with violation of the principle of their boundaries continuity significantly increased compared with 2002. For example, in 2002, none of the districts within Vinnitsa, Odessa, Kharkiv, Cherkasy, Chernihiv oblasts and Kyiv was divided into several parts by the territory of the other districts. However, during the formation of the districts in these regions in 2012 the principle of boundaries continuity of the districts was not complied.

 

Table 1. Adherence to the principle of boundaries continuity of the districts in 2002and 2012

 

 

 

 

Region

2002

2012

 

2002

2012

Autonomou s    Republic of Crimea

-

-

Odessa oblast

+

-

Vinnytsia oblast

+

-

Poltava oblast

+

+

Volyn oblast

+

+

Rivne oblast

-

+

Dnipropetriv sk oblast

-

-

Sumy oblast

+

+

Donetsk oblast

-

-

Ternopil oblast

+

+

Zhytomyr oblast

+

+

Kharkiv oblast

+

-

Zakarpattia oblast

-

-

Kherson oblast

-

-

Zaporizhia oblast

+

+

Khmelnyts ky oblast

+

+

Ivano-

Frankivsk

oblast

+

+

Cherkasy oblast

+

-

Kyiv oblast

-

-

Chernivtsi oblast

-

+

Kirovohrad oblast

+

+

Chernihiv oblast

+

-

Luhansk oblast

-

-

Kyiv city

+

-

Lviv oblast

-

-

Sevastopol city

-

-

Mykolaiv oblast

+

+

 

 

 

 

Notes: "+" - the principle of boundaries continuity of the districts was complied; "-" - the
principle was violated. Gray color marks the differences between the regions.
______________________________

Compared with 2002, the number of districts that were divided into several parts artificially, without any grounds, has increased (from 8 to 23):- The territory of the electoral district №12, formed in Vinnytsia oblast, was divided into 4 parts, disconnected from each other with the territory of the electoral district №11. This division is artificial, since all the electoral districts formed within the oblast in 2001 had continuous boundaries;

-  While forming districts for the 2002 elections within Dnipropetrivsk oblast no district was divided into several parts artificially. All the enclaves that existed in the districts of the oblast had natural origin, as they were determined by the peculiarities of the administrative-territorial structure of the oblast. For the 2012 elections, the CEC artificially divided 3 districts within the oblast into several parts - districts №№27, 34, and 36;

-  In 2001, during the formation of districts within Donetsk oblast only the district №50 was artificially divided into several parts, while the rest of the districts remained continuous due to the peculiarities of the administrative-territorial structure of the oblast. In 2012, the number of districts artificially divided into several parts within the same oblast increased to 5 (districts №№ 50, 52, 53, 55, and 56);

-  During the formation of the districts in Zakarpattia oblast in 2001 boundaries of only two districts (№ № 71 and 72) were artificially disrupted. In 2012, the number of such districts increased to 3 (districts №№ 69, 72, and 73);

-  In 2002, within Kyiv oblast none of the districts was artificially divided into several parts. However, in 2012, without any justification districts №№91 and 93 were artificially divided into several parts;

-  In 2002, only one district of Luhansk oblast was divided into several parts artificially (district №110), while in 2012, the number of such districts increased to 5 (districts № №107, 108, 110, 111, and 112);

-  On the territory of the districts in Odessa oblast, formed for the parliamentary elections in 2002, there was no artificial enclave. However, in 2012, such enclave was formed on the territory of the electoral district №138. It was Yuzhne town that was artificially separated from the main part of the electoral district №139;

-  In 2002, there were no artificial enclaves on the territory of the electoral districts formed in Kharkiv oblast. In 2012, such enclave has emerged as a result of the separation of several polling stations from the main part of the electoral district №172 (corresponding stations appeared to be on the territory of the electoral district №170);

-  During the formation of districts in Cherkasy oblast for the 2012 elections district №195 was artificially divided into several parts. During the 2002 elections, boundaries of all the districts formed within the oblast were continuous;

-   The territory of the electoral district №210 (Chernihiv oblast), formed in 2012,
consisted of two parts, separated from each other by the territory of Nosiv rayon,
included to the electoral district №209. This division is artificial. In 2002, the boundaries
of all the established districts were continuous;

-  In Kyiv city, district №221 formed in 2012 was artificially divided into two parts by the
territory of the electoral district №211. However, none of the districts established in 2001
in Kiev was divided into several parts.

At the same time, the division of a number of the electoral districts into several parts was determined by the natural factors and above all – by the peculiarities of the

 

administrative-territorial structure of individual regions. These peculiarities have led to the formation of the natural enclaves in some districts which also existed in 2002. For example, in 2001, due to the nature of its administrative-territorial division, into several parts were divided districts №№1 (Autonomous Republic of Crimea), 27, 29, 32, 33, 35, 37 (Dnipropetrivsk oblast), 48, 49, 51, 52 53, 57, 60 (Donetsk oblast), 95, 96 (Kyiv oblast), 104, 106, 108, 109, 111, 112, 115 (Luhansk oblast), 117 (Lviv oblast), 184 (Kherson oblast), 203 (Chernivtsi oblast), 225 (Sevastopol city).In 2012, the peculiarities of the administrative-territorial structure have led to breaking the boundaries of the districts №№1, 2 (Autonomous Republic of Crimea), 26, 30, 31, 33, 40 (Dnipropetrivsk oblast), 48, 49, 50, 51, 53, 54 57, 60 (Donetsk oblast), 95, 96 (Kyiv oblast), 104, 105, 107, 110, 112 (Luhansk oblast), 116 (Lviv oblast), 183 (Kherson oblast), 195 (Cherkasy oblast), 225 (Sevastopol city).

Inadequate consideration of the boundaries of rayons and cities of oblast importance in the formation of electoral districts

Possibility of ignoring the boundaries of rayons, cities of oblast importance and rayons in citis in determining boundaries of the electoral districts was not provided by the current Law “On Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine” or the Law on parliamentary elections, which was used during the 2002 elections. On the one hand, it seems quite logical, because during the formation of districts often must be considered not only the boundaries of administrative units, but other factors too - such as geographical, logistical (state of the roads and transport infrastructure, etc.), as well as the formation of districts with approximately equal number of voters, etc. On the other hand, comparison of the boundaries of the electoral districts formed for the elections of 2002 and 2012 suggests that the number of rayons and cities divided between districts slightly increased, compared with 2002. Partly, the reason for this is that the current Law “On Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine” excludes the possibility of exceeding the maximum determined limits of deviation of the number of voters in the district from the estimated average number of voters in single mandate districts (whereas for the 2002 election districts could be formed with the excess of maximum limits of deviation). At the same time, the influence of political factors on the configuration of the districts’ boundaries should not be ruled out.In 2012, some of the cities were divided between districts so that none of the districts was formed solely from the urban area. And Vinnitsa is a striking example. In 2002, a part of the city formed a separate district, and for the 2012 elections Vinnitsa was divided between two districts, which included parts of the Vinnytsia oblast.

In 2002, during the formation of districts in big cities boundaries of these cities, in many cases, were taken into account. In other words, parts of these cities were not included in districts formed from the territories of the surrounding rayons. In particular, this applies to the cities such as Dnipropetrivsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, and Chernivtsi. However, in 2012, parts of these cities were included in the districts formed from the surrounding rayons. For example, a part of Amur-Nyzhnyodniprovsk rayon of Dnipropetrivsk was included in the district №29 formed mainly from Petrykivsky and Dnepropetrivsk rayons. The significant part of Ivano-Frankivsk was included in the district №84, formed from the territories of Galytsky, Tlumatsky and Tysmenytsky rayons. The western part of Ternopil was included it he district №165, formed from the territories of five rayons of Ternopil oblast. A part of Chernivtsi was referred to the district №203. Not the smallest role in such a division of oblast centers played the fact that the Law does not provide the possibility of exceeding the deviation of voters in districts from 12% of the estimated average number of voters in the district.

 

Division of territories of vilage and settlement councils between several districts

During the formation of districts for the parliamentary elections in 2002 was ensured the consideration of boundaries of villages and settlements (village and settlement councils), which means that village and settlement councils were not divided between several districts. In 2012, this principle was violated:- The territory of Ilkivsk village council (Vinnytsia rayon of Vinnytsia oblast) was divided between two districts: the polling station №050149 was assigned to the district №11, and the stations №№050150 and 050151 - to the district №12;

-  The territory of Ksaverivka village council (Vinnitsa rayon of Vinnytsia oblast) was divided between the districts №№11 and 12. To each of them was assigned a polling station formed on the territory of the council;

-  The territory of Batradiv village council (Beregiv rayon of Zakarpattia oblast) was divided between the electoral districts №№69 and 73 (polling stations №№210003 and 210005 respectively);

-  The territory of Velykorakovets village council (Irshavsk rayon of Zakarpattia oblast) was divided between the districts №№71 and 73 (polling stations № № 210189-210190 and 210191 respectively);

-  The territory of Puznyakov village council (Mukachevo rayon of Zakarpattia oblast) was divided between the electoral districts №№69 (4 stations) and 71 (1 station);

-  Ruda village (Skvyra rayon of Kyiv oblast) was divided between districts №№91 and 92. To each of them was assigned one station created within the village.

Neglecting the places of compact residence of national minorities during the formation of electoral districts

In some regions of Ukraine (in particular, in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Zakarpattia and Chernivtsi oblasts) the share of minorities in the total number of voters is significant. In addition, these minorities live compactly which allows considering the places of their compact residence during the formation of electoral districts. However, according to data provided by the regional departments of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, the interests of national minorities in the formation of single mandate districts were not considered fully: - In Chernivtsi oblast, a part of Sadhora rayon of Chernivtsi city, which formerly belonged to a single mandate electoral district № 202 with its center in Chernivtsi (namely polling stations №730481 – 730486), was assigned to the single mandate district №203 with its center in Novoselytsia town. This led to the inclusion of approximately 9,000 Ukrainian-speaking voters in the district in which Romanian population is predominant by number. In addition, to the single mandate district №203 were included parts of villages of Storozhynets rayon (Velyky Kuchuriv, Kamyana, Mykhalcha, Snyachiv, Hlybochok, and Tysovets), in which most of the voters are Ukrainian-speaking. On the other hand, a number of Romanian-speaking villages of Storozhynets rayon which previously belonged to the former district №204 were included in the district №202. This led to the inclusion of approximately 10,000 Romanian-speaking voters in the district in which Ukrainian-speaking population is dominating by number. Thus, interests of the Romanian-speaking voters during the formation of districts in Chernivtsi oblast were not considered;

- During the formation of single mandate districts for the organization and conduct of the
2002 elections in Zakarpattia oblast the CEC considered places of compact residence
of national minorities of Hungarians. The result of this consideration was the formation
of the electoral district №72, which included parts of Uzhhorod, Berehovo, Vynohradiv,
Hust, and Tiachiv rayons. However, in 2012, the places of compact residence of the
Hungarian minority were divided between 5 districts (68, 69, 71, 72, 73), which
significantly narrowed the possibility of minority representation in the Parliament. Thus,

 

during the formation of districts within Zakarpattia oblast interests of the Hungarian minority were not taken into account;

- The interests of minorities during the formation of districts in the Autonomous Republic
of Crimea were not taken into account either. In particular, according to R. Chubarov,
the percentage of voters who belong to the Crimean Tatars does not exceed 25-30% in
any of the districts. At the same time, a share of Crimean Tatars in electoral district №8
became relatively large.

Influence of political factors on determining boundaries of electoral districts

Although the impact of politics on determination of boundaries of electoral districts can neither be confirmed nor denied, the boundaries of many of them set by the CEC were very “convenient” for some candidates and vice versa – “uncomfortable” for other politicians. If the CEC determined the boundaries of districts in a transparent way, with prior consultations on possible “configurations” of the districts between the major political parties, there would be no doubts in the impartiality of the body concerning the formation of districts.

Formation of the poling stations

The Law “On Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine” introduced division of the polling stations into permanent and temporary and determined the general principles of their formation and operation. One of the positive sides of the Law was the restriction of maximum number of voters at polling stations by 2,500 voters (except external polling stations). However, in terms of regulating the formation of stations, the Law contained some drawbacks, including:- The Law didn’t define grounds and procedure for formation and revision of boundaries and liquidation of polling stations on a regular basis. As a result, the CEC had to take care of resolving such issues;

-  The Law didn’t give a clear answer to the question: what kind of special districts should be created on a regular, and what - on a temporary basis? As a result, the CEC classified stations at investigation isolators as temporary polling stations. In practice, this meant that in some isolators polling stations were not formed at all;

-  The Law didn’t set a full list of institutions, organizations and places of temporary stay of voters with limited mobility. In practice, absence of such list allowed DECs to form polling stations in health resorts, children's hospitals, etc.

-  The Law didn’t provide the possibility of formation of the external stations outside the foreign diplomatic institutions and military units (formations), stationed outside Ukraine. Although presence in external stations has been traditionally low, with high probability it can be assumed that some of the “external” voters were not able to vote because of the remoteness of diplomatic institutions from their places of residence.

The CEC approved the Procedure of formation of regular, external and special polling stations on a regular basis with Resolution №11 of January 24, 2012, which has been revised during the course of the electoral process (August 14, 2012). January 19, 2012, the CEC also approved requirements for PEC premises and voting premises (CEC’s Resolution №5), and January 26, 2012 - requirements for DEC premises and DEC norms (CEC’s Resolution №18). Polling stations on a regular basis were formed by the CEC in a period determined by the Law “On Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine” (April 12, 2012, the CEC’s Resolution №66), that is in 190 days before the election day. However, even during the election process the list of polling stations on a regular basis has been substantially modified (most significant changes were declared by the CEC’s Resolutions №127 of April 12, 2012, №1140 of September 28, 2012, №1452 of October 12, 2012, №1747 of October 19, 2012, №1869 of October 25, 2012). During the reviewing of the CEC’s Resolution №66 were changed addresses of premises for

 

polling and addresses of PEC premises as well as boundaries of many polling stations. A substantial part of changes to this Resolution was introduced shortly before the election day. With lack of proper access of voters to information on stations’ boundaries and addresses of PEC premises, it could negatively affect the organization of the polling.

As for the temporary polling stations, according to the Law “On Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine”, they had to be formed by DECs before September 12, 2012 inclusive. According to the decisions of DECs of the electoral districts N°N°1, 4, 5, 6, 12, 14, 20, 22, 25, 26, 31, 42, 46, 56, 57, 58, 67, 68, 74, 76, 80, 81, 82, 83, 90, 93, 94, 97, 99, 105, 109, 111, 113, 115, 117, 121, 126, 129, 134, 135, 138, 140, 143, 145, 152, 157, 165, 167, 170, 174, 182, 187, 194, 195, 201, 206, 207, 222, 223 were created 100 temporary special polling stations. In general, decisions on their formation were adopted in the statutory period, but not all of these decisions were issued in accordance with established requirements. In particular, in some cases, DECs’ resolutions established only locations of the polling stations without specifying other information related to their formation (the approximate number of voters at the polling station, etc.). From the contents of the Resolution of DECs of the electoral district N°20 (Volyn oblast) it is not clear where exactly a special polling station on a temporary basis is formed. In some districts, polling stations were not formed due to the violation by the relevant authorities of the date of submissions for their formation or improper execution of the submissions. This applies, for example, to DECs of the electoral districts N°N°62 (Zhytomyr oblast) and 68 (Zakarpattia oblast). In addition, DEC of the electoral district N°62 rejected a submission on formation of a special polling station and ordered to provide the polling for voters who would be assigned to this station in the polling station N°181403. In some cases, despite the legislation, stations were formed in hospitals, although by the Law they should have been formed on a regular basis. In particular, this applies to stations in the electoral districts N°N°14, 81, 138, 140, 165, where the stations were formed in the central rayon hospitals. While individuals who are treated in health resorts can hardly be considered those who have limited mobility, DECs of several districts formed stations in health resorts. In particular, this was the case with DEC of the electoral distracts N° N°121 (stations were formed in 6 health resorts), 126 (2 stations in SOE “SKK Morshynkurort” and SOE “Sanatory Morshynsky”), 165 (station in health resort “Barvinok”).The DEC of the electoral district N°195 (Cherkasy oblast) adopted a decision quite questionable from the point of view of the current electoral law (whereas children can hardly be considered voters with limited mobility) - to form 2 special polling stations in Cherkasy Oblast Children's Hospital and Cherkasy City Children's Hospital.

2. ACTIVITIES OF AUTHORITIES ON PREPARATION AND CONDUCT OF THE ELECTIONS

Activities of the parliament and government

The final version of the draft of the Law “On Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine” was processes in the parliament without the involvement of experts and representatives of non-parliamentary political parties, which had a negative impact on its quality. It is worth noting at least that the final text of the Law was posted on the website of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine only after its adoption. Although the Law contains a number of progressive provisions (particularly in terms of narrowing the grounds for refusal/cancellation of candidate’s registration, revision of the procedure of forming election commissions to ensure adequate representation in their composition of opposition factions, etc.), it also had a number of significant drawbacks. The legal

 

uncertainty was also increased by the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine №№ 7-rp/2012 of 04.04.2012 and 8-rp/2012 of 05.04.2012. They determined as unconstitutional the provisions of the Law regarding the possibility of simultaneous balloting of one candidate for all-national and single mandate district as well as the assigning external polling stations to single mandate electoral districts formed in Kiev city.May 8, 2012, in order to eliminate the drawbacks of the new Law the CEC has prepared proposals for its improvement (CEC’s Resolution №83 of 05.08.2012). Proposals provided: a possibility of the formation of special polling stations in military units (formations), located far from population centers (as an exception); the registration of candidates’ trusted persons by DECs instead of the CEC; obliging DECs to control the use of finances of the election funds; mandatory reporting of the receipt and use of election funds both in paper and in electronic form; reducing the volume of candidates’ autobiography and election programs of parties and candidates; compulsory indication on ballots surnames of candidates, and not just their names and patronymics (as required by the current Law); clarifying the procedures of vote-counting and determination of election results with consideration of the recent decisions of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. The CEC proposals formed the basis for the draft law №10533 of 24.05.2012, submitted for the Parliament’s consideration by deputies O. Kasyanyuk, V. Demchyshen and others. However, this draft law was not approved by the Parliament. Instead, July 5, 2012, People’s Deputies of Ukraine adopted the Law “On specifics of ensuring open, transparent and democratic parliamentary elections in Ukraine”. It provided installation of video-control systems at regular polling stations as well as real time broadcasting of the voting course at polling stations on a special website. The main drawbacks of the Law that worth noting are:

-  Non-compulsory installation of video-control systems in the PEC premises for voting in external and special stations, as well as in the DEC premises;

-  Non-compulsory online broadcasts of the vote-counting course at polling stations as well as broadcast of results determination by DECs;

-  Significant funding for the installation of video-control systems, which could be spent on financing of trainings of commission members on the electoral process and other purposes;

-  Establishing a special procedure for the procurements of goods, works and services needed for the creation and operation of video-control systems, namely - extracting relevant procurements from the scope of the Law “On State Procurement”;

-  The lack of effective sanctions for violating the statutory requirements for installation and operation of video-control systems;

-  Determination (considering further amendments to the Law) of rather narrow list of persons who are entitled to receive information from the CEC obtained using video-control systems (this list included courts, law enforcement structures, political parties and candidates);

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