EUROPEA1 U1IO1 Brussels, 12 October 2012, A 453/12
Joint Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle on the upcoming parliamentary elections in Ukraine
Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission and Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, made the following statement: “The parliamentary elections to be held on 28 October will be a litmus test of Ukraine’s democratic credentials. We therefore welcome the authorities’ stated commitment to work closely with the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission and to ensure that the elections will be conducted in line with international standards. The electoral law adopted in November 2011 must be fully respected and applied in a way that maintains confidence in the fairness of the electoral process. All parties and candidates must benefit from a level playing field and from a conducive election environment. To this end, we encourage the Ukrainian authorities to follow up on the early findings of the OSCE/ODIHR Elections Observation Mission. The significant lack of political pluralism on television is very worrisome and requires immediate action to define clear procedures for media to ensure a balanced coverage as well as a body which is competent to monitor the compliance with rules and to provide for timely remedies. There is also an immediate need to ensure full transparency of the activities of the Central Election Commission, to clarify issues related to the composition of the District Electoral Commissions and Precinct Electoral Commissions and to address the matter of overlapping competences in the election dispute resolution process. Furthermore, we reiterate our regret that the consequences of trials which did not respect international standards are preventing opposition representatives from standing in parliamentary elections.” Quelle: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-12-778_en.htm
European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations, International Observation Mission Ukraine Parliamentary Elections 2012
Second Interim Report, 10 September – 8 October 2012
Summary of findings and recommendations
The parliamentary elections will be held in Ukraine on 28 October 2012 according to new election law and reintroduced mixed electoral system. The new election legislation opened space for “technical parties” to win excessive membership in district election commissions and to organize system of massive replacements.
The Central Election Commission meetings are open to observers, media and political parties, however, access to real decision-making is limited. System of closed door meetings and lack of access of draft documents restrict political party representatives their right to fully participate in decision-making with their advisory voting.
ENEMO mission has welcomed recent decision of the Central Election Commission to restrict possible massive voter migration from one majoritarian district to another.
The work of district election commission is negatively affected by high number of replacements by technical parties and by partisan confrontation. Cases of pressure, closed door sessions, limited access for observers to decisions and documents raises serious concerns about transparency and integrity of DEC work. High number of replacements of DEC members highlights urgent need for systematic training of election commission members at all levels.
The sudden change of the CEC on the procedure of drawing lotteries for the precinct election commissions adopted just five days prior to the lotteries has not achieved unified and transparent implementation by the district election commissions. The CEC instructions were not followed in the same way and as result even repeat lotteries were required and the process of formation PECs has been quite disorganized and delayed in a number of cases.
The level of election campaigning has increased in the reporting period. There has been increased number of self-nominated and opposition candidates complaints about being intimidated, pressured or harassed by tax inspections or authorities.
Misuse of administrative resources continues to be widespread. Publicly financed projects are presented as personal candidate achievements or party initiatives in order to promote their election campaign. Domestic observer groups (OPORA, CVU) report on a high number of cases of voter bribery by candidates. ENEMO expressed serious concerns about a lack of effective sanctions in cases of voter bribery. The CEC issued only warnings to candidates. However there were no administrative or criminal consequences for those candidates.
- Quelle: ENEMO, http://www.enemo.eu/press/Ukraine2012/ENEMO_second_interim_report_Ukraine_2012_08.10.2012_ENG.pdf
Media situation remains a concern particularly continued pressure on television channel TVi and some local media like newspaper Grivna in Mykolaiv and television channel Kherson plus. ENEMO has welcomed the decision of the Ukrainian Parliament to stop the adoption of draft law to introduce criminalization of defamation.
OPORA: The sixth report on the results of the nationwide survey—the parliamentary election 2012, SEPTEMBER
Observers of OPORA assess the quality of the electoral process on the basis of Ukrainian legislation, international standards and practices. After Election Day organization will determine whether elections were competitive, democratic, and the results are fair and corresponding to the citizen’s vote. The reporting period is characterized by acute political confrontation between members of the election. Opponents use a wide arsenal of political campaigns: bribery, administrative resources, black PR, participation of technical parties and candidates in the elections. The latter are politically fictitious structures, the level of electoral support of which is zero. Monitoring of the pre-election situation showed manipulative influence technical parties on the electoral process, which is reduced to defending the interests of grand-parties. Technical participants of election are holding no political responsibility for their own actions, because they can not lose the rating they do not have. In addition, law does not provide serious legal consequences for decisions of election commissions, where technical parties got conventional majority. Overall in September were held several significant events that have shown an imbalance of political power within the district and precinct election commissions. By August 29 DEC had to hold constituent meeting, however, due to technical parties that formed the majority beginning of their work was marked by interesting discoveries. As it turned out, nonexistent at the electoral map political forces that participated in the formation of commissions solely for the purpose of strengthening influence of third parties, while preparing presentation not really embrace its quality. Part of the newly appointed members of the district commission did not plan to take any part in their work. Personal data of these individuals were used to prepare the basic documents for commissioners. After the successful draw organized by the CEC on August 24, the fictitious parties quickly have organized a replacement of commissioners. For example, during the first week of September the “Bratstvo” party has withdrawn and reregistered 225 members in each of the 225 DECs, “Russian unity”—221, “Union of Anarchists of Ukraine”—219 “Single Rus”—230 (in some constituencies changes have occurred several times), “One family”—211, “Ruses bloc”—222. It seems surprising that after experts criticized a single draw for all the DECs Central Election Commission for unknown reasons decided to apply the same practice to form the precinct election commissions. September 13, CEC has revised procedure with multiple draw—for each commission separately on a single—simultaneously for all commissions within the constituency. The process of forming PEC was held with numerous violations and misunderstandings. Disgruntled participants of elections contested the actions of the DEC No. 37 in court, and in the DEC No. 29 the process was re-organized. Observers of OPORA note the increasing number of lawsuits regarding violations of the law by the subjects of electoral process in respect of acts or inactivity of commissions. This trend shows the willingness of participants of the campaign to appeal properly against violations. However, the court decisions in different regions are sometimes contradictory on identical cases. This trend indicates the selectivity of implementing legislation in electoral disputes. OPORA also notes that the number of resonance cases of obstructing access to agitation or to the media for the participants of campaign, physical confrontation between subjects. Quelle: OPORA, http://oporaua.org/en/news/2710-shostyj-zvit-za-rezultatamy-zagalnonacionalnogo-sposterezhennja-parlamentski-vybo ry-2012-veresen
OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Election Observation Mission
Ukraine, Parliamentary Elections, 28 October 2012, Interim report No. 1, 12–28 September 2012, 4 October 2012
I. Executive summary
In line with constitutional provisions, parliamentary elections will be held on 28 October 2012. The 450 members of parliament will be elected under a mixed electoral system.
The candidate lists of 22 political parties were registered for the proportional component of the elections, while over 3,000 candidates will contest the 225 single-mandate constituencies. The Central Election Commission (CEC) rejected over 400 nominees, often for minor omissions in their documentation. Two prominent opposition political figures, Ms. Yulia Tymoshenko and Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko, remain imprisoned and were deemed not eligible to register as candidates.
The new electoral law, adopted in November 2011, provides an overall sound foundation for the conduct of democratic elections, if implemented properly. It contains a number of improvements, but some shortcomings raise concern.
The elections will be administered by the CEC, 225 District Election Commissions (DECs), and over 33,000 Precinct Election Commissions (PECs). The CEC is active in making preparations for the elections and is meeting legal deadlines, but the transparency of its work is diminished by holding meetings behind closed doors, which take place in advance of CEC sessions. One single lottery was held to distribute seats on all DECs. As a result, some parties nominating candidates throughout the country are not represented at the DEC level at all, while parties that nominated candidates in only a few districts obtained positions in all DECs. Lotteries for choosing the parties eligible to nominate PEC members lacked transparency and were not implemented uniformly throughout the country.
There are 36.7 million registered voters. Voters can check their registration and request changes. The CEC limited the possibility for voters to vote away from the polling station serving their place of residence, responding to concerns about possible abuse.
The campaign is visible in most constituencies visited by OSCE/ODIHR EOM long-term observers (LTOs). Several cases of violence against candidates or campaign staff have been reported, and there are allegations of misuse of administrative resources, intimidation, bribery and vote buying. The OSCE/ODIHR EOM is following up these claims.
The media environment is characterized by a significant lack of political pluralism on television. Reportedly, there is a practice to pay journalists for positive news coverage. The electoral law contains no mechanisms for monitoring compliance with provisions on balanced media coverage.
- Quelle: OSZE, http://www.osce.org/odihr/93631
The election dispute resolution process is relatively complex, with instances of overlapping competences between election commissions and courts. A significant number of complaints and appeals have been filed, mainly regarding candidate registration and campaign violations.
Interim report of the CIS-EMO Election Monitoring Mission, August 1 – October 1, 2012
Key Markers in Analyzing Political Realities
a. An impression that “antidemocratic power” clash with “democratic opposition” imposed by European and world society has a very relative nature that, as a rule, doesn’t distinct the real situation. In nowadays Ukrainian “peripheral capitalism” model such classes as “power” and “opposition” are conventionality. When the “Power Elite” is unconsolidated and disconnected and there is an open internal war between leading financial-industrial groups and corporations of Ukraine (in Ukraine, as well as in Western countries they are called by the term “oligarchs”) to get leverage of real state authority, all existing political parties (symbolically ruling is the “Party of Regions”, and symbolically opposing are “Fatherland” (lead by Alexander Turchinov), “Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform” (Vitaliy Klychko), etc.) only play the role of institutionalized political framework of realization of oligarchs’ economic interests. Thereby in Ukraine the “political party” class can be considered as a full-fledged institution of civil society conditionally. Plus bipartisan struggle in Ukraine is, first of all, a struggle between different financial-industrial groups of Ukrainian oligarchy to get the leverage of state authority which makes it possible for them to count on taxation preferences, protection in the system of distribution of government work and government task programs, monopolization of these or those segments of the market and other close-authority dividends. b. The “Party of Regions”, as well as its main opponents from political opposition, is utterly dependant on financial-economic interests of leading “oligarchs” which, referring to an old Ukrainian saying, “simultaneously put eggs in different baskets”. This means representatives of leading financial-economic groups are in the election lists of all key political players. As a result, the very political, world outlook, civilization paradigm of these elections becomes leveled. Instead of it there is a strict and pragmatic struggle logic of “Akhmetov’s people” with “Zevago people”, “Poroshenko people” with “Kaletnik people” etc., where the party-and-politics component of the opposition is on the background. c. In such situation local party organizations of conditional “power party”, as well as to conditional “opposition” “give themselves up to leasing” here and there to different territorial oligarchs to use their political brands in struggle in majoritarian districts. It’s interesting that this so-called ‘leasing’ is more expensive in key opposition parties in Western Ukraine and in the center while in the east and the south of Ukraine the situation with the political brand “the Party of Power” is opposite. Today we may see that parliamentary deputies, representatives of these or those oligarchy groups, constantly change their political views and it is no wonder that there has recently appeared a term “tushka” (“carcass”). In 2004–2009 there was a massive reinforcement of the main political parties “Our Ukraine” and “The Fatherland” with a number of significant representatives of the Ukrainian “oligarchy” of President Leonid Kuchma’s period; however since 2010 “The Party of Regions” had been reinforced with the representatives of key Ukrainian finance-and-industry groups. Thereupon we should point out the fact that a lot of key opposition politicians of the period of “Orange Revolution” have also voluntarily joined the new line of command of President Victor Janukovich. Among them were such “orange” politicians as Vladislav Kaskiv (the party “Pora”), Peter Poroshenko (“Our Ukraine”), Andrej Portnov (“The Fatherland”), Victor Baloga (“United Centre”) and many others. d. It has already been mentioned that neither “The Party of Regions” nor “The Fatherland” nor “Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform” nor other participants in parliamentary election campaign of 2012 are full-fledged institutional representatives of the Ukrainian civil society. That is why randomness, disorder and undisguised corruption in using their party brands (particularly in majoritarian districts) are the reason for local parties’ rejecting the candidates imposed “from ahead” by the “oligarchy” disbursing “leasing of party brand”. That is why it is so common that a few representatives of one and the same party run in majoritarian districts’ elections at once. Only one of them is a local candidate officially nominated on the party convention in Kiev, and another one is self-nominee who mentions only his party membership in the ballot and in propaganda leaflets. Such a situation may be explained by the fact that representatives of several finance-and-industry groups share the same election district and compete during the elections. It can be regarded as another proof of our thesis that the existing party-and-politics confrontation in Ukraine is rather a struggle for economic preferences than a full-fledged political competition of different visions and geopolitical priorities as well as party-and-politics platforms. e. Nowadays in Ukraine the situation when the effective power in a lot of election districts stakes on the greatest regional oligarchs rather than on official representatives of “The Party of Regions” is significantly spread. In such case the notorious “management reserves” is used to support certain self-nominees because oligarchy proteges prefer not to show they are from a party and ballot through self-nomination or bail for their office. It is obvious though that if they are elected, in future Parliament their votes will be blocked by any party that won the elections regardless of its declared political orientation. Thereby, CIS-EMO mission supposes that “The Party of Regions” itself is not always a mandatory institution to represent interests of real effective power in the region, not to mention that it is not ultimately connected with this or that segment of Ukrainian civil society. f. A thesis, promoted in the European Union by certain Ukrainian parties, that there is alleged crucial difference between “The Party of Regions”, the party in power, and the leading opposing parties such as “The Fatherland”, “Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform”, “The Front of Changes” (lead by Arsenij Jysenyuk), etc., regarding their attitude towards adherence to democratic ideals turns to be “canard” when analyzed thoroughly. The voting of November 17, 2011, for adding amendments and changes into the Ukrainian law “About election of People’s Deputies of Ukraine” can be regarded as a relevant example of this. That time “The Party of Regions”, as well as “The Fatherland” and “The Front of Changes” voted for rather antidemocratic (considering European experience) amendments of this law. Among them were the following points:
the obligatory vote level of 5% what deprives more than several millions of grassroots voting for the parties of having their representation in Ukraine’s Parliament
ban of creating bipartisan electoral blocks which offer minor parties an opportunity of running for office in Ukrainian Parliament
ban of such fields in a ballot papers as “against all parties” and “against all candidates” which deprives 8–10% of voters to express their protest freely.
A lot of Ukrainian and foreign experts consulting the representatives of CISEMO mission have a well-reasoned idea that consolidated voting of power sharing “The Party of Regions” and nominal opposition “The Fatherland” and “The Front of Changes” for the reversion of majoritarian symmetrical system proves best the ultimate dependence of power party as well as leading opposition forces from Ukrainian major “oligarchs’” interests. It is they who are interested in mass and unprecedented buying-up of votes of majoritarian districts’ submerged tenth. […] Quelle: http://www.cis-emo.net/en/news/interim-report-cis-emo-election-monitoring-mission