A year after the adoption of the Electoral Code in the first reading, the CEC asks Rada to decide on the system of parliamentary elections

  • A year after the adoption of the Electoral Code in the first reading the CEC asks Rada to decide on the system of parliamentary elections

Kyiv: Tuesday, November 6, at the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine under the auspices of the head of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs Anna CSAC, held a round table devoted to the threat of Russian interference in the Ukrainian election. However, as it turned out, an adequate measurement of the will of the Ukrainian voters is hampered not only by an external threat, but also by internal sabotage.

Tatiana Slipachuk, head of the recently updated Central Election Commission, said this in her speech to the participants in the expert discussion.

The head of the CEC recalled that at present the draft Electoral Code is being considered by the Parliament, which the Verkhovna Rada approved in the first reading exactly a year ago, on November 7, 2017.

She added that the CEC had sent a letter to parliament informing lawmakers about the readiness of commission members to join the work on the draft code. She noted that lawyers have noted some collisions in the text of the Code. “If they are not settled now, at the time of adoption of the code, and then we cannot resolve them by pinpointing changes to the relevant laws on presidential elections or elections of members of the Verkhovna Rada, we will get a lot of questions that will become an obstacle during the elections,” Slipachuk stated this.

She also asked the parliament “Not to suspend the Central Election Commission in the air as to how, according to which system we will have elections,”the chairman of the Central Election Commission stated this.  

The head of the CEC recalled that a draft Electoral Code is currently under consideration by the parliament, which the Verkhovna Rada approved in its first reading.

The draft Electoral Code of Ukraine for consideration by colleagues was submitted by the Speaker of Parliament Andrei Paruby, member of the Verkhovna Rada from the Block of Petro Poroshenko Alexander Chernenko and from the “Popular Front” Leonid Emets. Although the Code was based on a project that the famous lawyer Yury Klyuchkovsky registered in the parliament more than ten years ago.

A year ago, the bill was supported by 226 member's of the Verkhovna Rada- the minimum number of votes sufficient for effective voting. According to the updated version of the code, parliamentary elections are proposed to be held on the system of regional open lists, and the barrier should be set at 4%.

In the summer, the speaker assured colleagues and the public that the electoral bill would be adopted at the beginning of a new session, but the matter drags on.

In early September, community activists picketed parliament demanding an early transition to the new system of the formation of the Verkhovna Rada. It is worth recalling that changes in domestic electoral practice, with the transition from a mixed system of forming parliament to elections on a pro-rata basis with open lists of candidates, not only the recommendation of our European partners and the Euro maidan requirement, but also the election promise of the candidate for President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko at the election of the Head of State in 2014 year.

“It is unlikely that the“ majority ”of this convocation will give up the prospect of being elected once again in the districts“ lured ”by them, practically all experts in electoral technologies told me in a different tone.

Member of  Grigory Shverk from the BPP faction on the sidelines of parliament in an exclusive comment for our agency noted that a specially created working group is now working on polishing the code.

“As far as I know, approximately four thousand amendments were made to the draft law, and the working group has managed to consider no more than fifteen hundred today,” he stated.

Many consider such a number of amendments to be nothing more than a torpedoing of the rule on the transition from the current mixed system of forming a legislative body to a proportional one, according to which the parliament was elected twice already in 2006 and in 2007.

But then there was a single multi-member district in the country, but now innovators are striving to hold elections through a system of regional open lists .

In the summer, one of the coauthors of the new electoral code of the country, Leonid Emets, suggested that in order to save the majority vote , a group of people's deputies could ask for clarification to the Constitutional Court regarding the date of the presidential election, hoping that the interpretation of constitutionalists in the next election campaign, but already parliamentary . Since the date of the presidential election is no one in doubt, March 31, 2019, his forecast is unlikely to come true.

However, conservative deputies can contact the KSU for other explanations. Although, most likely, they will use two time tested methods to save mazhoritarki: they will delay the procedure for reviewing the code in the committees and in the session hall, requiring each amendment to be voted on, or a low turnout will break the quorum for voting on the bill as a whole. 

Alexander Voronin, FNI

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