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PACE rapporteur calling on Ukraine's parliament to amend law on presidential elections

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Dec. 9, 2009, 2:42 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

The rapporteur said she regretted that the relevant amendments to the electoral law hadn't been made yet.

Renate Wohlwend, co-rapporteur of the monitoring committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has called on the Ukrainian parliament to amend a law on the presidential elections as soon as possible. At a press conference in Kyiv, Wohlwend said that during all of her meetings with Ukrainian officials, she was trying to urge them to amend the electoral legislation within a week or two.

The rapporteur said she regretted that the relevant amendments to the electoral law hadn't been made yet.

She said non-governmental organizations should be involved into monitoring the election campaign in Ukraine as well as the ballot itself.

Wohlwend expressed concern over the inclusion of a provision in Ukraine's electoral legislation giving the election commission right to amend the electoral rolls on the day of the ballot. This could allow the rigging of the election results, she explained.

Clear-cut and transparent rules for the vote count and the procedure of challenging the election returns in court are also important, the rapporteur said.

As reported, on October 20, 2009, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine ruled unconstitutional a number of clauses from new wording of the law on the election of the Ukrainian president that was earlier adopted by parliament.

On December 2, the Ukrainian parliament rejected a bill introducing amendments to some laws on the election of the Ukrainian president.
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Anonymous Dec. 9, 2009, 3:20 p.m.    

The right to amend the electoral roll should exist if the roll is in error. Documentation for any required amendments must exist. The fact that there is potential for misuse misuse and abuse does not necessitate the need to prevent the right to have the roll amended.

We do not prevent the sale of Cars or alcohol even though we know that the use of alcohol and driving a car can cause serious harm and possible fatalities.

Many western democracies have provisions for oversights in voter entitlements. A voter should have the right to apply for a review and if need be they should be given a vote which is placed in a sealed envelope and set aside pending the outcome of any review.

Many of the suggestions and recommendation made by the Venice commission where of a political nature and not a matter of law.

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine ruled 5 provisions only of the amended law on the Presidential elections unconstitutional.

It is wrong and false to asusme that teh prvisons that are retained will lead to wide spread corruption.

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Anonymous Dec. 9, 2009, 3:20 p.m.    

Various statements by marginal presidential candidates about the likely electoral fraud are aimed to create a background for their post-election information campaigns and lawsuits, the leader of the Yedyny Tsentr Viktor Baloha said Nov. 24. (Source zik.com.ua)

Alarming declarations about the likely vote rigging directly point to organizational weaknesses of some candidates as the law allows for reliable barriers against any electoral fraud. For instance, any presidential candidate can send his 2 representatives to sit on local and regional electoral commissions, appoint observers to keep an eye on voting and counting of ballots. Proxies of candidates who have wide authority can also supervise the course of the voting.

“These representative must have absolute trust of their patron. Everything depends on the correct choice of a candidate and professional level of his team,” Baloha summed up.

Other effective barriers to electoral fraud are the Central Election Commission [whose members are appointed by major parliamentary parties on a quota principle] and numerous international observers. Mass media and NGOs, notably, the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, will also be effective in helping to curb fraud.

Of great importance for establishing the final tally are also exit polls run by respected polling companies.

“There are more than enough supervisory tools, as you see, and they will all be used during the campaign. All the more so that there are 18 presidential candidates, some having considerable weight. That is why any declarations about the likely fraud are just attempts to justify a defeat of those who make them. Note that those candidates who are selling themselves as strong-willed and tough are most given to such declarations. In fact, such declarations expose them as would-be losers and outsiders,” Baloha added.

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