STATEMENT of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine on results of the long term monitoring campaign for the local elections to be held on October 31, 2010
When the local elections campaign in Ukraine started, CVU launched the long-term observation in 23 regions of Ukraine. They monitored work of election commissions, activities of subjects of the election process, public authorities, courts and media.
Based on monitoring results, CVU states as follows:
- First month of the campaign for city, town and village mayors and local council deputies was accompanied with severe competition. Practice revealed drawbacks of the election laws; ambiguous interpretation by election commissions gave raise for numerous political accusations and court appeals.
- Territorial election commissions were formed in due time and in accordance with provisions of the law on local elections. However, the legal procedure of TEC formation caused some imbalance in political forces representation among the rank members and TEC leadership. Although the equal representation of authorities and the opposition was observed in general, governmental political forces dominated in TEC in many regions.
- Various political forces nominated candidates in different ways. Some held public conferences with media coverage — according to the CVU, it is a good practice. However, the majority of parties nominated their candidates privately. In general, no open discussion of nominees was held among the rank party members or during press conferences.
- The procedure of nomination was free; parties conducted their conferences without external interventions. CVU observed improper behavior of parties trying to reserve the first number in a bulletin. It complicated submitting of registration papers, provoked police interference, and abuse by territorial commissioners.
- CVU notes too formal approach of territorial election commissions to verification of documents and registration of subjects of the electoral process. Refusal to register mainly concerned members of the Svoboda (Freedom), Strong Ukraine, Motherland, and Front for Changes parties. In certain cases of refusals to register had hidden political motives. However, CVU points out that in many cases political parties and individual candidates failed to observe the procedure of nomination and execution of registration documents.
- According to the CVU estimates, the number of refusals does not exceed 1% of the total number of nominated candidates. CVU urges courts of appeal to make reasonable judgments and correct mistakes made by election commissions thus giving opportunity to register to those candidates who were rejected without good reason.
- The most scandalous were refusals to register candidates from local branches of the Motherland Party or registration of party candidates form local branches, which do not have legitimacy in view of the party leaders. In many ways, this situation was provoked by internal conflicts in this political force and drawbacks of the party statute, which played into hands of their political opponents. Territorial departments of justice delayed the procedure of re-registration through formal excuses. As a result, the central leadership of the Motherland Party has lost control of candidates for two regional councils and several local councils.
- CVU notes that representatives of state and local governments run in all regions; often, they abuse their position to campaign for this or that political force. CVU calls upon all officers to refrain from campaigning during working hours or take leave during the campaign.
- With elections approaching, the occurrences of unfair competition, publication of sponsored materials and black PR became more often. In some cases, CVU observed using criminal methods in political competition (attacks on offices of political parties, activists threatened). CVU calls the law-enforcement bodies to respond to all these facts and bring the perpetrators to justice, without delay.
Please find monitoring reports of regional organizations of CVU and news on local elections at www.cvu.org.ua
13 October 2010 12:53 , Ukraine