Kyiv, September 24, 2015. Ukrainians most of all appreciate their candidates’ honesty. Their election programs take the second place. These criteria predetermined the list of requirements to the candidates before the local elections, said Andriy Kruglashov, Coordinator of the civic movement Chesno, Centre UA Civic Association, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “The civic movement Chesno demands that those running for members of the city councils report on funding for elections campaigns, present real programs and publish their financial declarations. We also demand that defendants in anti-corruption investigations, truants, and members of the local councils working since 2010 should not be registered as candidates. We do not want to deal with the mayors without programs,” said Kruglashov.
According to him, reporting on funding includes disclosure of candidates’ financial declarations before October 1. In order to overcome the trust deficit and to ensure the legitimacy, activists demand that candidates do not only submit interim reports to the territorial election commissions, but also publish an interim financial report for the elections campaign by October 20, and the final report by October 30. According to Kruglashov, candidates’ programs often include promises which are beyond their powers, like increasing pensions and wages, abolishing mobilization, changing utility tariffs. “Such promises indicate that a party or a mayor candidate deceives you. Real program is based not only on the challenges but, above all, on offering solutions in the form of specific municipal projects that allow seeing the result within two years,” explained Kruglashov.
Among other requirements, said Taras Shevchenko, Head of the Media Rights Institute, is saying ‘no’ to truant candidates. “According to the law, a member of a local council or national parliament who missed over 50 percent of the meetings or sessions, or committee sessions within a year is a candidate for withdrawal,” he said. However, those who missed over 25 percent of meetings should not become candidates. We must not elect truants again, said Shevchenko, and added that activists collect and systematize this information based on public inquiries.
In general, according to the activists, they have analyzed over 20 local and 10 regional councils to identify candidates for withdrawal, based on requests to the appropriate councils. Statistics is available on the Civil Movement Chesno website http://www.chesno.org/ .
The Chesno movement also calls to say ‘no’ to mayors without programs as this is a defining document. “Although the law does not require a program, the Chesno movement considers that you cannot elect mayor, unless they announce what they want to do and present their program, or if they rely only on their party brand or their name, or hope to remain at the same place, because there is no one better,” said Shevchenko. He warned the chance to become mayor for candidates who lack programs decrease. Public activists warn voters that the electoral lists may include defendants of journalists’ anti-corruption investigations. However, activists advise to trust authoritative sources and the leading journalistic initiatives, not the black PR.
In order to inform the citizens, the civil Movement Chesno holds a tour around the regions, events in regional centers, prepares the “Nakhiba nam deputat” (“We do not need such a deputy”) and “Nakhiba nam mer” (“We do not need such a mayor”) product from August 26.