NGO OPORA coordinator: the Central Election Commission should be balanced by representation of different political forces


Kyiv, July 11, 2016. Ukraine is in the process of transformation. It is not completely democratic so far. The Central Election Commission should be a political body that is balanced by an equal representation of different political forces. This was stated by Olga Aivazovska, coordinator of the electoral and parliamentary programs of NGO OPORA during a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. She voiced a number of recommendations. “It is necessary to restore the rule prohibiting the participation in the meeting after the expiry of 7 years of office and to define clearly representation in the CEC. Besides, factions and groups should take the initiative,” noted Ms. Aivazovska.

Denys Kovryzhenko, senior legal counsel at IFES, noted that most candidates are nominated by the ruling power – Petro Poroshenko Bloc and People’s Front. Therefore, these candidates will be under their control. However, the Venice Commission recommended that every faction in parliament should have at least one representative.

MP Oleksandr Chernenko believes that with the quota principle of the CEC formation, Commission members will be politically committed to certain political forces. At the same time he considers that the CEC commission proposed by the President is acceptable. “Professionalism should be at the forefront. But the fact that we form the CEC on a political principle does not mean that it will include unprofessional members. 80% of candidates proposed by the President are the right men in the right places,” he said.

Andriy Magera, deputy head of the Central Election Commission, believes that the Venice Commission recommendations on the pro rata representation should be taken into consideration. He also noted the fact that the CEC has not been renewed for two years poses a serious problem. “I would not repeal the rule that allows a Commission member to continue his office after the expiry of the seven-year period. The CEC is not a court. It is a permanent body. There should not be a power vacuum, because local elections are held regularly,” he added.

Bohdan Nahaylo, DRI representative in Ukraine, noted that the CEC should submit an annual report on its work to ensure its transparency. It should also have a strategy that will show where this body goes, how it uses data, and what staff and resources it has.