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Party of Regions amendments to law on election questioned

November 15, 2012, 23:03 UTC+3

Experts believe that the opposition indeed has reasons for concern

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KIEV, November 15 (Itar-Tass) —— Amendments to the law on election to Ukraine’s parliament, proposed by the ruling Party of Regions, are not to the liking either of the Central Elections Commission (CEC) or of the opposition.

The draft, specifically, envisages including among the reasons for runoff elections the impossibility of establishing verified election results in precincts. The draft also proposes that runoff elections in majority precincts should be held not later than in 30 days since the CEC decision that it is impossible to establish verified election results.

As is known, the CEC found it impossible to establish verified voting results in five single-mandate precincts, and the Supreme Rada (parliament) recommended holding runoff elections in these precincts.

There is concern in the CEC that the amendments to the law on election the Party of Regions proposed will make the voting results in precincts dependent on the commission’s composition. “The proposed amendments are double-edged. On the one hand, the situation with the five problem precincts is settled, on the other, an opportunity opens to find invalid any election results. Things can be carried to absurdity,” said CEC deputy chairman Andrei Magera.

He said the matter of runoff elections in individual precincts should be regulated by a separate law on specifics of runoff elections rather than by amendments to the operating law.

The opposition, too, has objections to the proposals of the Party of Regions. For instance, it is believed in the Batkivshchyna party that the amendments made by the Party of Regions are directed against the opposition. “The CEC, in which representatives of the Party of Regions form the majority, now will be able not to register election results in precincts where the opposition has won until it gets the results it wants,” said Sergei Podgorny, member of the BYT. He believes it is necessary to specify the exact meaning of the words that the CEC is unable to verify the election results. “The reason for this can be either a sweeping fire or the essential documents being destroyed,” the MP holds.

Experts believe that the opposition indeed has reasons for concern. They believe the proposals of the Party of Regions should be put to use just once, to cope with the situation in the five problem precincts.

Most in parliament are sure that the November 20 parliament meeting will pass the law as a priority. “The draft will be passed in two reading at once. It is clearly worded, so there is nothing to discuss. This is the only reasonable way out of the situation,” said Vladimir Oliynik, MP from the Party of Regions.

Meanwhile court actions regarding the October 28 parliamentary election go on. The Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine refused to demand that the CEC should recognize two candidates from the Batkivshchyna party as being elected to parliament from precincts No 11 and 14 in the Vinnitsa region. According to the data of the precincts’ commissions, representatives of the ruling party earned most votes.

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