CEC prohibits voting outside electoral district
The Central Election Commission has tightened the rules for obtaining voting papers to vote in the October parliamentary elections. Now voters who have not changed their electoral address will not be able to vote outside their own electoral district.
The opposition, however, fears that without proper control from the CEC the technique by which a candidate can pull in supplementary numbers of “his / her own” voters will remain in force.
Radio Svoboda reports that a day before the decision was passed, the Head of the CEC Volodymyr Shapoval had told members of a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE} committee with election observers that there was an unhealthy phenomenon of mass migration of voters and promised to take measures.
Kommersant Ukraine notes that the day before the issue was to be considered in the CEC, the President’s Administration came out with a strong statement. This was made by Presidential Adviser Olena Lukash who named districts where there had been a significant increase in the number of voters, in particular No. 212, 221 and 222. The following day it was her sister, Tetyana Lukash who is Secretary of the CEC who proposed the new measure against such migratory voters. The move was unanimously accepted by the CEC.
Accordance to the CEC decision, the voter registrar may now only change the voting precinct, but not the single-mandate electoral district.
Kommersant Ukraine notes that the MPs they spoke with, regardless of party, all expressed support for this.
Radio Svoboda however says that while some civic activists and candidates are in favour, others warn that this infringes the right of voters to freedom of movement, and the decision could therefore be appealed in court.
Oleksandr Chernenko, Head of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] says that the CEC decision can certainly stop so-called “carousels” because candidates will not now be able to bring students, subordinates and others to vote in their district. “The fact that the CEC has passed such a norm is good, but is very dubious from a legal point of view and very easy to challenge in court”.
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