Rada is proposed to raise the election threshold to 7%

During the next plenary week the Verkhovna Rada may consider the draft law on amendments to the Law on Elections of Parliamentary Members, submitted to the parliament by the Presidential Envoy to the VR Ruslan Knyazevych (Batkivshchyna Party). According to information that Capital possesses, the document has been coordinated with the Presidential Administration.

Majority election system to be preserved

Under the draft law, it is proposed that the existing mixed member proportional voting is preserved at the early parliamentary elections. It is also proposed that the existing electoral threshold at the level of 5% for the parties be preserved, although there was talk in the VR earlier that it should be lowered. At the same time, the authors of the draft law propose to set a new election threshold for the party alliances, increasing it to 7%.

Deputy Chair of the Central Election Commission Andriy Mahera reminded that there has not been a system with different thresholds for parties and alliances in Ukraine. “It has always been the same, changing from 3% to 5%,” he told Capital. At that, Mahera believes inappropriate the return of election alliances and preservation of the mixed system, since, in his opinion, it carries the risks of bribing voters. “The issue of the election system is an issue of political expediency of the parliament, but, as an expert, I do not accept a parallel election system,” he said. The CEC will participate in the revision of the draft law on condition that it will be approved in the first reading, said Mahera.

Former deputy chief of the Presidential Secretariat Ihor Popov believes that revival of the nominal alliances (alliances named after a person) will be beneficial for President Petro Poroshenko and Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko. Most likely, after studying the results of sociological surveys showing that the Solidarnist party led by Yuriy Lutsenko will receive, for instance, 25%, while the Poroshenko Bloc regardless of who leads it could receive as high as 40%, a decision was made about returning to the retrograde norm on nominal alliances, while Knyazevych as the presidential envoy logically and openly introduced the initiative to the parliament,” he told Capital. Popov believes that Tymoshenko could attract the parties of national democrats looking up to her through alliances.

Noteworthy, the draft law contains another norm, which experts demanded to cancel in the past. It involves a provision, which permits holding of the parliamentary elections and other elections simultaneously. As a reminder, at the last early elections, simultaneous voting on different issues led to huge lines at the voting stations. At the same time, such a norm in the draft law of Knyazevych could point to the plans of the presidential circle to hold elections to the local government bodies in tandem with early parliamentary elections.

No elections in Donbas

The draft law contains yet another peculiar proposal to take into account the experience of the presidential elections in May in conditions of combat actions in Donbas. The government failed to hold full-fledged elections in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts primarily because the voting stations were blocked and the work of the members of the elections commissions was interfered with. The MPs are now proposed to vote for additional measures of safety for the members of the election commissions and increased security of the voting bulletins and other documents. One of the provisions of the draft law obligated police to ensure round-the-clock security watch of the premises of district election commissions and, if the CEC demands, the bodies of the state voters’ register a week prior to the vote.

Also, district commissions will be obligated to establish the results of the voting regardless of the number of voting stations, where the voting did take place. The voting will be deemed as invalid in case it fails to be held at all voting stations of the district.

Member of the VR Committee for Nation Building and Local Self-Government Natalia Novak (UDAR) told Capital that the committee planned to hold a meeting on Wednesday next week to consider the election draft laws. After the committee produces conclusions, the draft law can be introduced to the parliament already on Thursday. Deputy Chair of the Batkivshchyna faction Dmytro Shlemko told Capital that the faction had no reservations about Knyazevych’s draft law, but he doubts that the VR will manage to adopt in early July.


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