Towards the elections

Under the pretext of elections the Rada is convened to vote for the Cabinet’s laws

Under the pretext of elections the Rada is convened to vote for the Cabinet’s laws
On the last working day of the Rada MPs will focus their attention on the interests of the government once again
Photo: Ivan Chernichkin

At a special session the Verkhovna Rada intends to address issues of electoral law so that law enforcement officers could vote in the ATO zone at the upcoming elections. Yet the CEC acknowledges that in order to solve the problems of the military the new law lacks time. Meanwhile, effective voting could solve some problems of the Cabinet.

President’s request

Yesterday the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksandr Turchynov signed a decree on holding an extraordinary session on Monday, October 20. The agenda includes only two bills on introduction of amendments to the electoral law. They refer to provision of the opportunity to vote for participants of the antiterrorist operation in the Donbas, as well as security measures at polling stations, during transportation of documents and improvement of the procedure of destruction of unused ballots.

«I would like to emphasize that it is the duty of the MPs to do everything possible so that Ukrainian soldiers were able to exercise their right to choose the future of their country,» Turchynov explained the purpose of the meeting through the press service of the parliament.

Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Koshulynskiy said that the meeting would be held at the request of President Petro Poroshenko. «This is a personal request of the president. They wanted to hold the meeting on Friday, but it was clear that it would be impossible to gather MPs who left for the districts,» said Koshulynskiy. He did not rule out that some other issues would be included to the agenda.

The bills on voting among participants of the ATO in the Donbas have already been included in the agenda on October 14, but MPs did not have enough time to consider them — because of the unrest at the building of the parliament Turchynov adjourned the session prematurely. Then the Chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Mykhailo Okhendovskiy repeatedly urged the parliament to pass the bills, but no later than this week. CEC member Oleksandr Shelestov, who oversees the work of the commission in Donetsk oblast, said that the laws were necessary for legislative regulation of election procedures in the Donbas. Some of the procedures for organization of elections were appointed by the decrees of the Commission, which is «on the verge of constitutionality» and could be a motive to challenge results of elections in court.

«All these standards should be prescribed by the law, not by the CEC. We hope that by the election day this issue will be resolved,» says Shelestov.

Even if the Rada is able to convene and adopt the necessary laws, most of the activities for organization of the elections are already overdue according to calendar plans. For example, the curator of the CEC in Luhansk oblast Oleksandr Chupakhin said that October 20 was the last day for entering the names of qualified voters. And by that day heads of the units had to submit the data on the number of voters to the bodies keeping registers of voters. After that officials had to agree the updated lists of voters in places of deployment of the military units and calculate the number of required ballots.

«Voters may vote only in case they are included to the lists, and the timing of their formation is coming to an end. It will be possible to add names to the lists on election day, but only through court decision,» said Chupakhin. The CEC has not yet given the number of law enforcers, who will vote in places of their deployment.

Supplemented agenda

Our source in the Secretariat of the VR Speaker said that the Presidential Administration has agreed to inclusion of the legislative package on decentralization of power, completion of which has been previously reported by the Deputy Prime Minister for Regional Policy — Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman, to the agenda of the extraordinary session. At the beginning of the week Groysman also said that an agreement was reached for voting on the draft laws on the rights of internally displaced persons, which was insisted by the Council of Europe.

«In addition, there is an agreement for consideration of the transition to the technical regulations of the EU. All these bills were supposed to be considered on October 14, but MPs lacked time. Poroshenko’s administration and the Cabinet do not want to postpone such issues until after the elections, as practice shows that the new parliament will not be open before December,» said the source.

MP Inna Bohoslovska (independent) also does not rule out that on Monday MPs will be proposed to consider a number of bills other than the changes to the electoral law. «That is not surprising; there are some pressing matters besides the elections in the ATO. I think that the agenda will be shaped with the votes in the usual manner,» she said.

MP Volodymyr Kurinniy (UDAR) also predicted that under the pretext of support of elections in the ATO zone officials will try to vote the bills that would allow the government and a number of MPs get political bonuses on the last week before the elections.

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Елена Задорожняя 18 October 2014, 20:26

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