Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ukraine: Ukraine Set to Improve Election Legislation

Having evaluated the results of the local authority elections last week, Ukrainian leadership has decided to make several steps towards improving the national election legislation. The main goal of the measures initiated last week was to consider the evaluations of the international observers and to make sure that the draw-backs of the current elections are not repeated.

First of all, the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych initiated the creation of a special working group. The Minister of Justice of Ukraine, Oleksandr Lavrynovych, was appointed as its head. The other members include the representatives of the Central Election Commission and a number of Ukrainian Ministries, the officials of the President's Administration, President's counselors, Supreme Court judges, scientists etc.

The main task of the working group is to bring the Ukrainian election legislation incompliance with the generally recognized international democratic standards. Until May 1, 2011 the group has to produce a number of legislative suggestions for the complex and systematic improvement of the regulation of the election procedure in Ukraine.

Secondly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited the American and European experts to participate in the working group together with the Ukrainian authorities. According to the Director of the Information Policy Department Oleg Voloshyn, the recommendations of the European experts after the monitoring of the results of the Ukrainian local elections will be a fundamental help in the process of development of democratic institutes in Ukraine.

Additionally, President has signed a decree over the weekend on the creation of the Commission on strengthening of democracy and asserting the rule of law. The Commission will perform advisory functions and will pursue the goal of consolidating the efforts of the government, political parties, and civil society aimed at strengthening of democracy and rule of law.

Earlier last week, many foreign observers presented their evaluations of the elections' transparency. The delegation of the observers of the European Parliament, as well as some other delegations from EU and CIS, gave quite positive feedback, while the US Department of State was critical.

Meanwhile, expressing the readiness to cooperate on improving the election legislation, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon stressed at a press conference today: "We are ready to help Kyiv with drawing up and implementing such an electoral code that would let any elections meet the standards which will make democracy a success story in Ukraine."

Source: Worldwide News Ukraine