Ambassadors from the Group of 7 (The US, Italy, Germany, France, the UK, Canada and Japan) released a statement calling on the Verkhovna Rada to make electoral reforms at least a year before the next elections.
“We applaud the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on the adoption on the first reading of the draft of Electoral Code No. 3112-1. We are of one opinion that the time has come to carry out electoral reform, in order to ensure at least a year for its implementation before the 2019 elections,” the ambassadors’ statement reads.
The G7 countries believe that for the second reading of the bill, effective sanctions should be prescribed for the violation of electoral legislation and improper use of state resources, the political involvement and representation of women and internally displaced persons should be expanded, and the reform of political funding should be expedited.
The ambassadors also reiterated the importance of appointing new members of the Central Election Commission.
“We are convinced that electoral reforms, implemented in accordance with the relevant international obligations and standards, are a key pledge of the full-fledged realization of Ukraine’s potential,” the statement reads.
On November 7, with the minimum necessary number of votes, the Verkhovna Rada adopted on first reading the draft Electoral Code authored by Andriy Parubiy, Oleksandr Chernenko and Leonid Yemets (bill No. 3112-1). The code unites the provisions of a number of laws: on presidential elections, on the election of MPs, on local elections, on the Central Election Commission, and on the state voters register.
The Electoral Code envisages the opening of lists on parliamentary and local elections, reducing the entrance barrier to 4%, resolution of the matter of electing MPs from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, gender quotas at a level of 40%, the election of city mayors in two rounds, and resolution of matters relating to electoral agitation.