Co-rapporteurs for Ukraine call for additional efforts to assure fully inclusive local elections

Following the recent meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the co-rapporteurs for Ukraine, Jean-Claude Mignon (France, EPP/CD) and Jordi Xucla (Spain, ALDE) urged the Ukrainian authorities, as well as all other stakeholders, to make every efforts to ensure that the upcoming local elections in the country are as inclusive and pluralistic as possible. “This is essential for the stability and further development of the country,” they said.

In this respect, the co-rapporteurs noted with concern that the Central Election Commission (CEC) has published a list of 132 municipalities under government control in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where local elections will not take place for security reasons. “Especially in the light of the refusal of the Russian-backed separatists to allow elections to be organised under Ukrainian law in the areas under their de facto control, it is important that people in the areas under government control are able to express their democratic will,” said the rapporteurs. They therefore strongly encouraged the authorities to do all in their power to reduce the list of municipalities where elections will not take place.

In this context, and while expressing their full understanding regarding the complexity of IDP voting, the rapporteurs called upon the authorities to adopt measures that would allow IDPs to vote in the municipal and regional elections for their original place of residence, if elections take place there.

For the same reasons of democratic inclusiveness and pluralism, the co-rapporteurs called upon the Main Territorial Justice Department in Kharkiv Region to register the regional organisation of the “Opposition Bloc” in order for it to be able to participate in the upcoming local elections in the Kharkiv region, as they will in the other regions of Ukraine. “Democratic principles demand that the voters can make their choice from as wide as possible a range of political alternatives. Preventing a party from participating on strictly administrative grounds runs counter to such principles,” said the co-rapporteurs, who expressed their hope that this issue would be settled promptly.

The co-rapporteurs intend to visit the country in the near future to familiarise themselves with the constitutional reform process and outcome of the upcoming elections.