Ukraine monitors express concern at changes to Ukraine’s electoral law

The co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Ukraine by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Jordi Xuclà (Spain, ALDE) and Axel Fischer (Germany EPP/CD), have expressed their concern at recent changes to the law on the election of members of the Verkhovna Rada that would allow political parties to change their electoral lists after the elections have taken place.

“As we have stated in the past, changing electoral lists after elections have taken place is in contradiction with European standards. At our request, the Monitoring Committee has decided to send the law containing these amendments (Law No. 3700) to the Venice Commission – the Council of Europe’s group of independent legal experts – for its opinion. We expect that the recommendations and comments of the Venice Commission will be fully addressed by the Verkhovna Rada,” said the co-rapporteurs.

They also expressed their serious concern at the prohibition of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People by the Russian Federation on the grounds that it was an extremist organisation. “The Mejlis has been an important instrument for the representation and emancipation of the Crimean Tatar People. The banning of the Tatar Mejlis as an extremist organisation, solely for its open opposition to the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, is absurd. It is also contrary to international standards and a serious violation of the rights of the Crimean Tatars, who the Russian authorities have said they wish to protect. We therefore call upon the Russian authorities to repeal this ban without delay.”

The co-rapporteurs intend to visit Ukraine on 28 and 29 April.