CEC candidates submitted (a few years late)

February 5, 2018

The blog has bemoaned the Central Election Commission (CEC) situation in Ukraine for years on an ad hoc basis – as 13 of the 15 members witnessed their legitimate mandates expire in 2014 and yet continue in the roll.

To be fair, 2014 and 2015 were perhaps years where a “justifiable pass” could be given considering the force majeure faced by Ukraine and an initial struggle to mitigate the immediate threats to the nation.  Nevertheless, any “justifiable pass” did not mean the CEC composition was legitimate once individual mandates expired, and by 2016 it was an issue that could be dealt with.

In 2016, the blog predicted that neither 2016, and in all probability 2017, would see any political will to create a new CEC with valid mandates.  “Firstly the budget and other legislative matters will simply take priority.  Thus it follows that the issue will (once again) be put on the back-burner.  Sometime in early 2017 would appear to be the most hopeful (perhaps even fanciful) time frame when it will be addressed.   Secondly a reader may question any real political desire to actually do anything about changing the current CEC composition, providing doubt that early 2017 is indeed realistic.

Perhaps cynicism dictates that 2018, a year before the 2019 elections for president and Verkhovna Rada is a much more likely timeline.”

The predictions made in October 2016 are seemingly coming true.  As of the time of writing, there is still no new CEC.

It is now February 2018, almost one year to the Presidential elections in March 2019 (and Verkhovna Rada elections in October 2019).  It is now the time the prediction suggested would see some movement within the political class to eventually deal with the matter and produce a fully legitimate CEC.

And Lo!  It has come to pass – almost.

The President has submitted a list of 14 names (there should be 15 but the Oppo Block is yet to decide upon their candidate) for appointment to the CEC.  The candidates are now being (swiftly) put through the relevant verification procedures relating to their suitability to be nominated as candidates.

Thus there appears 14 names with nominations across the other political parties – 1 each from Batkivshchyna, Radicals, Samopomich, Vidrodzhennya, and the rest more or less split evenly between The People’s Front and Solidarity.  (The 15th name from the Oppo Block awaited.)

Those listed are Alla Basalaeva, Natalia Bernatskaya, Mikhail Verbensky, Andrey Evstigneev, Irina Efremova, Olga Zheltova, Oleg Konopolsky, Svetlana Kustova, Olga Lotyuk, Vitaliy Plukar, Evgeny Radchenko, Tatyana Slipachuk, Leonty Shipilov and Tatyana Yuzkova.

Naturally the candidates are not over the appointment finish line, and as such the CEC remains without mandated officials.  However most (probably all) can expect to receive parliamentary approval.

A legitimate and mandated CEC seems likely to arrive right on time to fulfill the 2016 predictions of the blog.

Hurrah and huzzah!

It may even score Ukraine a few human rights points too – for elections and election processes actually fall under the Human Rights (rather than Pol/Mil or Soc/Econ) arms of the OSCE.  In fact they fall under the ODIHR when it comes to monitoring and reporting.  (Your author is a certificated OSCE/ODIHR election observer.)  Thus a legitimate CEC matters to the ODIHR (and other monitoring organisations) when it comes to official reports.  External official election reports matter to the Ukrainian political class when reelected – perceptions of legitimacy etc.

However, it remains to be seen whether the legislation that governs the processes of the CEC will change, and indeed whether the election related legislation over which the CEC presides will also change.  Neither existing statute(s) are particularly good – albeit not the fault of the CEC, but the fault of legislators.

The problem being that in the very unlikely event political will be found to address electoral and CEC legislation, any such legislative changes require time to be fully understood by those that preside over elections, and also by those universal suffrage voters.

Thus if such legislation is to change then it really can’t wait very much longer.  Ergo, the likelihood of electoral legislative change prior to the elections is probably slim – and as the days and weeks pass by, there will come a point whereby it really shouldn’t be introduced until after the elections, simply to avoid disaster.

Nevertheless, there now appears to be progress (as predicted), and hopefully the longstanding issue of legitimate mandates (and thus a legitimate CEC) will be one that the blog can at last drop.  Whether or not the CEC proves to be competent and impartial is an entirely different issue of course.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: