Experts Recommend Improvements to Electoral Environment
KYIV - The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) announced today the results of a pre-election assessment of the Verkhovna Rada elections to be held on Oct. 28.
The five member IFES assessment team was led by Paul Harris, former chief executive of New Zealand Election Commission. Other members of the assessment team are: Steve Canham, senior voter data and electoral systems expert (Australia); Renata Lapti, former member of the Republic of Moldova Central Election Commission (Moldova); Gavin Weise, IFES deputy director for Europe and Asia (USA); and David Ennis, director for IFES in Ukraine (Canada).
IFES analyzed technical and procedural aspects of the legal framework, the electoral system; candidate nomination and registration; campaign financing; election administration; voter registration; Election Day procedures; and the rules governing election complaints and appeals.
While advances have been made in election administration in recent years, the IFES Assessment Team identified a number of shortcomings evident in the current electoral environment. Greatest concerns were expressed over deficiencies in the electoral law; the selection and appointment methods employed for lower level election commissions; the lack of oversight of campaign financing; voter education and commission training on the new election system and procedures; and ambiguities and inadequacies in the mechanisms for resolving electoral disputes.
While the legal and operational framework for elections is largely consistent with international stand-ards, IFES made recommendations addressing certain shortcomings. According to the IFES Assessment Team, several of these recommendations could be implemented during the weeks remaining before Election Day. These included clarifications that could be made by the Central Election Commission and additional efforts on voter education and training, transparency in voter list verification, improvements in polling station operations, and ensuring access for observers to all election processes. The experts also offered a number of suggestions for longer-term reform.
For information on IFES programming in Ukraine
IFES is an independent, nonprofit leader in election assistance and democracy promotion. Since its founding in 1987, IFES has worked in more than 135 countries, from developing to mature democracies. For more information, visit www.IFES.org.