Ukraine’s draft law on parliamentary elections could go further to ensure fully democratic elections, says a joint opinion by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission.
While the draft law incorporates a number of recommendations previously made by ODIHR and the Venice Commission, the joint opinion notes that the choice of a mixed majority-proportional representation system, the threshold the draft law sets for securing places in parliament, and the ban it establishes on electoral blocs were introduced by the parliamentary majority, and without consultation with other political parties and civil society.
The opinion also states that some of the provisions in the draft law do not facilitate free and equal access of all political forces to parliament. ODIHR and the Venice Commission underscored that trust in the fairness of the electoral rules is essential for conducting democratic elections.
ODHIR and the Venice Commission jointly reviewed the draft law upon a request from the Ukrainian authorities. ODIHR noted that it stands ready to continue assisting the authorities in Ukraine, upon their request, in efforts to create a legal framework for democratic elections in line with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections.