Legal base for organizing elections on February, 7th
While amending the Law of Ukraine "On the Election of the President of Ukraine" on February 3, the Verkhovna Rada did not change a single regulation, which entailed many violations during the 1st  round and resonated with the public (such as adding voters to the voter lists on Election day, and voting outside polling stations). Instead, the Parliament adopted changes that do not foster democratic elections, but rather create an environment in which the rights of citizens and other players in the voting process are threatened.
In the second reading, during their special sitting in Verkhovna Rada, 233 people`s deputies of Ukraine accepted the following changes to election law:
They revoked the regulation, which made a commission legitimate to work if two-thirds of the commission members are present on Election day. With a newly adopted regulation, two-thirds of the commission is not required to hold the first meeting or to make vote calculation. In this case, only the stamp-holder will be required, thus play a decisive role in the election process.  

The MPs entitled election commissions of a higher level to make decisions instead of the commissions of a lower level in case of non-performance of the latter. However, the Law did not provide any details about what DEC`s and PEC`s "non-performance" stands for. In practice, it may lead to incidents when a district election commission can deprive precinct election commissions of any rights, arguing hat the latter is "not performing", providing no clear evidence;

Local governments received the right to nominate their own candidacies to be commission members if Presidential candidates failed to submit a sufficient number of people to fill commissions. Supplemented by the use of the administrative resource whenever possible, commissions may therefore contain biased members that implicitly represent one candidate. When any commission member, submitted by a Presidential candidate, has an early termination of his work, the quota is fulfilled through submission of the local government. Therefore, commissions` members can be changed without candidates` participation in this process.
Such changes can result in elections disarrangement and judicial appeals of voting results by one of the candidates.
Civil Network OPORA expressed concerned with the offered amendments and recommended the incumbent President of Ukraine to examine the issue carefully before signing the law. The law however was signed by the President on February 4th, 2010. The Central Election Commission should immediately  give written instructions about including voters into the voter lists on the Election Day and home voting.

Voter Bribery

Observers of the Civil Network OPORA have revealed cases of voter bribery with the aim to buy a vote in battlefield regions. The tendency is observed mainly in the Central part of Ukraine, partially on the West and South of the country. There are two schemes of bribing being used in Ukraine: the "family tree" and "pseudo-campaigner" (please refer to details below). The aim of bribing is to secure more votes for a specific candidate, or, in other cases, to compel or convince citizens not to come to vote on the Election day.. If the second scheme is used, the intent is for one candidate to diminish the voter turnout of his/her contender.
The motivations of targeted citizens to violate the law and take money, are as follows: 1) the low level of income; 2) citizens` disillusionment with political parties, doubled by false persuasion of voters that their individual vote does not make a difference; 3) the fact that there is no history of punishment for participants and organizers of voter bribery during previous election campaigns; 4) over-pragmatic attitude of citizens toward the election is widespread both among regular campaigners in the field and headquarters` staff. Bribery is a shameful phenomenon, which depreciates votes of conscientious citizens.
Civil Network OPORA calls law enforcement officers to immediately respond to violations of the law and make the organizers responsible for vote-buying.  

Quality of Voter Lists
The quality of the voter lists is equally important to ensure fairness and legitimacy of the election process. Despite complicated and painstaking performance of the public voter registry agencies on Election during January 17, the voter lists contained many inaccuracies and errors in personal data. If compared to the voter lists used during the parliamentary elections in 2006 and 2007, the current lists are better. As proof, there are less citizens` appeals to courts once they do not find their names in voter lists. On the other hand, a widespread practice of adding voters to the voter lists on Election day by the decision of the precinct election commissions can also be a reason for the decreased amount from citizens. To our disappointment, most polling stations failed to submit amended voter lists to district election commission and Public Voter Registry Agencies. Thus voters, coming to their polling stations on February 7 will face the same problems: either they will not find themselves in a list again, or will spot mistakes in their personal data.
Public voter registry agencies should be more active and continue amending voter lists in a period between the first and second rounds.

Forming DECs and PECs
A simplified procedure of forming DECs and involving the staff who worked with previous commissions enables OPORA to make a statement that this time the level of preparedness is substantially higher than during the 1st round. Politicizing commissions can lead to the situation when none of the parties will have quantitative advantage on February 7, therefore any decisions can be blocked by opponents. In many oblasts, candidacies nominated to be PEC members are the same people who were commission members during the 1st round. Persons who were nominated by S. Ratushnyak, V. Protyvsih, M. Brodskyi, are now being proposed by the candidate V.Yanukovych, and those who worked for Y.Kostenko, L.Suprun, V.Yushchenko, O.Tyahnybok - by Y.Tymoshenko.
DEC and PEC members should work according to the current legislation and written instructions of the CEC; they should refrain from participating in the political struggle.

The Use of Administrative Resource
The administrative resource during the 2010 campaign is less impactful than during the 2004 Presidential elections. Cases of its usage are not systematic across Ukraine. Incidents are now peculiar by multiple pressures from public officials, municipal officers and businesses. During the economic crisis nongovernmental employees are more motivated to secure their workplaces. In addition, several cases were revealed during the period between two rounds, when the results of governmental programs were presented in the campaign as individual accomplishments by both candidates. However, this campaigning tactic has limited systematic influence on citizens` choice.
Officers of local governments and directors of enterprises should stop campaigning at working hours, and thus influence the choice of voters.

Campaigning and Black PR
The activity between the first and second round election is characterized by the decline in "tent activity" by the candidates, as they launched a more active work with voters using door-to-door campaigns and other tools of direct communication. Such facts were revealed across the entire country. Local councils were involved in campaigning in Khersonska, Sumska, Ivano-Frankivska oblasts. Candidates began to use church organizations, and references to European leaders who "support" them. Observers of the Civil Network OPORA have revealed campaign conduct by the members of election commissions. In contrast to the first round, this time we observe a much greater amount of written materials against both candidates. Leaflets comprise comparative information, when the activity of one candidate is portrayed very positively, whilst deeds of the other contain accusing facts (bio data, corruption schemes). Materials are distributed freely in the tents of both candidates. It is difficult to name a region where black PR was not revealed.


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