President Viktor Yushchenko has said a draft law being considered by the Verkhovna Rada on amendments to the law on the presidential elections is dangerous for democracy and can make the elections less transparent, Kyiv Post reported, referring to Ukrainian News.

"In this context the draft law is dangerous for democracy in Ukraine. In my opinion, it throws us back in time for 3-4 years and makes the system of the elections of the president more closed," Yushchenko said, according to the press service.

President Yushchenko criticizes the amendments to the procedure of formation of election commissions, as the Verkhovna Rada factions will have priority in the commissions.

"It is obvious, that the party principle of forming the commissions on the election of the president is biased. This indicates the continuation of the game by two political parties, of their work on making even such party-free task as the elections of the president a party task," he said.

The absence of the opportunity of presidential candidates to challenge the results of the elections does not consolidate the democratic process, Yushchenko said.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the first reading of the relevant draft law (No. 4741), which is entitled "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts on Presidential Elections," was approved by 367 votes, with 300 votes required to override a presidential veto. According to the draft law, factions of the current parliament and presidential candidates are to nominate candidates for membership of territorial and polling-station election commissions.

Each of the subjects entitled to nominate candidates members of territorial election commissions has the right to nominate two candidates not later than 54 days before the election day.

The draft law stipulates that territorial elections must include candidates nominated by parliamentary factions and if there are insufficient numbers of people in such commissions, a draw is to be conducted among presidential candidates to select the remaining members of the commissions.


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