The Assembly takes note of the adoption, on 17 November 2011, of the Law of Ukraine on the Election of Peoples Deputies. While welcoming that a number of its previous concerns were addressed, the Assembly regrets that its main recommendations, namely the adoption of a Unified Electoral Code, and the adoption of a regional proportional election system, were not implemented, says the text of PACE resolution regarding electoral legislation, ForUm learned from the press office of PACE.

With regard to the new electoral legislation, the Assembly welcomes the adoption, by a broad consensus and with the participation of the opposition, of the parliamentary electoral law as a first step on the way to unified electoral legislation.

At the same time PACE emphasises that the adoption of this parliamentary elections law should not be used as a pretext for not adopting a Unified Electoral Code, which is still needed to ensure a coherent legal framework for all elections in Ukraine which is fully in line with European standards.

In particular, the document says PACE is concerned that the raising of the threshold for the proportional elections to 5%, combined with the prohibition on parties to form electoral blocs to run in the elections, might negatively affect the opportunities for new or smaller parties to enter parliament. The Assembly is concerned that these provisions could reduce pluralism and further increase polarisation in the new parliament. It recommends that the threshold be lowered and the prohibition on electoral blocs be removed from the electoral legislation before the next parliamentary elections. In order to increase pluralism and encourage participation of national minorities in public life, the Assembly recommends that, when delineating constituencies for the 2012 parliamentary elections, the Central Electoral Commission ensures inclusion in a single constituency of national minority groups who live compactly in certain areas.

According to the resolution, PACE also regrets the provisions included in this law that limit the right to stand for election for anyone convicted of a crime, regardless of the severity of the crime committed. Recognising that these provisions are based on Article 76 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Assembly proposes to promptly remove them in the framework of the Constitutional Reform process that was recommended by the Assembly.

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