The chairman of the Central Election Commission Volodymyr Shapoval believes that the decision to allocate money to install cameras at the voting stations was exclusively political.

"The decision to allocate such a sum of money was exclusively political. I find it hard to judge at what level it was taken. Most probably, such decisions are taken at a high level. I am unhappy that the CEC was just pinned down to facts. We were not consulted with, although I do not pretend to give a technically sound advice, but it would be nice if the Central Election Commission had been notified in advance," he said in the interview.

In addition, assessing the readiness of the Central Election Commission for the upcoming elections, he stressed that the CEC is not one hundred percent ready for the elections due to the unresolved issue of the organization of video monitoring at the legislative level.
According to Shapoval, the issue of video monitoring itself cannot be estimated unambiguously. "On one hand, it seems to be a positive thing: visual observation, the possibility of additional control measures of a public character. Although the vote counting falls beyond the scope of video monitoring," he said.

The chairman of the CEC sees the repetition of the Russian experience in this situation. "I was an observer at the elections in Russia and in informal conversations with their organizers, ranging from the high authorities to the level of the polling stations, I did not hear almost any positive feedbacks about the video monitoring. Of course, these estimates can be treated with skepticism: as is known, the performers often complain. "It is better to rest badly than to work well" is a well-known principle and motto of many people. Nevertheless, the questions are still open," Shapoval said.

Responding a question whether he is a supporter or an opponent of video monitoring at the voting stations, the chairman of the CEC said that he is full of doubts. "One thing is to listen to the comments of those who already passed it and another one is to pass it by yourself. There are pros, I have already mentioned them and the cons are obvious. By the way, a very serious drawback is the need for actual cost of 1 billion UAH. We are not rich enough to allocate a billion to the procedures that are not seriously tested. But I can say if there is the law, and if it comes into force, we will fulfill it," Shapoval said.

Talking about the technical implementation of the project, he suggested that the Cabinet of Ministers to carry out the lion's share of the relevant work. "I hope so. The Cabinet should ensure the procurement and testing of the equipment and other work by law. By the way, the paradox is that the CEC is a manager of the funds, but in fact the Cabinet will allocate them. I think this is a manifestation of the desire to shift the responsibility to another "weaker" department. Our goal will be to determine the terms of reference," the head of the CEC emphasized.


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