The Central Election Commission has allowed Ukrainians to change the temporary place of voting but only within one district. In such a way, CEC wants to avoid mass falsifications and carousel voting.

Reporter on this amendment, CEC secretary Tetyana Lukash explained that "despite the toughening of requirements to the transfer documents, the abuse does not stop."

"We keep receiving applications from voters, trying to change the place of voting without changing the place of residence. Such applications are of mass character, and CEC had to introduce restrictions," she said.

From now on, a voter can change the assigned place of voting to another voting station, but within the same electoral district. Moreover, election commissions have a right to check the sheets about voters, who want to change the place of voting, by applying to Interior Ministry department for information.

ForUm has asked politicians and experts whether this restriction will help to have transparent and fair parliamentary elections, scheduled for October 28.

Taras Chornovil, MP of Ukraine, member of the parliamentary group "Reforms for future":

- Indeed, politicians start using dirty technologies on the eve of elections, including mass 'resettlement' of voters. When similar actions were noticed in various districts, both politicians and foreign observers have started talking about it. It is obvious that such manipulations may question the legitimacy of the elections results.

'Resettlement' of voters is a direct interference into people's right of choice. We understand that in Kyiv, for example, the gap between votes for two different candidates can amount to several hundred, but if one of the candidates brings thousands of people in the capital, the situation will change significantly. It's good that indignation of candidates and voters has been heard. CEC decision has put an end to this issue of 'folk migration'.

I understand that there is a number of people, who permanently live and work not in the place of official residence, thus will legally stay on the territory of another electoral district. Such people should apply to courts on this issue. If courts manage to issue decisions on every case, the election issue will go back to normal.

Volodymyr Paniotto, director of Kyiv international institute of sociology:

- I believe this innovation will work, it has been introduced for this, no. The institute of sociology will conduct post-project and post-election surveys to find out the violations people commit.
I do know that people are being brought from other districts, thus I believe this restriction will help, as manipulations within one district will not change the situation much.

Iryna Bekeshkina, sociologist, director of "Democratic initiatives" fund:

- This is a just decision, as it has become obvious that falsification attempts have become of mass character. We all heard cases, when parents of students were forces to apply for a change of voting place and to go voting in other districts. I believe the CEC decision will assist to fair and transparent elections.

Roman Koshevyi, chairman of the Lviv department of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine:

- The decision was made after several candidates had tried to use this system to falsify the future results. For example, all regional employees of one Ukrainian enterprise have been called to Kyiv, allegedly for a conference on the Election Day. It has turned out that the owner of this enterprise is running for parliament from one of the Kyiv electoral districts.

On the other hand, restricting the right to vote in a different district, CEC has exceeded its powers a little, as there are people who legally stay far from their residential voting stations. But here we must decide what is more important: to prevent mass falsifications but ban some people from voting or to give a possibility to vote to everyone without exception, but to question the results of the elections.

Denis Bogush, political strategist, specialist on anti-crisis campaign, director of the Center for manipulation technologies study:

- I don't know whether it will prevent falsifications, but it will definitely stop this kind of business, unfolding now in regions. There are whole agencies recruiting people to go from one region to another to vote. Some candidates have already managed to do it.

Volodymyr Fesenko, political expert, Cand. Sc. Philosophy:

- Having suspicions and concrete information about falsification attempts CEC has made this decision. CEC just wants to avoid the problem, when election results in separate single-mandate districts are questioned.  This decision minimizes artificial travelling of voters and neutralizes the flow of dirty political technologies.


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