Presidential election 2019 in Ukraine. Monitoring of “Uspishna Varta”. February 10-17, 2019

Presidential election 2019 in Ukraine. Monitoring of “Uspishna Varta”. February 10-17, 2019

On February 8th the Central Election Commission (CEC) completed the registration of candidates for the presidency of Ukraine. The process of registering candidates for the CEC was in accordance with legal requirements and was generally comprehensive. Within the statutory period, the commission received 89 applications for registration as a candidate for the presidency, and from them 44 candidates were registered. Candidates who were denied registration made significant mistakes in their submitted documents, including not having made a cash deposit.

The CEC’s refusal to register the candidate of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU), Petro Simonenko, was challenged in a court of law. On February 2nd the CEC refused to register him as a candidate for the presidency due to the fact that he was nominated by a party whose charter, name, and symbols do not meet the requirements of the law "On the condemnation of the communist and national socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and the prohibition of the propaganda of their symbols". The Supreme Court decided to agree with the decision of the court of first instance, which refused to satisfy the claims of the CPU leader.

Also there have been cases of military and administrative pressure being put on candidates representing opposition political forces. Thus, on February 13th one of the registered candidates for the post of the President of Ukraine (Evgeny Murayev) was summoned for questioning by the Prosecutor General concerning a case of tax evasion under Part 3 of Article 212 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The lawyers of the candidate claim that the case bears signs of political persecution. A creative studio headed by one of the presidential candidates (Vladimir Zelensky) was banned from holding a concert in the winery of a building that is subordinate to the Ministry of Defense. The Ministry's refusal is connected to the decision of the showman to run for the presidency of Ukraine.

Besides on February 12th the CEC approved the list of territorial electoral districts in Ukraine where Ukrainian presidential elections will not take place. This is the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and 14 districts on the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. The CEC noted that the relevant decision was made on the basis of the decree of President Poroshenko from February 7th 2019, via which he approved the boundaries and the list of districts, cities, towns and villages, and parts of their territories in the separate areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Observers. On February 7th the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, by 232 votes, voted for draft law No. 9524, which banned citizens of the Russian Federation and persons proposed by the Russian side from being an observer atpresidential, parliamentary, and local elections in Ukraine. The explanatory note to the law states that it was developed “with the aim of minimizing the risks and threats of interference of the Russian Federation during the holding of elections in Ukraine”. More details can be read here.

Human rights activists point out that during the electoral campaign in Ukraine there have been frequent cases of external political campaign advertising being damaged. Despite the fact that in most cases well-known right-wing organisations publicly assume responsibility for the vandalism of outdoor political advertisements, the police have so far failed to bring to justice any of the perpetrators. It is noteworthy that it is mainly billboards and kiosks of opposition forces that are subject to damage, while pro-government ones, especially the advertising carriers of Petro Poroshenko, remain intact.

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