The Electoral Code had the thorniest path from among all the bills adopted by this parliament convocation.
This draft law was registered in 2015, but it immediately received enormous resistance: the then Presidential Administration did not hide its position that the electoral rules should not be changed and a huge number of MPs elected in single-mandate districts claimed that under no circumstances would they vote to change the electoral model.
However, thanks to the support of people and public pressure, on November 7, 2017, the Electoral Code was adopted in the first reading with a critical number of votes – 226 precisely.
After that, more than 4.5 thousand amendments were submitted. It is a well-known fact that if you want to kill some initiative in the Verkhovna Rada, you need to create a working group. And so it was created. But a miracle happened and the working group managed to qualitatively process these amendments and additional proposals.
Then the Legal Policy Committee failed to gather for its meetings all the time, which blocked the possibility of bringing the document into the hall. In the end, the Committee did meet about a month ago and did not support any amendments approved by the working group. This was done in order to kill the Electoral Code in the session hall or to make the text of the document unacceptable.
Today, the parliament has shown that it can actually make critical decisions at critical times. I urge people to pay attention to the extent to which politicians confirm their promises with their actions. Samopomich is the only one that gave 100% of the votes for the Electoral Code.
How will the voters benefit from its adoption? What will they get?
The elimination of the majority election system component, due to which the phenomenon of the infamous voters bribing should disappear.
Open electoral lists in parliamentary elections, when a voter chooses not only a particular political force, but can also support a particular candidate on this list and increase his/her chances of getting into the Verkhovna Rada.
Regulation of political campaigning on television and radio means that even if a political force has a lot of money, it still will not be able to buy up all the screen time.
Ban on outdoor political advertising. Billboards and city-lights will disappear; only portable structures will remain – the way it works in most European countries, and parties will have to appear in person and communicate with voters.
Integration of anti-corruption legislation into the Code – limiting the amount of funds that can be provided for the support of a political force and establishing a procedure for verifying this information – starting with checking the declarations of parliamentary candidates.
The main idea has been achieved – the transition to open lists and the elimination of the majority component. If the next convocation is ready to improve this Code, this will also be a test to check them.
So, what can and should be changed in the Electoral Code:
lower the electoral threshold to 3% – this will make the parliament more representative;
accelerate the entry into force of the Electoral Code – not to wait until December 1, 2023;
establish more stringent criteria for political campaigning to eliminate political non-obvious paid-for advertising in the media.
For the record of future MPs – this all can be done in one day.