“Historically, the police, the prosecutor’s office, and the courts have been used in Ukraine in all elections – perhaps, with the exception of 2014 – as an administrative resource to help the authorities or the pro-government candidate to get additional votes and support,” says MP Olena Sotnyk.
She explains that there is a large variety of tools to stop election fraud – ranging from administrative responsibility to the tools in the hands of the CEC. The Central Election Commission may impose certain sanctions on both political forces and specific candidates for violating the campaigning order. The is responsibility envisaged both for those who bribe voters or falsify election results and those who take money for this. But it is all very good for us to have laws like this. The problem actually is how these laws are complied with.
A bright example here is the election in the majority district in Chernihiv, where candidates cynically and openly bribed the voters, yet not a single proceeding was launched. Today, there are hundreds of reports saying that some political forces are forming the so-called “networks” for centralized bribery. Once again – nothing is being done to counteract.
Therefore, Olena Sotnyk says that we can even write a separate Criminal Code for fraud in the elections, but as long as the police, the prosecutor’s office and the courts do not work effectively, do not bring everybody to liability, regardless of the names of parties and the names of the candidates, the situation will not change.