Thelegislation passed by the Verkhovna Rada yesterday was submitted on the27th of January and was meant to fix a deficiency in the currentelection law regarding the organization and operations of the DistrictElection Commissions (DECs) and Precinct Election Commissions (PECs).Under current law there is a 2/3 quorum requirement for the PECs andDECs to function, including opening the polls on election day andcounting the ballots. In the Second Round of a Presidential election,each of the two candidates proposes 50% of the members of the DECs andPECs. This allows one of the parties to undermine the process bydenying a quorum. The Second Round of the Presidential election is theonly election where this is possible because in all other elections thecomposition of the committees is made up of representatives of allparticipating parties or candidates. No party in these other electionsis in a position, by itself, to deny a quorum.
The currentelection law does not provide for situations where one party’srepresentatives do not appear at designated times to open the polls orcount the ballots. In these situations, the PECs can be viewed to betechnically prohibited from opening the polls or counting the ballotsfor lack of a quorum.
The legislation passed by the VerkhovnaRada on February 3 deals with this deficiency by creating a mechanismthat will ensure a quorum and allow the people to vote and the ballotsto be counted.
The only situation in which the new amendmentcomes into effect is where one party denies a quorum by withholding itsrepresentatives from the work of the PECs or DECS.
In factthis happened in several oblasts this week. In Odessa, Donetsk andCrimea, BYUT representatives were absent at DEC meetings called toorganize the Sunday elections.
The intent and impact of this legislation is solely to protect democracy and the right of the people to be heard.
Tymoshenkounderstands this and is deliberately lying about the impact and intentof the legislation in order to deceive the people and the internationalcommunity. Her baseless threats to disrupt the election are a cover forthe fact that she knows she is going to lose decisively on Sunday andthus is trying to discredit the election process for the Second Round.
Thisis consistent with her behavior in the First Round when she promotedbogus exit polls, and claimed massive fraud where none existed.
Shecan avoid any impact of the new law by simply having her people show upat the DEC and PEC meetings and do their legally mandated jobs.