Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko believes that for Ukrainian elections to be transparent and objective, fundamental changes are needed to the election law that would eliminate the majoritarian component, and an honest, transparent and independent Central Election Commission (CEC) must be selected.
“If we have an honest CEC and correct election law, then at least once in 26 years we can reboot this system! I assure you that now, more than ever, we have come to the point where we can replace this clan system,” Yulia Tymoshenko said on the program “Svoboda Slova” on ICTV.
According to the parliamentarian, democratic opposition forces and civil society have raised the issue of the importance of changing the election law.
“We should remove the majoritarian component because that current clan model of running this country is perpetuated through majoritarian districts,” she said.
The politician noted that parliamentary elections are currently held under the following scheme: 50% of deputies are elected by party lists and 50% are elected to majoritarian districts by direct voting.
“The problem is that in majoritarian districts independent and party-affiliated candidates ‘pump’ 1 to 3 million dollars into the district. Majoritarian elections are won with big money. And then they come to parliament to ‘recoup’ what they invested into the district tenfold, backstage deals are made and lobbied laws pushed through,” the Batkivshchyna Party leader said.
Yulia Tymoshenko also pointed out that the next presidential election will be held according to the old election law, which allows endless opportunities for election fraud.
“I remind you that a presidential election was held in 2010 in which Yanukovych was elected, and before the second round Our Ukraine and Party of Regions changed the law on the presidential election and returned all opportunities for falsification. And this is the law with which we are moving to the next election,” she said.
The people’s deputy also recalled that the Batkivshchyna faction supported the first reading of the new Electoral Code and provided all the necessary revisions for the second reading.
Speaking about the Electoral Code, Yulia Tymoshenko said she opposes the elimination of the vote barrier for political parties to enter the Verkhovna Rada.
“If we make the threshold 2%, fake parties will be created before the elections or ones that represent clans, and then these majoritarian candidates will simply enter parliament under a ‘party’ name instead of their own name,” she explained.
Yulia Tymoshenko also said that the issue of the formation of a new CEC is political and expressed doubt that parliament will support the candidate put forth by Batkivshchyna, since the president is trying through his control of parliament to create a controlled and dependent CEC.
“The president expects to have a total majority in the CEC – that’s two-thirds of the commission through people affiliated to the president,” she cautioned.
Yulia Tymoshenko stressed that the CEC should be formed on the basis of proposals by all parliamentary faction and that the concept of the formation of the CEC should be reviewed.
“The president still has time to select independent and well-known civil society figures who will bring moral authority and show that the CEC will not be corrupt and manipulative. I think the new president will do that,” the head of the Batkivshchyna faction said.
Yulia Tymoshenko also emphasized that Batkivshchyna will protect the interests of society and compete for the right to change the country despite all the president’s attempts to take advantage of the imperfect election legislation.
“We have a chance! We will protect every polling station, there will be a real battle between big money, information and administrative resources against those who want to change this system, and Batkivshchyna is among them,” the Batkivshchyna Party leader said.