Verkhovna Rada deprives IDPs of the right to vote – «Restoring Donbas»
17:18 / 13 Jul. 2015 / 414
Tomorrow, July 14, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine will examine draft law on local elections in the second reading (№ 2831-3). According to the lawyers of community initiative «Restoring Donbas», this draft law ignores the rights of IDPs. Namely, they are deprived of the right to vote.
In particular, the draft law does not allow voters to vote in local elections if they are outside of the locality where they are registered. The exception could be only a voting at special polling stations (hospitals, prisons, etc.). In this version, the bill contradicts with other Ukrainian laws, namely Art. 8 Law of Ukraine “On ensuring the rights and freedoms of internally displaced persons”, which fixes that IDPs can participate in the local elections by changing the voting place without changing the electoral address.
Thus, persons who is registered on the territories beyond the Ukrainian control, but at the same time, who live in other towns (under the Ukrainian control), have no right to participate in elections, the right to form local authorities in areas where they actually live.
According to the lawyers of the initiative, the output is quite simple. It is enough to make the amendment related to the right of voters-IDPs to participate in local elections on the basis of paragraph 3, Article 7 of the Law of Ukraine “On State Register of voters” (concerning the place of actual residence). In addition, data on the actual place of residence of IDPs are in a single information database of internally displaced persons.
Despite the fact that a number of deputies offered to amend the draft law, they were all rejected. Community initiative “Restoring Donbas» appealed to Vladimir Groisman, the Speaker of Parliament, and a number of deputies with a letter demanding more time to make the appropriate amendments to the draft law in order to give IDPs the opportunity to participate in local elections.
Elena Petryayeva, the head of the community initiative ” Restoring Donbas”, stated: «If Parliament does not adopt the necessary changes to the document, more than one million citizens of Ukraine will not be able to participate in local elections. This is a violation of constitutional rights of IDPs».
According to the latest data of Ministry of Social Policy, the number of internally displaced persons in Ukraine has already exceeded 1,380,000 man.