Avakov hopes Rada can strengthen election legislation, responsibility for election-related infractions
Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said he hopes Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada can strengthen responsibility for election-related offenses in new legislative acts.
"Work on this has been going on for almost two years ... The main novelties of this law are the irreversibility of punishment for crimes against the electoral rights of citizens and the decriminalization of certain minor violations that do not affect the overall outcome of the electoral process. The bill also provides for strengthening the ability to counter bribing voters and falsification of the voting results," Avakov said during a meeting with top Interior Ministry officials in Kyiv on Monday.
In this context, the minister expressed the hope that "at the beginning of the election campaign, parliamentarians will be able to consider this bill and adopt as a whole."
As reported, in April 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine submitted to the Parliament draft law No. 8270 on introducing amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine regarding strengthening responsibility for violation of electoral legislation.
This bill provides that priority will be given to those offenses that affect the election results. At the same time, some violations will be decriminalized, which cannot affect the election results.
The draft law exempts violators who report violations of electoral legislation.
Among other things, the draft law proposes introducing a penalty of imprisonment for up to two years for illegal ballot stuffing, for violating the secrecy of voting by a member of an election commission, a candidate or an observer, for receiving an unlawful gain by an elector for active or passive influence on the election results.
Also, up to six years in prison is proposed to strengthen the sanction for offering the voter undue benefits (now up to three years), including alcoholic beverages and food.
In addition, law enforcement officers will be able to carry out secret investigative actions to collect evidence to bring persons to justice for violations of electoral legislation.