The Parliament Adopted Amendments to the Law on Local Elections

April 8, 2014

Ukrainian MPs have put back tothe voting and adopted – in the second reading and as a whole – a draft law onamendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Elections of Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, theLocal Councils and of the Rural, Settlement and Town Mayorsregarding technical andlegal improvement of the electoral process, which they failed to adopt on 1April (draft law No. 2664, by MP Ruslan Knyazevych).

In particular, this law follows similar provisions ofthe Law “On Election of the President of Ukraine” related to the agitation and activityof media during the electoral process.

It is worth noting that the Media Law Instituteproposed to include to this bill some amendments, namely:

– clear provision that any form of pre-electionagitation in media is a political advertisement;

–  a provision thatprice of the agreement on publication of agitation in state and municipal mediafor the budget resources shall not exceed the actual expenses of thebroadcasting organizations on airtime provision – so that to reduce the statebudget expenses; and

– to introduce a requirement for identification of thecustomer, who ordered all the materials of the pre-election agitation, not only the political advertisement ontelevision as it is currently provided for. However, these proposals have been leftout by the core parliamentary committee.

At the same time, they have dropped from thetoday`s Parliament agenda, without any consideration, the draft Decree “On Ensuringthe Informational Security and Sovereignty of Ukraine, Non-Limitation ofCitizens’ Access to Information and Use of the Ukraine`s RadiofrequencyResources in Compliance with the Current Legislation Requirements” has been (draft decreeNo. 4401, by MPs Mykola Tomenko, Olena Kondratyuk, Mykola Bagrayev, IrynaGerashchenko, Rustam Raupov, Mykola Knyazhytsky), which provides for assessmentof “ZEONBUD” activity lawfulness – the monopoly provider of digital televisionin Ukraine.