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17.10.2021, . 03:27


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IFES Initiates New Election Assistance Project in Montenegro

On 6 April, IFES initiated a technical election assistance project in advance of the 31 May parliamentary and municipal elections. The objective of the project is to provide technical assistance to the Republican Election Commission (REC) and other government bodies administering aspects of the election while educating the public on the election process and their voting responsibility. In order to accomplish these goals, the various components of the project include: administrative and legal assistance to the REC; outreach to political parties through the provision of informational materials; poll worker training following a training-of-trainers model through commission and party structures; and assistance with the computerization of the voter registry. This current project is an outcome of the Voter Awareness Assessment conducted by IFES in November 1997 and the Legal Analysis in January 1998 which identified needs within the electoral process and areas of potential cooperation with the government and electorate.

Political Party Outreach

Between 20-22 April, members of the IFES team met with representatives of the Liberal Alliance, People's Party, Party of Democratic Action, the Social Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party of Socialists to discuss candidate information materials and the poll worker training program. All parties contacted expressed a willingness to participate in IFES' training-of-trainers program and gladly received IFES' Voter Awareness Assessment/Legal Analysis. In order to ensure that candidates are fully aware of the rules and regulations that govern the nomination of candidates and the campaign under newly-adopted Montenegro laws, IFES has drafted a candidacy handbook to be distributed to political parties.

IFES/Montenegro

Election Experts
Catherine Barnes, Voter Information Specialist/Chief of Party
Tom Parkins, Senior Elections Advisor
Chedomir Flego, Voter Registration Specialist
Dan Finn, Legal Specialist

Local Project Staff
Marko Stojovic, Voter Education Assistant
Ana Drakic, Training Assistant
Ivan Bojanovic, Office Manager
Natalia Cerovic, Administrative Assistant
Madjo Radulovic, Driver/Logistics

Voter Information Campaign

During the November 1997 Voter Awareness Assessment, IFES was told that voter information and outreach efforts were generally not provided during the election period. In order to respond to this, IFES is undertaking a voter education effort through television, audio, and print media. IFES has developed a strategy document to serve as a guide for the campaign, including scripts for television and audio spots, and text for posters and pamphlets. The campaign will focus on the theme «Pravo Na Izbor» or «The Right to Choose.» Free airtime has been secured from Radio/Television Montenegro for the broadcasting of spots.

Voter Registration

Problems with the voter registries was universally identified as the most prominent complaint in the October 1997 elections by all whom IFES spoke with in

Continued on page 7

Europe

Albania

Project Initiation

Last summer's snap parliamentary elections in the Republic of Albania were held in the wake of widespread civil unrest following the collapse of a number of pyramid investment schemes in which a large number of Albanians lost their savings. IFES sent a team of twelve election consultants to work with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the international organization charged with assisting the country in conducting its elections. After the elections, the CEC requested that IFES return to Albania to work in coordination toward the development of its institutional structures. In April, IFES opened a temporary office in Tirana and initiated an on-site technical assistance project in Albania to work in cooperation with the OSCE Presence in developing the transparency and administration of the electoral process. IFES Election Assistance Coordinator Dan Blessington's initial focus will be to help strengthen the Central Election Commission (CEC) as an institution.

Central Election Commission

The law providing for new parliamentary elections on 29 June of last year created a permanent CEC to direct and supervise the electoral processes in Albania. The CEC itself, acting unanimously, drafted a proposed law on the Status of the Commission designed to strengthen the body and ensure the independence of its members. However, no legislative action v. as ever taken on this proposal. In April, IFES conducted an assessment which concluded that the CEC was permanent in name only - it had no paid staff, no budget, and virtually no equipment. Though last year's elections were highly charged and technically difficult, and the CEC meetings often acrimonious, the members of the various factions had learned by the end to respect one another and take their responsibilities seriously. IFES is committed to assisting the CEC to become the professional organization that is hoped for by its members.

Civil Registry Project

A project to establish a comprehensive civic/voter registry continued in April. OSCE, with some assistance from IFES, was in the process of coordinating seven pilot projects in localities holding local elections on 21 June. It was previously hoped that the pilot projects would be completed in advance of these partial elections, and the full project completed in advance of a referendum on a proposed constitution that may be held as early as November. However, by the end of April, there were serious doubts that neither the pilot nor the full project would be complete in time for either vote.

Political Environment

Last year, the divisions between the Democratic and Socialist Party coalitions were exceedingly deep. The parliamentary elections did not change the nature of these divisions; they only reversed who was in power. The Democratic Party of former President Berisha continues to boycott the Commission responsible for drafting a new constitution that is expected to be the subject of a referendum in November.

Prime Minister Fatos Nano made changes to the existing government, reducing the number of ministries from 22 to 18 and making several key personnel changes. After some debate, President Mejdani finally issued a decree approving the changes.

Local By-Elections Announced

On 22 April, President Mejdani decreed that local elections will be held in 15 municipalities and communes on 21 June. The deadline for providing voter registries is 4 June according to the current Law on Local Government Elections. As of 1 May, changes to this existing law for local elections had yet to be made. Although there have been calls for international monitoring, the Government had yet to make any formal requests.

Impact Summary

The local by-elections and technical assistance efforts will provide the first opportunity to analyze technical election assistance efforts and the electoral process since the June/July 1997 elections. The by-elections are the first test of election administration in Albania. IFES believes the development of the Albanian Central Election Commission into a truly permanent and functioning body is key to the administrative process. Although, the Commission had been legislated last year, its institutional capacity needs to be supported.

Association Of Central And Eastern European Election Officials

In April, members of the Association of Central and Eastern European Election Officials (ACEEEO) continued to consider the Association's development while preparing for a training conference in Vilnius next Fall. The ACEEEO designs initiatives to encourage the professional development of and build viable networks between election officials committed to the process of free and fair elections.

Over the course of the Spring, Association members are considering institutional changes designed to enhance its self-sustainability. They are exploring revisions to the Charter that would establish clear membership criteria and an annual dues structure. They are also considering other strategies for long-term financial sustainability such as in-kind contributions. In September 1997, Russia contributed significantly to the training conference it hosted in Moscow.

This Fall, Lithuania plans to host a similar conference of ACEEEO members, during which a new Charter should also be adopted. IFES/ACEEEO Conference Coordinator Jeffrey Carlson traveled to Vilnius to consult with Zenonas Vaigauskas, Chairman of the Central Electoral Committee of the Republic of Lithuania and President of the Association's Executive Board Chairman Vaigauskas reiterated his commitment to the Association and the training event, offering a great deal of in-kind support. In June, the Association's Executive Board plans to gather in Hungary to address the Association's institutional development and future ACEEEO activities.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The month of April in Bosnia was spent busily preparing for the September elections. Main issues included the establishment of a voter identification card, and the printing of these cards. IFES staff has been conducting work in many other areas as well: Legal Specialist Jesse Pilgrim focused on the drafting of various pieces of legislation, including the voter registration and political party registration laws, the Information Technology Team took part in the efforts surrounding databases for the voter registry and the printing of the ID cards, and Voter Education Specialist Barbara Lynch will develop a media campaign geared to teach voters about the new ID cards and the upcoming process of elections.

Elections Branch

With the guidance of IFES Consultant and Director General of Elections Linda Edgeworth, the Program Development and Voter Registration Departments commenced the organization of printing voter registration cards for a pre-registration test to be conducted with voters from 12 polling stations. The production of the voter registration cards illustrated several problems, proving the value of the pre-test: Work was conducted to overcome these problems. Printing of the 2.1 million in-country voter cards is now underway and the cards will be ready for distribution in mid-May. A multi-media campaign will announce the availability of the Voter Cards and introduce this new feature of the election process throughout the country.

IFES Executive Vice President and Technical Specialist Jeff Fischer traveled to Sarajevo in March to serve as a technical advisor to the OSCE Elections Branch with specific focus on the interest of Ambassador Barry (OSCE HoM) in speeding up the counting process and official release of results. Mr. Fischer, in coordination with IFES staff, prepared a 25-page presentation that will be used to assist the OSCE Mission as it considers methods, technology, and equipment that can be used to assist ballot counting.

Party/Candidate Registration

With the approval of the PEC Rules and Regulations on Political Party and Independent Candidate registration, the OSCE established that the formal confirmation and registration period for party and candidate participation will begin 27 April and end 18 May. All Coalitions must submit their confirmation or registration applications by 12 June and candidates lists by 27 June.

Initial Bosnianization Realized

Field Offices are staffing all remaining elections positions with national personnel. These positions include Local Election Officers and Senior Local Trainers, which are counterparts to positions staffed by international personnel, the International Election Officer, and International Trainer respectively. Such close pairing of national with international staff will guarantee maximum transfer of skills and knowledge and better enable national staff to conduct future elections independently.

Voter Education and Media

IFES' Training Specialist Barbara Lynch arrived in Sarajevo and spent the first week on the ground transitioning from the 1997 media campaign. Ms. Lynch and her team are now working on the campaign for the voter identification card. Within the campaign, the card will be produced in four languages, including English for the international staff. The OSCE-Sarajevo Voter Information team has begun producing national radio spots for political party and independent candidate registration. Spots begin running 27 April and will run through 18 May. Likewise, national newspaper ads will begin 27 April and run three times per week through 13 May. On 13 May, a new advertisement will run which will advocate that candidates and political parties hurry and register before the 18 May deadline. Thirteen spots will run on UN radio.

A series of meetings with the SFOR media liaison led to the two groups agreeing to support each other with the MY BOSNIA campaign. SFOR will shoot and edit the series, while the VE Team will gain approval for the final cut If satisfied, the SFOR will also use the elections logo to ensure the widest possible distribution.

Legal Review

IFES' Legal Specialist Jesse Pilgrim drafted the proposed Rules for Presidential Offices. A significant change is presented regarding how the President and Vice-President (VP) of the Federation will be elected, which at present is not by a direct voter ballot. Instead, Federation legislative bodies are tasked with this role. The proposed Rule would have Federation voters, as is currently done in the Rupublika Srpska (RS), elect the President and VP by direct ballot. Another significant proposed change is, starting with these elections, to limit all Presidential Offices to four years of service. This would include the President and VP of the RS, the Federation, and the joint-Presidency (Bosniac, Croat, Serb) of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The limitation would not apply to the number of years served by a person who has been appointed to complete the remainder of a vacated term.

Mr. Pilgrim drafted proposed Rules for the Election Appeals Sub-Commission The most significant proposed change is the requirement for a minimal level of due process in EASC proceedings. Mr. Pilgrim has also been developing the Rules for Voter Registration and Voting Options. Eligibility requires the establishment of each of the following:

(1) Citizenship in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

(2) Residency within a municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina in either (a) 1991, (b) on 6 April 1992, or (c) since 1 March 1998; and

(3) Registration as a voter during a registration period, either this year or in prior elections. In an effort to limit the usual fraud, only four documents will be accepted to establish citizenship. Those documents are:

    a) The listing of the person's name on the ! 991 Census; or

    b) Confirmation of appearance of the person's name as a citizen in a municipal record book, provided that such confirmation is made on a form prepared by the OSCE and approved by the Provisional Election Commission. This form shall include: (i) the name «Bosnia and Herzegovina» and the name of the Entity; (ii) the name of the issuing authority; (iii) the language «certificate of citizenship of BiH»; (iv) name and surname of the person for whom it is issued, name of one parent and his/her citizenship, date, and place of birth; (v) book and page number where the person's name appears in the municipal record book or evidence on which citizenship is based; and (vi) the date and place, seal of authority, and signature of the person responsible; or

    c) A valid Bosnia and Herzegovina passport; or

    d) A citizenship certificate issued pursuant to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Law on Citizenship.

There will be no future municipality voting option and no need for the former Citizenship Verification Sub-Commission. Voters will be permitted to change their voting option from last year. New concepts for the newly created rules include registration and voting by disabled persons as well as incarcerated persons, which remains a somewhat controversial issue.

IFES Information Technology Team

In early April, IFES Information Technology Specialists Michael Yard and Fitzgerald Jean worked intensively on printing voter information cards for the pre-registration test which was conducted with voters from 12 polling stations.

One requirement for the voter information card is that settlement information be displayed on it; however, this information was not in the current database. The Statistical Institute gave the IT Team the whole 1991 Census Database, with each record having settlement information whenever possible. The team has imported this information into their own database and created a new census table. To update the newly created settlement ID field in the voter table with the settlement data from the census, IFES' Fitzgerald Jean created a program that scanned the National IDs into the voter table, checked for their validity and tried to match them in the census. If a match was found, the settlement ID was accordingly updated. When there was more than one match due to duplicate entries in the census, the first three characters of the last name in both tables are compared to minimize the possibility of duplicates in the voter register. This program, since it has to browse all 2.5 millions entries in the voter register, was very time - and resource - consuming.

The biggest task around the card has been creating additional fields to allow the Unit to sort names correctly in either Latin or Cyrillic alphabets. This dual sort is not supported by any database without additional programming. In 1997, the Unit assigned a field which allowed them to sort a Polling Station List, with the alphabet based on the location of the polling station. Later the IT Unit was asked to produce a Municipal Voter list, with the alphabet based on the Municipality the voter had opted to vote for. This created significant problems as they tried to convert names from one alphabet to another and reassign sorting orders, then change them back in time to print the Final Voters Register. This year the Unit created routines to be able to accurately convert a name from one alphabet to another, and assigned sort codes for both alphabets to every voter, while cleaning up the names that were corrupted during last year's attempted translations.

Moldova

Moldovan NGOs Seek Greater Public Sector Transparency

On 3 April, IFES/Moldova and the NGO Club jointly sponsored a roundtable discussion on the administration and results of the recent Parliamentary elections. The event was attended by over 15 representatives of local organizations and associations. Topics discussed during the two-hour forum included the results of the elections, the role of NGOs in monitoring the electoral campaign, and the need to improve electoral and public sector transparency.

In light of the NGO community's desire to promote greater public sector transparency, IFES/Moldova, together with the Committee for Freedom of Press, has since initiated a study of access to public information in Moldova. The Constitution of the Republic of Moldova acknowledges a citizen's right to have access to information of public interest, yet the current law and regulations of public institutions, as well as the unfamiliarity of citizens with their constitutional rights, make access to information very difficult.

Within this program, on 16 April IFES/Moldova held a roundtable dedicated to the «Transparency of Public Institutions, and Access to Public Information» The forum was attended by...representatives of domestic NGOs and provided participants an opportunity to discuss the necessary legal revisions to ensure Moldovans' access to public information.

CEC Chairman Suggests Modifications to Electoral Code

The April issue of the IFES-produced Civic Voice newsletter contains an interview with Dumitru Nidelcu, the Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission. In the interview, Nidelcu thanked IFES for the assistance provided during the election campaign and stated that further substantive cooperation between the CEC and IFES would be forthcoming. Among the suggested areas of cooperation mentioned by the Chairman were the production of a brochure based on the observations of the elections by international monitors. Nidelcu hopes that a compilation of these observations will serve as a learning tool for election administrators.

In the interview, Nidelcu underscored the importance of the Universal Electoral Code in the conduct of the March Parliamentary elections. However, he admitted that during the elections, shortcomings of the Electoral Code did come to light. Nidelcu invited IFES/Moldova to become actively involved in advising those presently drafting amendments to the electoral code. Currently the CEC is gathering the proposals on modifying several provisions of the Electoral Code. IFES has pledged to provide legal analysis of the proposed amendments submitted to the Parliament for adoption.

IFES Presents Report on Mass Media Participation in Parliamentary Elections

On 1 April, IFES met with Eduard Mihailov, Chairman of the Centre of Psychological Sociological and Political Investigations and Analysis (CIVIS) to present the report Monitoring of Air Tune and Electoral Spots. The report suggests that political manipulation was common in the mass media during the recent election cycle. Some TV stations failed to abide by the electoral legislation regarding the amount of air time allowed to candidates. The report aims to encourage TV stations to observe the Concept on Coverage of the Electoral Campaign by Audiovisual Institutions of the Republic of Moldova, and to grant equal opportunities to all candidates.

Impact Summary

In the month following the March 1998 Parliamentary elections, IFES addressed issues of critical importance in future administration of free and fair elections in Moldova. The impact of these activities included enhancing the cooperation between non-governmental organizations and the public sector, publicizing the need for revision of the electoral code, and analyzing the role of the mass media in elections.

Russian Federation

Early Parliamentary Elections Avoided

On the last of three votes, the State Duma confirmed Sergei Kiriyenko as Prime Minister, thus protecting the Duma from dissolution. However, the prospect of holding early elections highlighted the inadequacies of current federal electoral legislation and the subsequent difficulties faced by the Central Election Commission (CEC) of the Russian Federation (RF). Lawmakers are still working to reconcile the Federal Law On Elections to the State Duma and other legislation affecting parliamentary elections with the Federal Law On Basic Guarantees of the Electoral Rights of Citizens and the Rights of Citizens to Participate in a Referendum (Voting Rights Act). In the context of early elections. Article 2 of the Voting Rights Act would have been particularly problematic since it requires the registration of politically-oriented public associations with the Ministry of Justice «no later than one year before the voting.» According to CEC Chairman Alexander Ivanchenko, this would have prevented most, if not all, of the factions in the State Duma to participate.

In comments reported by Kommerzant Daily on 23 April concerning contradictions in electoral legislation, Chairman Ivanchenko went as far as stating that «...only presidential decrees will be defining the system and administration of early parliamentary elections.» The statement added another layer to the debate surrounding the parliamentary election law. Although provisions in the 1995 parliamentary election law are not in compliance with the Voting Rights Act, the rest of the law (including the current split majoritarian and proportional representation system) remains in force. Since the introduction of the draft parliamentary election law last November, the Presidential apparat has supported changes requiring all 450 seats to be filled through a single-member district majoritarian system. The State Duma has opted to preserve the status quo.

Chairman Ivanchenko's suggestion that it would have been appropriate for the President to decree a new representational system is reportedly shared by Sergei Shakhrai, the Presidential representative to Russia's Constitutional Court. On the other side of the debate, Marat Baglai, Chairman of the Constitutional Court, reportedly stated that any moves to replace legitimate provisions of a federal law through presidential decree would be clearly unconstitutional. Chairman Baglai's view was echoed by State Duma Deputy Victor Sheinis (Yabloko) with whom IFES met to discuss the status of the draft election law. Sheinis believes that such changes in legislation must be decided through parliamentary process rather than presidential decree.

Although lawmakers continue to draft new election legislation, the latest government crisis and the extent of changes being introduced have pushed back the date of the second reading until June. Despite Presidential support for changing the representational system, the bill that reaches the Federation Council (upper house) this summer will likely maintain the split system by which 225 seats are filled through single-mandate districts and 225 through proportional representation. Lawmakers are considering altering the threshold required for political parties to gain seats and introducing second-round run-off election to increase representation of the voters.

In response to the current changes being discussed, Chairman Ivanchenko of the CEC requested Christian Nadeau, IFES On-Site Project Director to develop an article on ways to increase the level at which State Duma deputies represent the electorate. The article will be distributed through major publications in Russia as a follow-up to a presentation made at a Catnegie/IFES Roundtable on the representation system. In 1995, a majority of the 225 single-mandate district (SMD) deputies were elected with less than 30% of the valid votes cast. IFES continues to recommend the adoption of a second-round in SMDs when none of the candidates receive a majority of the votes. IFES believes that such a provision would increase the representativeness of Duma deputies and help to consolidate political party support.

IFES and the CEC Host Seminar for Regional Election Commissions

The reconciliation of electoral laws to the new standards mandated by the Voting Rights Act continues across the Russian Federation. The difficulties of bringing the parliamentary election law into compliance at the federal level are indicative of many of the same problems faced by lawmakers and election officials in Russia's 89 Subjects.

In mid-April, IFES and the CEC held a joint two-day seminar in Moscow titled «Voter Registration, Election Planning, and Administration: Regional Experiences and Perspectives» to provide a forum in which representatives of Subject Election Commissions (SECs) could effectively exchange views amongst their peers and approach the CEC, other federal bodies, and international experts with questions and concerns. From the event, SECs gained valuable insight and tools to address the challenges they face. The SEC chairpersons and secretaries noted how the innovative format raised the overall level of discussion. Alexander Sarenko, Chairman of the Murmansk SEC, who was initially skeptical of both the event and the regional-level international experts from Canada and the United States, noted that «When I was coming here, I was very doubtful about what I would find in this event. What does Virginia and Saskatchewan have to do with Murmansk? What will the CEC offer me? After the first day, I realized how wrong my impression was and how much there is to learn, for both parties. The exchanges we have been witnessing are exceptional and give me ideas for my region.»

The sessions provided vivid exchanges, particularly on the topics of campaign finance, adjudication of grievances, signature verification, districting, and registration. Overall, the SECs complained about the lack of clear regulatory framework on these issues, the non-responsiveness of the CEC to their questions, and the inability of the court system to adequately address adjudication of election-related complaints.

Adding to the discussion, IFES experts developed materials that provide comparative overviews of specific targeted issues such as drafting administrative guidelines, paper ballot accountability, verifying signatures, and conducting innovative and cost-effective voter education. As anticipated, many of the issues raised at the event were in the context of complying with provisions of the new Voting Rights Act.

In response to difficulties facing these regions as they draft new legislation, IFES also distributed its revised Model Regional Election Laws. The Model Laws, first distributed last year, have been adjusted to comply with the significant changes to the Voting Rights Act. They provide regional lawmakers with sample legislation that is in compliance with the Voting Rights Act and a menu of four different representational systems for regional-level parliaments. The Model Laws have had demonstrated impact. For example, in 1997, the Subject of Stavropol actually adopted one of IFES' model laws as its own. Within a week after the seminar. Samara had requested electronic versions of all four Model Laws.

In all, 23 SEC chairpersons and secretaries exchanged views with their counterparts in the Central Election Commission, and over 60 other federal-level parliamentarians, government officials, and election experts. Christian Nadeau, IFES/Russia Project Director, and Iul Fomenchev, Vice-Chairman of the CEC, moderated the joint IFES/CEC event. IFES' international experts Dickson Bailey, former Chief Election Commissioner of Saskatchewan; Robert A. Dahl, Election Law Specialist; and Anne Washington, Registrar of Norfolk, Virginia provided insightful comparative legal and regional election perspectives. IFES Senior Program Assistant Jeffrey Carlson came from Washington to participate in the event and consult with representatives from the various federal and regional election bodies. Five regional affiliates of the New Perspectives Foundation (NPF) were represented, and the level of cooperation between the NGO community and each of the five respective SECs was increased.

Selected Regional Elections in May

Republic

Date

Office

Republic of Karelia

May 17

Governor (Second Round)

Republic of Adigey

May 17

Legislative Assembly

Krasnoyarsk Krai

May 17

Governor (Second Round)

Lipetsk Oblast

May 31

Legislative Assembly

The latest elections' calendar provided by the Central Election Commission lists the following elections in the Subjects of the Russian Federation

New Perspectives Foundation Conducts Civic Initiatives

IFES support for the New Perspectives Foundation (NPF), an NGO conducting primarily voter and civic education programs oriented towards youth and women, allowed it to organized mock school elections and visits by youth to the State Duma. As part of its youth and democracy program, 14 members of New Perspectives were also invited by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to exchange ideas about the structure of NATO, its youth outreach programs, and the problems facing young conscripts in the army.

Impact Summary

IFES continued to process requests to its Elections Resource Center for information from lawmakers, researchers, and election commissions, thereby raising the level of informed decision-making. Furthermore, IFES advanced the understanding and linkages between Subject Election Commissions, reinforcing and strengthening their institutions, through the holding of the regional election seminar and distribution of appropriate materials.

Ukraine

Election Results

Ukrainian Parliamentary elections based on the mixed majoritarian-proportional system took place on 29 March. Official results in the multi-mandate constituency were publicized by CEC on 7 April. These results indicated that the seats will be distributed as follows: Communist Party of Ukraine will receive 84 seats, Rukh 32 seats, bloc of Socialist and Peasant parties 29 seats, Green Party of Ukraine 19 seats. People's Democratic Party 17 seats, All-Ukrainian Association «Hromada» 16 seats, Progressive Socialist party of Ukraine 14 seats, and Social-Democratic party of Ukraine (united) will receive 14 proportional parliamentary seats out of the 225 in the multi-mandate constituency.

Initial information on officially registered deputies in single-mandate constituencies was released on 18 April. The number of voided elections in single-mandate constituencies had doubled from six to twelve by the end of April; CEC Chairman Ryabets predicts the number will continue to grow.

According to provisional single-mandate results, seven candidates won both in relevant single-mandate constituencies (with the results being challenged in those constituencies), and have a reserved proportional seat through their party lists. Of these, four are affiliated with the Communist party, two belong to Progressive Socialist party, and one is a member of Rukh. These three parties have passed the 4% threshold, so the seven pending constituencies reflect seven undistributed mandates according to party lists. In case one of those seven gets registered as a single-mandate deputy, the respective proportional mandate will be given to another candidate on the party list. If the CEC or court decide to invalidate single-mandate election results for one of those seven, the candidate will receive a deputy mandate through his party list.

Recently some information on the formation of future factions in the new Parliament has been publicized in the media. Factions are supposed to be formed on a party principle, I.e. there would be eight factions. However, several of more than one hundred «independent» deputies are trying to unite in non-party deputy groups. Reportedly, the biggest faction in Verkhovna Rada will consist of the Communist Party (120 deputies, according to media sources); the People's Democratic Party faction with 71 deputies (though they claim they will have about 80 deputies); in third place, Rukh with 50 faction members; fourth, «Hromada» with 41 deputies; fifth, the Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (united) with 35 members; sixth, a bloc of Socialist and Peasant Parties with 30 deputies; seventh, the Green Party of Ukraine with 25; and finally, the Progressive Socialists, who have sixteen faction members so far.

Based on the above information, a projection of whether some of the political forces (left, right, center) will have an absolute majority of seats in the new Verkhovna Rada follows:

Left wing (Communists; Peasants and Socialists; Progressive Socialists) - 166; center (People's Democrats, «Hromada», Social Democrats united, Greens) - 173; right (Rukh) - 50. There are also thirteen more parties/blocs whose candidates were elected to Parliament in single-mandate constituencies, which are very diversified. It may be assumed that approximately forty of these deputies will be divided among the three forces. As for «independents», comprised primarily of businessmen, it is likely that the center and right wings will grow at the expense of these non-party deputies.

According to a different dichotomy, namely anti-presidential versus pro-presidential forces, it may be that the picture is as follows: anti-presidential (Communists, Peasants and Socialists, Progressive Socialists, «Hromada») - 207; pro-presidential (People's Democrats plus Agrarians, Social Democrats united, Rukh, and Greens) - about 190. Again, while the strength of the anti-presidential force can only increase at the expense of «Hromada», pro-presidential or loyal forces have a better chance to grow at the expense of «independents» and small parties. Therefore, none of the current political coalitions in the new parliament can become dominant, though some issues could bring about temporary situational alliances.

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Continued from page 1

November. In order to rectify problems with the manually kept lists, the Montenegrin government, through the Secretariat of Development, initiated a project to computerize and centralize the lists into one central registry. This was to allow for the elimination of outdated lists and continuous updating even between election periods. In order to assist the Secretariat with this endeavor, IFES provided a technical advisor to draft guidelines for the process before and after the elections and supervise the purging and updating of records.

IFES' Voter Registration Specialist met with the Director of the Secretariat for Development to review the performance of the computerized voter registration system thus far. IFES was asked to prepare a plan to address on-going problems in the voter registration process, in particular, some 70,000 entries which are currently included in the Register of Electors, but for which insufficient records or identification exist to modify the registry. Feasible options within the current legal framework were explored and submitted to the Secretariat. The entire team was invited to witness a test of the system, and IFES was encouraged to conduct spot checks at municipal authorities to assess system performance at the local level and on-going training needs.

The Secretariat of Development has completed the long process of transferring records into the computer system and combining the 21 municipal voter registers. The Secretariat has had only six weeks to combine the lists, and although this is not adequate time for the task, the Secretariat has achieved centralization of data and the automatic enrollment from the municipalities to the central database, cleared 7,255 duplications of names across municipalities from a total of 466,000 names on the voter registry, reduced the number of deficient records from 98,000 on commencement of the centralization to the present level of 60,000 (12.6% of the enrollment), reduced duplications to about 6,000, and answered 39,000 phone inquiries.

Poll Worker Training

Another area in which IFES is assisting the REC is in the provision of training for the poll workers that serve on polling boards throughout the Republic. The structure developed follows a training-of-trainers model and is designed to build the capacity of the REC to conduct training through its own structures. IFES' Elections Specialist has identified and will train six domestic core trainers (DCTs) on the election law and election practices. These trainers will in turn train secondary trainers within municipal election commissions who will then be responsible for training core members of polling boards. All parties qualifying for the ballot during this campaign will also have the right to appoint representatives to the expanded membership of election commissions and polling boards. Additional training will be provided to political parties whose representatives comprise the expanded membership.

In order to guide training sessions and provide a user-friendly reference manual, IFES is drafting a Poll Worker Manual and a training curriculum for the conduct of training sessions. The manual will be distributed through the training structure and provide a guide for poll workers on proper polling site practices according to the election law.

Assistance to the Republic Election Commission

According to the new legislative election law adopted by the Republican Assembly in February, the use of ink will be introduced at the polling site to prevent multiple or fraudulent voting. The ink, which is invisible to the eye and can only be seen under an ultraviolet lamp, will be sprayed on voters after they have cast their ballot. In order to facilitate the procurement of the appropriate quantities of ink and UV lamps, critical elements of the election process, Chedomir Flego worked with the REC to locate possible vendors, required volume, costs, and delivery routes. This information was subsequently incorporated into a proposal for assistance with the funding of the ink purchase and submitted to potential sponsors.

Election Update

Voters can check for their names in the Registry of Electors by calling one of two special telephone lines set up by the Secretariat for Development. One is an automated system which can verify information, the other an operator-assisted telephone bank. In addition, the Secretariat for Development set up a website with the following address: www.cbs.cg.yu. At the municipal level, an information center has been established where the public may inspect the lists and request changes to correct errors or inconsistencies. Municipalities with rural areas have also established mobile information services. Computerized voter lists are taken to remote villages, allowing electors without easy access to the municipal centers to see the lists and request changes where appropriate. The following dates were confirmed by the Secretariat for Development concerning the voter registry:

Publication of Voters lists:

31 March 1998

Date for Last Public Changes:

10 May 1998

Date for Last Court Changes:

25 May 1998

Election Date:

31 May 1998

All of the municipal assemblies have been dissolved in order for municipal elections and Parliamentary elections to be held simultaneously on 31 May. New election commissions have been established in 20 of the 21 municipalities to date.

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