Local elections held in Ukraine on Oct 25

Local elections are held in Ukraine on Sunday, October 25, from 8:00 to 20:00, in which Ukrainians will elect mayors of cities, deputies of local, district or regional councils and heads of territorial communities.

It should be remembered that on the night before the vote, Ukraine will switch to "winter time": at 4:00 the clock will move one hour back.

According to the Central Election Commission, 1,780 deputies of regional and city councils of Kyiv, 5,366 deputies of regional councils, 11,124 deputies of city councils, 562 deputies of district councils in cities with regional division, 10,284 deputies of town councils, 14,006 deputies of rural councils and 370 city heads, 428 town heads, 623 village heads will be elected in local elections on Sunday.

Simultaneously with the elections, a nationwide poll initiated by President Volodymyr Zelensky will be held, in which citizens will be asked to answer five questions: whether it is necessary to introduce life sentences in the country for corruption on an especially large scale; do they support the creation of a free economic zone in Donbas; do they support the reduction of the number of the Verkhovna Rada members from 450 to 300, the legalization of medical cannabis and the raising of the issue of applying the security guarantees defined by the Budapest Memorandum at the international level?

For the first time, Ukraine is holding elections under the COVID-19 pandemic conditions in the world and a difficult epidemiological situation in the country. In this regard, the Cabinet of Ministers recommended that voters not take children to polling stations, treat their hands with disinfectants before entering the premises, wear a respirator or a protective mask at polling stations, observe social distance, and use personal pens when voting. If high temperature is detected, it is ordered to vote in an isolated booth and use a separate ballot box.

The premises will be marked with markings indicating that a distance of at least 1 meter is kept. Voter flows, at the entrance and at the exit, should be separated. In addition, it is recommended that no more than three voters stay in the room at one table for issuing ballots.

Voters who are in self-isolation can vote at their place of residence. To do this, they must submit an application with an added health certificate from the medical institution no later than 8 pm on the last Friday before election day. The members of the commission who ensure voting at the place of self-isolation of voters must wear masks, gloves, protective shields, and after each visit, dispose of protective equipment.

In accordance with the requirements of the Electoral Code, the electoral system depends on the number of voters in the administrative unit. In territorial communities where there are less than 10,000 voters, deputies will be elected by a relative majority in multi-member constituencies, as usual according to the majority system. Here one can become a candidate both from political parties and through self-nomination.

In communities where there are more than 10,000 voters, a new system of proportional representation with open electoral lists is in effect in Ukraine. Candidates for deputies of such councils are nominated only by political parties. However, the voter votes not only for the party, but also for a specific candidate in its regional list and thus influences the candidate's chances of being elected regardless of his number in the list.

During the elections to such a council, the ballot will contain the name of the party on the left (and the surname of the candidate in the single electoral list who does not participate in personalized voting, because it is guaranteed to enter the council if the party overcomes the threshold), in the middle there are two boxes for voting, and on the right it is a list of names with 5-12 candidates from this party. Thus, in the first box, the voter must put a mark in favor of the party, and in the second box, stencil the number of the candidate from this party (from 1 to 12).

Currently, the administrative-territorial reform is underway in Ukraine, in particular, in July 2020, the Verkhovna Rada liquidated 490 districts and formed 136 new ones. In addition, territorial communities have been created within each region, 1,470 in total.

The OPORA civil network has developed an interactive map of Ukraine, which displays the boundaries of new districts and communities, and also provides information on the number of voters and the types of electoral systems that are already in effect during the local elections on October 25. On the map, one can find the number of voters in each region, district or community, the increase in the number of voters as a result of the procedure for changing the electoral address, the type of electoral system, the number of deputy mandates in the corresponding council, the amount of the deposit, and later – the number of registered candidates. Access to the map: https: /www.oporaua.org/longrid/map_2020.html

Interfax-Ukraine

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