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Archive for November, 2012

Azarov: Ukraine has a right to protect its domestic market

Posted by the Editor on November 30, 2012


News / 30 November 2012 | 17:20

Azarov: Ukraine has a right to protect its domestic market

Azarov: Ukraine has a right to protect its domestic market

As a WTO member, Ukraine has a right to take certain measures for protection of its domestic market, Prime Minster of Ukraine Mykola Azarov told a joint press conference with Norwegian Premier Jens Stoltenberg in Oslo.

“Ukraine is acting in strict accordance with WTO regulations. Under certain circumstances and fro a certain period of time we have a right to take necessary measures to protect our domestic market. We are following all procedures, set by WTO on this revision,” Azarov said.

As a reminder, Ukraine has sent to the World Trade Organization a note asking for a future opportunity to review its tariff commitments in the framework of this organization.

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Ambassador: Ukraine to take PACE recommendations into account

Posted by the Editor on November 30, 2012


News / 30 November 2012 | 17:09

Ambassador: Ukraine to take PACE recommendations into account

Ambassador: Ukraine to take PACE recommendations into account

Permanent representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe Mykola Tochitsky said that the conclusions of the PACE ad hoc committee on the recent parliamentary elections are useful for Kyiv.
“This is the technical document, which is the result of the ad hoc committee to monitor the elections. It includes specific recommendations for further cooperation between Ukraine and the Council of Europe,” the diplomat said.
He noted that the main conclusion you can make from the report is that the PACE is to continue cooperation with Ukraine in the framework of the PACE Monitoring Committee, and as part of the Venice Commission.
Tochitsky noted that the conclusions highlight the importance of a balanced approach to all participants in the electoral process.
“Of course, there are also problems with the electoral law. This is a complicated law and it takes time to learn how to properly implement it,” Tochitsky said.
In general, he said, the work, carried out by the PACE ad hoc committee, is very important in terms of priorities of Ukraine’s cooperation with the Council of Europe.

 

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PM of Norway hopes for development of cooperation with Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on November 30, 2012


News / 30 November 2012 | 17:00

PM of Norway hopes for development of cooperation with Ukraine

PM of Norway hopes for development of cooperation with Ukraine

Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg is convinced that the official visit of Ukraine’s PM Mykola Azarov to Norway will assist to the development of mutual relations.

“I am glad that Ukraine’s PM has found time to visit Norway with official visit of the delegation. I hope that this visit will open new possibilities for our cooperation in various spheres, including economic one,” Jens Stoltenberg said at a joint press conference in Oslo, ForUm learned from the Cabinet’s pres office.

In his turn, Azarov expressed his satisfaction with the official visit and underlined there had been held fruitful talks with the Kingdom’s authorities and representatives of Norwegian business.

“I have held in-depth meetings with businessmen and state officials of Norway. I am deeply satisfied with the results of the visit and hope relations between our countries will keep developing,” Azarov said in particular.

Ukraine’s PM also informed that he officially invited Norwegian Premier to visit Ukraine and reminded that yesterday he delivered Viktor Yanukovych’s invitation to Norway’s King Harald V to visit Ukraine with an official visit. The invitation has been accepted.

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Kravchuk: New speaker not to serve everyone

Posted by the Editor on November 30, 2012


News / 30 November 2012 | 16:49

Kravchuk: New speaker not to serve everyone

Kravchuk: New speaker not to serve everyone

The person, who enjoys respect in the Parliament and in society, should become speaker of the newly elected Parliament, the first President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk told a press conference, ForUm correspondent reports.
“It is important that Parliament is headed by a person, who will not serve everyone and their brother, but only the Parliament, adhering to the Rules and the Constitution and respecting the members of all the political forces,” he said.
As for the election of possible heads of the Parliament’s committees, in Kravchuk’s opinion, it “has the same meaning as the eclipse of the moon on a sunny day”.
As for personal voting of MPs, the ex-President considers it appropriate to introduce the Rada-3 system, which will make an MP to vote with both hands, so that he is not physically able to do it instead of his colleague.
“Given today’s technology development, it is important that the system reads the fingerprint,” Kravchuk said.

 

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Shapoval: CEC has no reasons to be ashamed of its work

Posted by the Editor on November 30, 2012


News / 30 November 2012 | 16:35

Shapoval: CEC has no reasons to be ashamed of its work

Shapoval: CEC has no reasons to be ashamed of its work

Members of the Central Election Commission have no reasons to be ashamed of their work during the parliamentary elections in 2012, the CEC chairman Volodymyr Shapoval said during the solemn meeting on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Commission, ForUm correspondent reports.
He stressed that, despite the preliminary findings of the international experts, he has the right to say that the members of the Central Election Commission, members of the staff and the State Register of voters made every effort to prepare and conduct of the parliamentary elections.
“I think we have no reason to be ashamed of something. We don’t need to be proud of, let others do it, but our conscience is clear and we are sure that everything we have been doing – was right. There are tangible evidences of that,” Shapoval said.
The first meeting of the CEC, as a permanent collegial public body, was held on November 13, 1997.

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Kravchuk: Current President does not want Parliament to elect head of state

Posted by the Editor on November 30, 2012


News / 30 November 2012 | 16:22

Kravchuk: Current President does not want Parliament to elect head of state

Kravchuk: Current President does not want Parliament to elect head of state

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych does not support the election of President by the Parliament, the first President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk told a press conference, ForUm correspondent reports.
Kravchuk assured reporters that he had repeatedly discussed this issue with Yanukovych.
“I want to emphasize that we had sincere conversations. President Yanukovych said that he does not want the Parliament to elect the head of state under any consideration. The President must be elected only by nation,” Kravchuk assured.
He also said that an issue on change of rules to elect the President of Ukraine was not discussed at the meeting of the Constituent Assembly. And the first President of Ukraine is personally against to elect the head of state by the Parliament.

ForUm

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PACE: Elections in Ukraine were marred by a tilted playing field

Posted by the Editor on November 30, 2012


News / 30 November 2012 | 16:09

PACE: Elections in Ukraine were marred by a tilted playing field

PACE: Elections in Ukraine were marred by a tilted playing field

The PACE Committee to observe the parliamentary elections in Ukraine concluded that parliamentary elections in Ukraine were marred by a tilted playing field and that irregularities in the counting procedure in a considerable number of majority constituencies are liable to vitiate the whole electoral process.
Such conclusions are outlined in the Election observation report of the ad hoc Committee of the Bureau.
“The ad hoc committee concluded that the 28 October 2012 parliamentary elections in Ukraine were marred by a tilted playing field which contributed to the dominance of the major economic and financial groups, particularly because of the misuse of administrative resources and a lack of transparency in the financing of the election campaign and of the parties, but also owing to an imbalance in the media coverage. The voters had a choice of different parties and a large number of candidates who had been able to register, thus catering for a wide variety of political views,”  the document reads.
The report notes, that election day, October 28, “was quiet”.
“The members of the ad hoc committee noted the well-ordered running of the election, finding that, on the whole, the voting and vote-counting operations were conducted in a professional and calm manner,” the PACE said.
However, the observers pay attention to the fact that the situation worsened during the calculation of results in a considerable number of majority constituencies, which led to long delays in the counting procedure.
“In this connection, the ad hoc committee expresses its grave concern and considers that these irregularities are liable to vitiate the whole electoral process,” the report reads.
The committee voiced other serious problems: misuse of administrative resources, the distribution of fake newspapers, cases of distribution of material goods to voters, the presence of so-called “technical” candidates.
“The ad hoc committee is convinced that these phenomena are unhelpful in terms of building voter confidence in the electoral process,” the document mentions.
In addition, the ad hoc committee regrets that the elections took place against the background of the cases involving Ms Timoshenko and Mr Lutsenko, two major opposition figures who are currently serving prison sentences.
“In connection with party funding and the financing of the election campaign, the ad hoc committee recalls that during the 2010 presidential election, it voiced its concern about “the place of money and oligarchies in politics in Ukraine in general and in the election process in particular”. This reality appears to have reached even more alarming proportions during this election campaign.
 
Unfortunately, many Ukrainian citizens are seeing the political “combat” as a struggle between different clans and their financials interests rather than between competing platforms and ideas,” the PACE points out a problem.
In addition, the ad hoc committee considers that on the whole the CEC operated satisfactorily, although the CEC also held some meetings behind closed doors.
The ad hoc committee considers that the Parliamentary Assembly should continue its close co-operation with the Ukrainian Parliament and institutions, by means of its monitoring procedure, and with the Venice Commission, in order to resolve the problems noted during the parliamentary elections on 28 October 2012 and to further consolidate the whole electoral process.
With this objective, the PACE gives series of recommendation, including: adoption of a unified electoral code, preferably before the next elections; reformation of the electoral system in order to allow small parties to enjoy some measure of electoral success, in particular by improving regional representation and increasing voters’ influence over their representatives in parliament, by adopting a multi-constituency proportional representation system based on open party lists.
It is also recommended to fully implement the recommendations of the Assembly and those of GRECO issued in October 2011, in order to reinforce the transparency of political party and election campaign financing. In addition, the PACE advise to conduct investigations into all allegations of misuse of administrative resources and other electoral irregularities, and publish the results of these investigations.
The ad hoc committee calls on Ukrainian authorities to conduct investigations into the irregularities noted in the majority constituencies where the election results had to be cancelled, to establish the responsibilities of the authors of these irregularities and to inform the Assembly of the outcome as soon as possible.
It is also recommended to draw a clear distinction between the State administration and the political parties in office; take the requisite steps to guarantee media pluralism during electoral campaigns; examine the means of simplifying the long, complex vote- and ballot-counting procedures on the day of the election; organise training courses for members of the polling stations, particularly in rural areas, in order to improve their command of procedures on election day.
“The Assembly is prepared to assist Ukraine in implementing these important electoral reforms,” the report emphasizes.

ForUm

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Kravchuk against amending Constitution at referendum

Posted by the Editor on November 30, 2012


News / 30 November 2012 | 15:55

Kravchuk against amending Constitution at referendum

Kravchuk against amending Constitution at referendum

Head of the Constituent Assembly and the first President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk is categorically against the constitutional changes at the referendum, he told a press conference, ForUm correspondent reports.
“The history of the civilized countries does not know cases, when the Constitution is adopted at the referendum. It was adopted only in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. I do not want to comment the level of democracy of these countries,” he said.
Kravchuk also noted that he does not support the amendments to the text of Constitution and said that while he is a head of the Constitutional Assembly “the agenda will never include an issue contradicted article 13 of the current Constitution. That is, according to him, there is no possibility to write a new Constitution, and the current Constitution can be only amended.

ForUm

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