Electoral Systems Week 2018 in Ukraine
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the Venice Commission and the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Responsible Accountable Democratic Assembly (RADA) Program organized a series of events as part of the Electoral Systems Week initiative, from April 2-6. The week provided a platform for electoral experts, academics, politicians and other public affairs stakeholders to exchange ideas on electoral system design for legislative and local elections in Ukraine.
IFES consultant and electoral expert, Dr. Andrew Reynolds, was a featured speaker throughout the week. Dr. Reynolds has authored the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance’s "Handbook on Electoral System Design."
On April 3, a workshop for experts on electoral system reform titled “Electoral Reform: Problems and Perspectives” assembled prominent domestic experts to discuss parliamentary elections and political and legal factors when choosing the optimal electoral system for Ukraine. The workshop is available in English and Ukrainian.
On April 5, Dr. Reynolds lectured on electoral system reform for participants of the Verkhovna Rada’s internship program and the executive branch of government. Dr. Reynolds shared insights on core principles of designing an electoral system and emphasized that an electoral system cannot solve all political problems in a country; but, can play a significant role in promoting political stability.
On the same day, a roundtable titled “The Prospect of Electoral Reform” addressed various elements of overall electoral reform in Ukraine. Members of Parliament, national and international electoral experts, Venice Commission representatives, and the Central Election Commission participated in this event. During the roundtable discussion, Dr. Reynolds presented his analysis of the draft electoral laws that are currently registered in the Verkhovna Rada through the lens of international standards and good practice. At the roundtable, consensus emerged among participants for:
- Dialogue between civil society and political parties on electoral system design for parliamentary elections in Ukraine;
- A transparent legislative process well ahead of scheduled elections to ensure proper electoral preparation; and
- Comprehensive voter education.
The full video recording of the roundtable is available here.
These events were made possible with funding from USAID and UK aid.