Ukraine parliament in session for the swearing-in of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo: US Embassy Kyiv

The following analysis of the Election Code of Ukraine was developed by the Ukrainian Association of Democratic Lawyers, a member association of the IADL. On December 19, 2019, the Parliament of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada) adopted a new Election Code of Ukraine, which entered into force on January 1, 2020.

The Constitution of Ukraine proclaims that the people are the bearer of sovereignty and the only source of power in Ukraine. The people exercise power directly and through public authorities and local governments (Article 5 of the Constitution of Ukraine).

However, some of the norms of the Election Code of Ukraine adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament are archaic, grossly ignore and violate the citizens’ human rights and freedoms, and invalidate the principles of democracy guaranteed by both national and international law.

For example, there is direct ban on the participation in elections and, thus, a gross violation of the political rights and freedoms of citizens of Ukraine with communist views who profess the principles of freedom, equality and fraternity.

The following analytical note addresses the inconsistency of the Electoral Code of Ukraine with the Constitution of Ukraine, European democratic norms, international law and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

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