The round table on the electoral system in Ukraine organised with the support of the Venice Commission on 4 February 2009 in Kiev has shown that reform of the existing electoral system is needed since the present system is deemed not to be satisfactory in many respects. The Portnov-Lavrynovych-draft is focused on the idea of changing the electoral system in such a way as to guarantee that one political party gets the absolute majority of the seats in the Verchovna Rada. The aim of achieving clear outcomes in parliamentary elections facilitating the formation of a stable government is very important. Nevertheless, the means chosen do not seem recommendable for the specific political situation in Ukraine as the voters’ will would not be adequately reflected in the distribution of the seats in the Verchovna Rada. For Ukraine it seems to be especially important to guarantee a fair reflection of different voters’ interests in the different regions of the country. Therefore any reform should aim at reinforcing the regional representation and a closer link between voters and elected Members of Parliament. This aim is not likely to be achieved by the electoral system proposed in the Portnov-Lavrynovych-draft. The proposed election system would most probably lead to a further polarisation between two major political blocs and exacerbate the division within the country. Moreover, the proposed distribution of seats seems to be alien to the known electoral systems and solutions used in Europe and could be problematic in the light of the existing European standards in the field of elections.
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