POLITICAL PROCESS

Interns of the 16th Parliamentary Internship Program.
Interns of the 16th Parliamentary Internship Program.
Olha Myrtsalo

THE CHALLENGE

To further consolidate democratic advances, Ukraine needs a pluralistic and open party system accountable to citizens, a stable electoral system that allows for fair and competitive elections, and improved legislative processes that incorporate civil society participation.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

  • To help democratic political parties better respond to their constituencies and represent constituent concerns.
  • To promote fair, transparent, and competitive elections
  • To improve public representation in the legislative process.
  • To expand the role of citizens in monitoring the work of Parliament.
  • To increase the accountability and responsiveness of government officials in the Ukrainian Parliament and executive branch 

OVERVIEW

USAID supports Ukraine’s continuing consolidation of democratic institutions and practices, including more open elections and political processes. USAID strengthens representative political parties and improves civic monitoring of political processes. USAID assistance encourages active, informed citizen participation in political processes and responsiveness among politicians. USAID’s non-partisan assistance helped ensure that the 2015 local elections were fair, transparent, and peaceful.

OUR PROGRAMS

Political Process and Electoral Reform Programs

USAID programs promote political processes that lead to more representative and accountable governance by training political party activists and locally elected officials, facilitating public fora, improving communication between civic groups and citizens, and organizing NGO-led advocacy campaigns on electoral and political process issues. Regional exchanges for locally elected officials across Ukraine showcase best practices for good governance, building sustainable linkages and breaking down stereotypes betwwen Eastern and Western Ukraine. USAID supports stakeholders pushing forward electoral reform legislation and strengthens the capacity of the Central Election Commission (CEC) to train election officials. For the 2014 early presidential and parliamentary elections, USAID assistance helped the CEC to ensure that commissioners at the territorial/district and precinct levels acted professionally and understood their responsibilities.

Election Oversight

USAID programs monitor and report on the quality and competitiveness of key Ukrainian elections. They provide support for nationwide domestic long- and short-term observation teams and oversee parallel vote tabulations on election day. International experts provide assessments of the electoral environment and observe the conduct of elections, encouraging compliance with international standards and best practices. In periods between elections, USAID’s local partners advocate for electoral reform, oversee its implementation, and monitor the work of elected officials to increase accountability.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Political Processes

Through its partners, USAID conducted trainings and seminars for political party activists, youth, women candidates, civil societyleaders, and local elected officials. Hundreds of local civic groups received training in civic activism at NGO schools and thousands of political party members and candidates, many new to politics, received USAID-supported training. Training increases the ability of parties to communicate with voters and civic groups, helps parties develop issue-based platforms, supports party branch development, and builds closer ties to citizens. Using skills developed in the trainings, Ukrainian NGOs also recruited thousands of citizens for monitoring and advocacy campaigns with elected officials. Facilitated joint events between local political party branches and local civic groups teach issues of concern to local communities. USAID programs that promote women’s political participation established a multi-faction parliamentary caucus focused on gender issues.

Election Assistance and Monitoring

With USAID support, OPORA - nationally recognized as the leading election monitoring organization in Ukraine - played a critical role in public oversight of the 2014 presidential and parliamentary elections and 2015 local elections. Hundreds of OPORA long-term observers detered fraud and informed national and international audiences about Ukraine’s pre-election environment, while thousands of observers monitored the conduct of the elections and vote count on election day. USAID-supported delegations from NDI and IRI reinforced these findings while drawing international attention to the conduct of the elections and their implications for Ukraine’s democratic development.

Under the Electoral Law Reform Program, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and its civil society partners promoted discussion and deliberation on election-related legal reform. IFES provided critical expertise and assistance in the development of comprehensive political finance reform legislation adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in October 2015. Working in concert with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, IFES provided training coaches, materials and curricula to support the Central Election Commission in its training of territorial and precinct commissioners for the 2015 local elections. Over 92,000 election officials were directly trained.

The program also helped local organizations to monitor campaign spending in select mayoral races and collaborated with NDI to train women candidates on local election law and campaign basics.

Last updated: June 03, 2016

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