Has the Project been Sent to Venice Commission?
15 September, 2011
Has the Project been Sent to Venice Commission?

 

Authorities have no time for Election Code

The autumn session is already on but the draft project on amendments to the Election Code remains out of everybody’s sight. The Authorities shun this topic preferring not to talk about it, even though in mid-summer they announced that they would send the first version of the draft project of the amendments to the Venice Commission.

The constitutional change envisages increase in the number of MPs. The initiation of

the draft law was planned for the early September with the due consideration given to the rule that before the Parliamentary discussion and adoption of the constitutional changes one month-long public discussions would be held, so that the public would have the opportunity to offer its comments for their integration in the draft law.

At the moment, the deadline for the constitutional change is very close if the adoption is expected to happen by the end of October. Certainly, the month-long public scrutiny and subsequent Parliamentary hearings will take a while; and there is no way to use shorter emergency procedures for the adoption of the draft law.

The second promise was that this draft law would be sent to the Venice Commission before 20 August. This first version was planned to eliminate several topics, such as voter list checkup, creation of commissions to monitor work of media and potential use of administrative resources during elections. None of the opposition parties who opted to take part in the agreement, know whether the project was already sent to the Venice Commission. Meanwhile, stone-hard silence on the part of the Authorities leaves room for the insolvable ambiguity.

The timely dispatch of the project to the Venice Commission is of exceptional importance because the Venice Commission needs some time to elaborate its written conclusion. At the end of July the Authorities were saying that the project initiation would not happen before the conclusion of the Venice Commission so that they would use the opportunity to consider all the Commission remarks. This means that the conclusion of the Venice Commission must be available by the end of September at most, to be followed by one month long Parliamentary initiation and hearing stages. If the project has not been sent to the Venice Commission till this moment, it means that either the process will be put off for a later period or the Authorities will again breach their promise and won’t wait for the conclusion of Venice Commission.

One more promise concerns the question of forming commissions. At the end of July it was said that in early September an agreement would have been reached on the rule of setting up of commission; respective draft law should have been laid down for the integration of the rule into the legislation. As a matter of fact, the first half of September has passed away without anyone even recalling that there was this promise about forming of commission. Even more, nobody talks about the Election Code itself! How such passiveness of the Authorities can be explained? Are the pre-agreed topics doomed again? You cannot say for sure. It is up to the Authorities to shed light on the issue.

 

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